Wallis Giunta, Olena Tokar & Gaston Rivero Highlight Oper Leipzig’s 2019-20 Season

By Francisco Salazar

Oper Leipzig has announced its 2019-20 season featuring seven new productions and a number of revivals. Find out what the company is presenting throughout its season.

New Productions 

Rolando Villazón directs a new production of “L’Elisir d’Amore” with Bianca Tognocchi in the role of Adina and Piotr Buszewski and Matthias Stier sharing the role of Nemorino.

Jonathan Michie and Franz Xaver Schlecht will alternate as Belcore, and Sejong Chang and Paolo Bordogna will share the role of Dulcamara. Giedre ̇ Šlekyte ̇conducts.

Performance Dates: Sept. 14 – Oct. 3,  Nov 1, 2019, Jan. 4, March 13, April 25, 2020

Ulf Schirmer conducts a new production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” by Enrico Lübbe.

Daniel Kirch sings Tristan, while Megan Miller is Isolde. Sebastian Pilgrim is King Marke, while Mathias Hausmann Kurwenal and Barbara Kozelj as Brangäne.

Performance Dates: Oct. 5 – Nov. 10, 2019, March 14 and June 1, 2020

Janacek’s “Jenufa” gets a new production by Martin Glaser starring Pavla Vykopalová in the title role. Jaroslav Brezina, Tomáš Juhás, and Szilvia Rálik round out the cast. Marko Ivanovic conducts.

Performance Dates: Nov. 8, 2019

Oper Leipzig will present “ÜBER.LEBEN!,” a chorus project with music by Johann Sebastian Bach, Francis Poulenc, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Arnold Schönberg.

Patrick Bialdyga will direct the production with Thomas Eitler-de Lint conducting.

Performance Dates: Feb. 14 – 16, 2020

Viktor Ullmann’s “Der Sturz des Antichrist” will get a new production with Balázs Kovalik directing and Matthias Foremny conducting.

The work will star Thomas Mohr, Dan Karlström, Kay Stiefermann, Stephan Rügamer, and Sebastian Pilgrim.

Performance Dates: March 21 – April 2, 2020, & June 27, 2020

Matthias Stier & Patrick Vogel star as Tamino in a new production of “Die Zauberflöte” with Gloria Rehm as the Queen of the Night and Magdalena Hinterdobler and Olena Tokar sharing the role of Pamina. Jonathan Michie and Franz Xaver Schlecht sing Papageno, while Sejong Chang and Randall Jakobsh alternate as Sarastro.

The new production will be directed by Barbora Horáková and conducted by David Reiland.

Performance Dates: May 2 – July 2, 2020

Ulf Schirmer conducts Strauss’ “Capriccio” in a new production by Jan Schmidt-Garre. Maria Bengtsson, Mathias Hausmann, Patrick Vogel, Jonathan Michie, Sebastian Pilgrim, and Kathrin Göring in star in one Strauss’ most demanding works.

Performance Dates: June 28- July 11, 2020


Smetana’s “The Bartered Bride” returns with Franz Xavier Schlecht, Olena Tokar, Magdalena Hinterdobler, Sandra Maxheimer, and Patrick Vogel. Felix Bender conducts.

Performance Dates: August 25-Nov. 16, 2019

Karine Babajanyan and Gatson Rivero perform Puccini’s “Tosca” with Tuomas Pursio as the villainous Scarpia. Matthias Foremny and Christoph Gedschold alternate at the podium.

Performance Dates: Sept. 15, Nov. 15 & Feb. 1, 2020

Iain Patterson, Thomas J. Mayer, and Noel Bouley share the title role in Wagner’s “Die Fliegende Holländer” with Elisabet Strid and Christiane Libor as Senta. Ladislav Elgr sings Erik, while Randall Jakobsh is Daland. Ulf Schirmer and Christoph Gedschold conduct.

Performance Dates: Oct. 10 & 17, Nov. 2 & 24, 2019 & May 30, 2020

Ulf Schirmer conducts “BabyKonzert,” a children’s opera by Elisabeth Kuchne.

Performance Dates: Oct. 17 & 18, 2019 & Jan. 24 & 26, 2020 & May 14 & 15, 2020

Gal James and Olena Tokar sing the title role of Dvorak’s “Rusalka” with Patrick Vogel as the Prince. Ulf Schirmer conducts the production, which also stars Tuomas Pursio and Karin Lovelius.

Performance Dates: Oct. 18, Nov. 3 & 9, Dec. 13, 2019, Feb. 9, 2020

Marius Felix Lange’s “Schneewittchen” returns with Felix Bender and Christoph Gedschold conducting. The production stars Sandra Janke, Martin Petzold, and Magdalena Hinterdobler.

