The Info List - Semperoper

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The Semperoper
is the opera house of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden
(Saxon State Opera) and the concert hall of the Staatskapelle Dresden
(Saxon State Orchestra). It is also home to the Semperoper Ballett. The building is located near the Elbe
River in the historic centre of Dresden, Germany. The opera house was originally built by the architect Gottfried Semper in 1841. After a devastating fire in 1869, the opera house was rebuilt, partly again by Semper, and completed in 1878. The opera house has a long history of premieres, including major works by Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
and Richard Strauss.


1 History 2 Present-day administration and operations 3 Artists associated with the Semperoper

3.1 Conductors 3.2 Singers

4 Operas premiered 5 See also 6 References 7 External links


The first opera house around 1850

The first opera house at the location of today's Semperoper
was built by the architect Gottfried Semper. It opened on 13 April 1841 with an opera by Carl Maria von Weber. The building style itself is debated among many, as it has features that appear in three styles: early Renaissance
and Baroque, with Corinthian style
Corinthian style
pillars typical of Greek classical revival. Perhaps the most suitable label for this style would be eclecticism, where influences from many styles are used, a practice most common during this period.[1] Nevertheless, the opera building, Semper's first, was regarded as one of the most beautiful European opera houses.

Interior of the first opera house in 1841

with the Theatre Square

Following a devastating fire in 1869, the citizens of Dresden immediately set about rebuilding their opera house. They demanded that Gottfried Semper
Gottfried Semper
do the reconstruction, even though he was then in exile because of his involvement in the May 1849 uprising in Dresden. The architect had his son, Manfred Semper, build the second opera house using his plans. Completed in 1878, it was built in Neo- Renaissance
style. During the construction period, performances were held at the Gewerbehaussaal, which opened in 1870.[1] The building is considered to be a prime example of " Dresden
Baroque" architecture. It is situated on the Theatre Square in central Dresden on the bank of the Elbe
River. On top of the portal there is a Panther quadriga with a statue of Dionysos. The interior was created by architects of the time, such as Johannes Schilling. Monuments on the portal depict artists, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, William Shakespeare, Sophocles, Molière
and Euripides. The building also features work by Ernst Rietschel
Ernst Rietschel
and Ernst Julius Hähnel.[2] In the pre-war years, the Semperoper
premiered many of the works of Richard Strauss. In 1945, during the last months of World War II, the building was largely destroyed again, this time by the bombing of Dresden
and subsequent firestorm, leaving only the exterior shell standing. Exactly 40 years later, on 13 February 1985, the opera's reconstruction was completed. It was rebuilt to be almost identical to its appearance before the war, but with the benefit of new stage machinery and an accompanying modern rear service building .[3] The Semperoper
reopened with the opera that was performed just before the building's destruction in 1945, Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz. When the Elbe
flooded in 2002, the building suffered heavy water damage. With substantial help from around the world, it reopened in December of that year. Present-day administration and operations[edit]

Interior of the Semperoper

Today, the orchestra for most operas is the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. The Generalmusikdirektor (GMD) of the Semperoper
is normally a different person from that of the Staatskapelle when it presents concerts. Exceptions have been Karl Böhm, Hans Vonk, and Fabio Luisi[4] who have held both positions. Whilst the Semperoper
does not have a GMD as of 2015, the current chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden
is Christian Thielemann, as of the 2012/13 season.[5] The current Intendant (General Manager) of the company is Wolfgang Rothe. Artists associated with the Semperoper[edit] Conductors[edit]

Carl Gottlieb Reißiger Richard Wagner Ernst von Schuch
Ernst von Schuch
(1889–1914) Fritz Reiner
Fritz Reiner
(1914–1921) Fritz Busch
Fritz Busch
(1922–1933) Karl Böhm
Karl Böhm
(1934–1942) Karl Elmendorff
Karl Elmendorff
(1943–1944) Joseph Keilberth
Joseph Keilberth
(1945–1951) Rudolf Kempe
Rudolf Kempe
(1949–1952) Otmar Suitner
Otmar Suitner
(1960–1964) Kurt Sanderling
Kurt Sanderling
(1964–1967) Herbert Blomstedt
Herbert Blomstedt
(1975–1985) Hans Vonk (1985–1990) Giuseppe Sinopoli
Giuseppe Sinopoli
(1992–2001) Semyon Bychkov (2001–2002) Bernard Haitink
Bernard Haitink
(2002–2004) Fabio Luisi
Fabio Luisi
(2007–2010) Christian Thielemann
Christian Thielemann


