The Leipzig Opera traces its establishment to the year 1693, making it the third oldest opera venue in Europe after La Fenice (Venice, Italy) and the Hamburg State Opera (Hamburg, Germany). The director of many of those early operas was Telemann.
The Leipzig Opera does not have its own opera orchestra – the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra performs as its the orchestra. This relationship began in 1766 with performances of the Singspiel Die verwandelten Weiber, oder Der Teufel ist los by Johann Adam Hiller.
Opera House, 1868
The previous theater (the "Neues Theater") was inaugurated on January 28, 1868, with Jubilee Overture by Carl Maria von Weber and the overture for Iphigénie en Aulide by Gluck and Goethe's play Iphigenia in Tauris. From 1886 to 1888, Gustav Mahler was the second conductor; Arthur Nikisch was his superior. During an air raid in the night of 3 December 1943, part of the bombing of Leipzig in World War II, the theater was destroyed, as were all Leipzig's theatres.
Opera House, 1960
In May 2008, the appointments of Alexander von Maravic as Artistic Director (Intendant) and Peter Konwitschny as principal director of productions at Leipzig Opera were announced. The current Generalmusikdirektor (General Music Director, or GMD) of Oper Leipzig is Ulf Schirmer, effective with the 2009/10 season.
General Music Directors (GMD)
- Peter Korfmacher, "Da unterhalten sich Menschen". Leipziger Volkszeitung, 20 December 2009.
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