Plácido Domingo, Angela Gheorghiu & Rolando Villazón Headline Semperoper Dresden’s 2018-19 Season

By Francisco Salazar

The Semperoper Dresden has announced its 2018-19 season featuring a number of superstars and nine new productions of operettas, chamber opera, and grand opera.

As always, the following will only cover the operas that will be shown next season and not the ballets that were also included in the season announcement.

New Production 

Arnold Schönberg’ “Mose und Aaron” gets a new production by Calixto Bieto conducted by Alan Gilbert. John Tomlinson sings the title role of Moses with Lance Ryan as Aaron. Mädchen Tahnee Niboro, Christa Mayer, and Jüngling Simeon Esper round out the cast.

Performance Dates: Sept. 29-Oct. 15, 2018

Christian Thielemann conducts a new production of Strauss’ “Ariadne Auf Naxos” by David Hermann. Krassimira Stoyanova stars in the title role alongside Stephen Gould as the Bacchus. Daniela Fally sings the role of Zerbinetta. The new production is a co-production with the Opéra national de Lorraine, Nancy.

Performance Dates: Dec. 2-14, 2018

Pavol Breslik stars in Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride” alongside Hrachuhí Bassénz as Marie. Tomáš Netopil conducts the new production by Mariame Clément. Dimitry Ivashchenko and Martin Winkler alternate the role of Kezal.

Performance Dates: March 8-May 2, 2019

Rolando Villazón directs a new production of Rameau’s “Platée.” Paul Agnew conducts a young cast that includes Mark Milhofer, Sebastian Wartig, Iulia Maria Dan, Tania Lorenzo, and Philippe Talbot in the title role.

Performance Dates: April 6-29, 2019

Principal guest conductor Omer Meir Wellber conducts a new production of Verdi’s “Nabucco” directed by David Bösch. Plácido Domingo and Andrzej Dobber alternate the title role with Saioa Hernández as Abigaille. Arseny Yakovlev sings Ismaele and Vitalij Kowaljow sings Zaccaria.

Performance Dates: May 25-June 21, 2019

Venera Gimadieva stars in a new production of Meyerbeer’s “Les Huguenots.” Peter Konwitschny directs the production which is also set to star John Osborn, John Relyea, Antonio Yang, and Christoph Pohl. Alexander Vedernikov conducts.

Performance Dates: June 29-July 13, 2019

Bruno Maderna’s chamber opera “Satyricon” gets a new production by Georg Schmiedleitner. Pietro Borgonovo conducts an ensemble that includes Tom Martinsen, Michal Doron, Katerina von Bennigsen, Jennifer Riedel, Tahnee Niboro, Timothy Oliver, Bernhard Hansky, and Matthias Henneberg.

Performance Dates: Oct. 3-20, 2018

The Semperoper also presents Philip Venables’s chamber opera “4:48 Psychose” directed by Isabel Ostermann. Max Renne conducts the cast that includes Sarah Maria Sun, Tahnee Niboro, and Grace Durham.

Performance Dates: April 26-May 10 2019

Chao Deng, Tahnee Niboro, Jürgen Müller, and Simeon Esper star in a new production of Jacques Offenbach’s “Hauptling Abendwind.” Manfred Weiß directs the new production conducted by Thomas Leo Cadenbach.

Performance Dates: Dec. 14, 2018-Jan 26, 2019


Richard Strauss’s “Arabella” returns to the stage with Camilla Nylund in the title role. Bo Skovhus and Genia Kühmeier round out the cast, which will be conducted by Asher Fisch.

Performance Dates: Dec. 7-13, 2018

John Kander, Fred Ebb, and Joe Masteroff’s “Cabaret” is brought to the stage with Max Renne conducting. Aaron Pegram, Julia Gámez Martín, Simeon Esper, and Sabine Brohm star in classic musical.

Performance Dates: Dec. 21, 2018-Jan 8, 2019

Ksenia Dudnikova, Lena Belkina, and Maria Kataeva alternate the title role of Bizet’s “Carmen.” Marcelo Puente and Daniel Johansson alternate Don José while Iulia Maria Dan sings Micaëla. Antonio Yang and Alexey Markov alternate Escamillo, rounding the cast which will be conducted by Antonino Fogliani.

Performance Dates: Oct. 1, 2018-June 8, 2019

Albert Dohmen and Antonio Yang share the title role in Wagner’s “Der Fliegende Holländer” with Anja Kampe and Ricarda Merbeth as Senta. Georg Zeppenfeld and Tomislav Mužek round out the cast with Christian Thielemann and John Fiore alternating at the pit.

Performance Dates: Jan. 11-March 1, 2019

Emily Magee, Tuuli Takala, Christina Bock, Peter Rose, and Pavol Breslik lead the revival of Strauss’s “Der Rosenkavalier.” Omer Meir Wellber conducts.

Performance Dates: April 27-May 5, 2019

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’ “Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail” gets a revival with Joseph Dennis, Aaron Pegram, Elena Gorshunova, Gloria Rehm, and Lars Woldt. Christopher Moulds conducts.

Performance Dates: Sept. 4-Nov. 11, 2018

Marlis Petersen and Vanessa Goikoetxea share the title role in Franz Lehár’s sweeping “Die Lustige Witwe.” They are joined by Pavol Breslik and Christoph Pohl as Danilo and Aaron Pegram as De Rosillion. Tuuli Takala is Valencienne and Stefan Soltesz conducts.

Performance Dates: Jan. 18-Feb. 8, 2019

Dmitri Jurowski conducts the revival of Korngold’s classic “Die Tote Städt” with Manuela Uhl, Burkhard Fritz, and Sebastian Wartig.