Bernd Aldenhoff Elisabeth Höngen Friedrich Plaschke Elisabeth Rethberg Ernestine Schumann-Heink Erna Sack Richard Tauber Tino Pattiera Meta Seinemeyer Margarethe Siems Therese Malten Edda Moser Minnie Nast Eva von der Osten Hermann Wedekind Marie Wittich

Operas premiered[edit]

1842: Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
– Rienzi, 20 October 1843: Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
– The Flying Dutchman, 2 January 1845: Richard Wagner
Richard Wagner
– Tannhäuser, 19 October 1895: Eugen d'Albert: Ghismonda, 28. November 1901: Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
– Feuersnot, 22 November 1905: Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
– Salome, 9 December 1909: Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
– Elektra, 25 January 1911: Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
– Der Rosenkavalier, 26 January 1913: Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari
– L'amore medico, 4 December 1916: Eugen d'Albert
Eugen d'Albert
– Die toten Augen, 5 March 1917: Hans Pfitzner
Hans Pfitzner
Das Christ-Elflein
Das Christ-Elflein
(2nd version), 11 December 1924: Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
– Intermezzo, 4 November 1925: Ferruccio Busoni
Ferruccio Busoni
– Doktor Faust, 21 May 1926: Kurt Weill
Kurt Weill
– Der Protagonist, 27 March 1926: Paul Hindemith
Paul Hindemith
– Cardillac, 9 November 1927: Emil von Reznicek
Emil von Reznicek
– Spiel oder Ernst 1927: Othmar Schoeck – Penthesilea, 8 January 1928: Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
– Die ägyptische Helena, 6 June 1930: Othmar Schoeck – Vom Fischer and syner Fru, 3 October 1932: Eugen d'Albert
Eugen d'Albert
– Mr Wu 1933: Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
– Arabella, 1 July 1935: Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
– Die schweigsame Frau, 24 June 1935: Rudolf Wagner-Régeny
Rudolf Wagner-Régeny
– Der Günstling, 20 February 1937: Othmar Schoeck – Massimilla Doni, 2 March 1938: Richard Strauss
Richard Strauss
– Daphne, 15 October 1940: Heinrich Sutermeister
Heinrich Sutermeister
– Romeo und Julia, 13 April 1942: Heinrich Sutermeister
Heinrich Sutermeister
– Die Zauberinsel, 31 October 1944: Gottfried von Einem – Prinzessin Turandot, 5 February 1944: Joseph Haas
Joseph Haas
– Die Hochzeit des Jobs, 2 July 1985: Siegfried Matthus – Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke, 16 February 1989: Eckehard Meyer – Der goldene Topf, 1989 1998: Matthias Pintscher – Thomas Chatterton, 25 May 2001: Peter Ruzicka – Celan, 25 March 2008: Manfred Trojahn – La grande magia, 10 May 2010: Hans Werner Henze
Hans Werner Henze
– Gisela ( Dresden
version), 20 November 2011: Miroslav Srnka – Jakub Flügelbunt , 15 December 2012: Johannes Wulff-Woesten – Die Konferenz der Tiere, 8 July 2013: Johannes Wulff-Woesten – Prinz Bussel, 27 April

See also[edit]

Opernhaus am Taschenberg


^ a b Fritz Löffler: Das alte Dresden
– Geschichte seiner Bauten. 16th ed. Leipzig: Seemann, 2006, ISBN 978-3-86502-000-0 (in German) ^ " Dresden
Semperoper". Mostly Opera. Retrieved 9 August 2009.  ^ " Dresden
Sights and Views – Semper Opera House –". sights-and-culture.com. Retrieved 9 August 2009.  ^ Daniel J. Wakin (4 February 2010). "Saxon State Opera's Music Director Quits". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 February 2010.  ^ " Christian Thielemann
Christian Thielemann
Chefdirigent ab 2012" (Press release). Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. 9 October 2009. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Semperoper
at Wikimedia Commons Official website (in German) Official shop

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 261890149 LCCN: no2002021835 ISNI: 0000 0001 0709 1142 GND: 1054565813 SELIBR: 277830 SUDOC: 031447848 BNF: cb122661462 (data)