Performance Dates: Nov. 6-Dec. 29, 2019

Wallis Giunta and Kathrin Goring bring their acclaimed interpretations of Bizet’s “Carmen” with Gastón Rivero, Leonardo Caimi and Luc Robert alternating as Don José. Magdalena Hinterdobler and Gal James share the role of Michaëla and Evez Abdulla and Gezim Myshketa alternate as Escamillo. Matthias Foremny conducts the revival.

Performance Dates: Nov. 23 & 30, Dec. 17, 2019, Jan. 26, March 15 & April 5, 2020

Sandra Janke and Sandra Maxheimer star Hansel, while Magdalena Hinterdobler and Olena Tokar star as Gretel in Humperdink’s “Hansel and Gretel.” Ulf Schirmer, Matthias Foremny, and Christoph Gedschold conduct. There will also be family-friendly performances.

Performance Dates: Nov. 26 & 28 & Dec. 3-8, 2019

Karine Babajanyan and Megan Miller share the title role in Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West” with Gastón Rivero as Dick Johnson and Tuomas Pursio as Jack Rance. Ulf Schirmer conducts the little performed score.

Performance Dates: Dec. 14 & 22, 2019 & Jan. 31, 2020

Christoph Gedschold conducts Puccini’s “La Bohème” with Gal James, Olena Tokar, Magdalena Hinterdobler, Jonathan Michie, and Gaston Rivero leading the cast.

Performance Dates: Dec. 20 & 26, 2019 & Feb. 2, 2020

Wallis Giunta and Paolo Bordogna headline Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” with Jonathan Michie and Franz Xaver Schlecht in the title role and Siyabonga Maqungo as the Count. Christoph Gedschold conducts.

Performance Dates: Jan. 5 & March 8, 2020

Gal James, Marco Jentzsch, Tuomas Pursio, and Magdalena Hinterdobler headline Weber’s “Der Freischutz.” Christoph Gedschold conducts the revival. 

Performance Dates: Jan. 25, March 1 & May 16, 2020

Astrid Kessler, Olena Tokar, Annika Gerhards, Thomas J. Mayer and Simon Neal star in Strauss’ “Arabella” with Ulf Schirmer conducting the work.

Performance Dates: Feb. 22 & 25, July 10, 2020

Devid Cecconi takes on the title role in Verdi’s “Rigoletto” with Bianca Tognochi as Gilda and Kyungho Kim as the Duke. Christoph Gedschold conducts with Sandra Janke and Randall Jakobsh rounding out the cast.

Performance Dates: March 7 & April 4, 2020

Christoph Gedschold conducts Verdi’s “La Traviata” with Olena Tokar in the title role, Matthias Stier, and Patrick Vogel.

Performance Dates:  March 26, April 13 & May 10 & 29

Thomas Mohr, Kathrin Goring, Mathias Hausmann, Sebastian Pilgram, and Kay Stiefermann star in Wagner’s “Parsifal.” Ulf Schirmer conducts.

Performance Dates: April 10, 2020

Ulf Schirmer leads Strauss’ “Die Frau ohne Schatten” with Stefan Vinke, Manuela Uhl, Jennifer Wilson, Tuomas Pursio, and Karin Lovelius.

Performance Dates: April 19 & July 12, 2020

Wallis Giunta, Sven Hjorleifsson, and Sebastian Pilgram sing Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis.”

Performance Dates:  June 12 & 13, 2020

The Ring Cycle 

Iain Patterson and Tuomas Pursio alternate the role of Wotan in “Das Rheingold” with Thomas Mohr as Loge and Kathrin Goring and Karin Lovelius as Fricka. Kay Stiefermann and Werner van Mechelen round out the cast as Alberich.

Patterson and Simon Neal alternate as Wotan in “Die Walküre” with Robert Dean Smith as Siegmund, Melanie Diener, and Megan Miller as Sieglinde, Allison Oakes as Brünnhilde, and Randall Jakobsh as Hunding. Goring and Lovelius reprise their role as Fricka.

Stefan Vinke brings his acclaimed “Siegfried” to the third installment of Wagner’s tetralogy. Patterson and Neal alternate Wotan while Tuomas Pursio is Alberich. Daniela Kohler and Elisabet Strid share the role of Brünnhilde, and Karin Lovelius and Marina Prudenskayaas Erda.

Christiane Libor is Brünnhilde and Thomas Mohr is Siegfried in “Götterdämmerung.” Tuomas Pursio is Gunther and Gal James is Gutrune while Kay Stiefermann and Werner van Mechelen share the role of Alberich. Kathrin Goring and Karin Lovelius round out the cast as Waltraute. Ulf Schirmer conducts the entire ring.

First Cycle: Jan. 15-19, 2020

Second Cycle: May 20-24, 2020


Ulf Schirmer conducts the Silver Gala celebrating the New Years and featuring some of the company’s fest singers.

Performance Dates: Dec. 30 & 31, 2019