Performance Dates: May 31-June 4, 2019

Mozart’s “Die Zauberflote” returns with three conductors at the podium. Nikolaj Znaider, Felix Krieger, and Moritz Gnann lead a diverse cast that includes Tilmann Rönnebeck and Georg Zeppenfeld alternating Sarastro, Antonina Vesenina, Tuuli Takala, Rocío Pérez, and Olga Pudova all as the Queen of the Night, Elbenita Kajtazi, and Magdalena Risberg taking turns with Pamina and Joseph Dennis and Martin Mitterrutzner both as Tamino.

Performance Dates: Oct. 20, 2018-June 6, 2019

Ildebrando D’Arcangelo brings his signature role in Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” alongside Georg Zeppenfeld, Markus Marquardt, Anke Vondung, Elena Gorshunova, and Joseph Dennis. Christoph Pohl also portrays the titular character with Omer Meir Wellber conducting.

Performance Dates: May 22-June 20, 2019

Tomislav Mužek sings Florestan and Jacquelyn Wagner and Elisabeth Teige alternate Leonore in Beethoven’s only opera “Fidelio.” Georg Zeppenfeld, Markus Marquardt, and Joseph Dennis round the cast with Jonathan Darlington conducting.

Performance Dates: Sept. 15-Oct. 12, 2018

Händel’s baroque masterpiece returns to the stage in “Giulio Cesare in Egitto” with Lawrence Zazzo in the title role and Elena Gorshunova as Cleopatra.

Performance Dates: April 13-21, 2018

Asher Fisch conducts Humperdinck’s “Hansel und Gretel” with Christina Bock and Jelena Kordić as Hansel and Iulia Maria Dan and Victorija Kaminskait as Gretel. Evelyn Herlitzius sings the witch Hexe rounding out the cast.

Performance Dates: Dec. 15-26, 2018

Bel Canto comes to life in Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” with Mert Süngü as Almaviva and Diana Haller and Anke Vondung as Rosina. Christoph Pohl and Davide Luciano trade off the role of the barber while Roberto Scandiuzzi is  Don Basilio.

Performance Dates: March 9-April 20, 2019

Angela Gheorghiu brings her signature interpretation to Dresden in Puccini’s most popular work “La Bohème.” Hrachuhí Bassénz and Angel Blue alternate with her and Stephen Costello and Yosep Kang sing Rodolfo. Daniele Callegari, John Fiore and Speranza Scappucci all take turns at the pit.

Performance Dates: Dec. 22, 2018-July 12, 2019

Verdi’s “La Forza del Destino” gets a rare staging with Marcelo Puente, Vitalij Kowaljow, Elena Stikhina, Alexey Markov, Elena Maximova, and Pietro Spagnoli. Mark Wigglesworth conducts.

Performance Dates: August 31-Sept. 14, 2018

Iulia Maria Dan, Venera Gimadieva, and Ekaterina Bakanova share the title role in Verdi’s “La Traviata.” Stanislas de Barbeyrac, Atalla Ayan, and Yosep Kang alternate Alfredo while Alexey Markov, Antonio Yang, and Thomas Hampson share Germont. Giampaolo Bisanti and Stefano Ranzani conduct.

Performance Dates: Nov. 23, 2018-Jan. 19, 2019

Sebastian Wartig and Christoph Pohl sing the role of the Count while Martin-Jan Nijhof and Evan Hughes share Figaro in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro.” Grace Durham and Christina Bock portray Cherubino while Adriana Kučerová is Susanna. Iulia Maria Dan and Ute Selbig portrays the Countess.  Kristiina Poska and Moritz Gnann conduct.

Performance Dates: Sept. 1, 2018-March 4, 2019

Nina Minasyan sings the famous mad scene in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor” which is also set to star Liparit Avetisyan as Edgardo, Georg Zeppenfeld as Raimondo, and Igor Golovatenko as Enrico.

Performance Dates: Oct. 27-Nov. 7, 2018

Debussy’s “Pelléas et Mélisande” is set to star Sophie Bevan, Christa Mayer, Günter Papendell, Antonio Yang, and Georg Zeppenfeld. Mikko Franck conducts.

Performance Dates: Nov. 9-Dec. 1, 2018

Liparit Avetisyan, Antonio Yang, Tuuli Takala, Georg Zeppenfeld, and Christa Mayer star in Verdi’s “Rigoletto” with Stefano Ranzani conducting the revival.

Performance Dates: Sept. 2-7, 2018

Stephen Gould takes on the demanding title role in Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” with Dorothea Röschmann as Elisabeth and Christa Mayer as Venus. Georg Zeppenfeld and Christoph Pohl round out the cast. Omer Meir Wellber conducts.

Performance Dates: Feb. 17-March 10, 2019

Amanda Echalaz, Hui He, and Angela Gheorghiu alternate the title role in Puccini’s iconic “Tosca.” Dmytro Popov, Andeka Gorrotxategi, and Riccardo Massi alternate the role of Cavaradossi. Andrzej Dobber and John Lundgren alternate Scarpia with Ivan Repušić and Stefano Ranzani conducting.

Performance Dates: March 14-June 7, 2019

In celebration of Bernstein’s centennial Franz Brochhagen conducts “Trouble in Tahiti.” Jennifer Porto and Martin Gerke, Carolina Ullrich, Timothy Oliver, and Sheldon Baxter.

Performance Dates: March 15-24, 2019

The season will also include Michael Volle and Anja Harteros and Rolando Villazón, who will headline an operngala.