Jump to content

Bavarian State Opera

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bayerische Staatsoper
Bavarian State Opera
Serge Dorny

The Bavarian State Opera (German: Bayerische Staatsoper) is a German opera company based in Munich. Its main venue is the Nationaltheater München, and its orchestra the Bavarian State Orchestra.


Nationaltheater München, interior

The parent ensemble of the company was founded in 1653, under Electress consort Princess Henriette Adelaide of Savoy, when Giovanni Battista Maccioni's L'arpa festante was performed in the court theatre.[1] In 1753, the Residence Theatre (Cuvilliés Theatre) was opened as a major stage.[2] While opera performances were also held in the Prinzregententheater (completed in 1901),[3] the company's home base is the Nationaltheater München on Max-Joseph-Platz.[4]

In 1875, the Munich Opera Festival took place for the first time. Sir Peter Jonas became the general manager in 1993,[5] the first British general manager of any major German-speaking opera house. In 2008, Nikolaus Bachler became Intendant (general manager) of the opera company, and Kirill Petrenko became Generalmusikdirektor (GMD) in 2013. In 2014, the Bavarian State Opera received the Opernhaus des Jahres (opera house of the year) award from Opernwelt magazine.[6] In October 2015, the company announced the extensions of the contracts of Bachler and of Petrenko through August 2021.[7][8] Both Bachler and Petrenko stood down from their respective posts at the close of the 2020–2021 season.[9]

In March 2018, the company announced the appointments of Serge Dorny [de] as its next general manager, and of Vladimir Jurowski as its next Generalmusikdirektor, both effective with the 2021–2022 season.[10] It received the "Opera Company of the Year" award at the 2018 and 2023 International Opera Awards.[11][12]



World premieres[edit]

Date Opera Composer Libretto Location
2 October 1753 Catone in Utica Ferrandini Metastasio Residence Theatre
13 January 1775 La finta giardiniera Mozart Giuseppe Petrosellini(?) Salvator Theatre
29 January 1781 Idomeneo Mozart Giambattista Varesco Residence Theatre
1 February 1782 Semiramide Salieri Metastasio Residence Theatre
27 January 1807 Iphigenie in Aulis Franz Danzi Karl Reger Residence Theatre
4 June 1811 Abu Hassan Weber Franz Carl Hiemer Residence Theatre
23 December 1812 Jephtas Gelübde Meyerbeer Aloys Schreiber Residence Theatre
10 June 1865 Tristan und Isolde Wagner Wagner National Theatre
21 June 1868 Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg Wagner Wagner National Theatre
22 September 1869 Das Rheingold Wagner Wagner National Theatre
26 June 1870 Die Walküre Wagner Wagner National Theatre
29 June 1888 Die Feen Wagner Wagner National Theatre
23 January 1897 Königskinder (Melodrama) Humperdinck Elsa Bernstein National Theatre
10 October 1897 Sarema Alexander von Zemlinsky Alexander and Adolf von Zemlinsky, Arnold Schönberg National Theatre
22 January 1899 Der Bärenhäuter Siegfried Wagner Siegfried Wagner National Theatre
27 November 1903 Le donne curiose Wolf-Ferrari Luigi Sugana (German by Hermann Teibler) Residence Theatre
19 March 1906 I quatro rusteghi Wolf-Ferrari Giuseppe Pizzolato (German by Hermann Teibler) National Theatre
11 December 1906 Das Christ-Elflein Hans Pfitzner Pfitzner and Ilse von Stach National Theatre
4 December 1909 Il segreto di Susanna Wolf-Ferrari Enrico Golisciani (German by Max Kalbeck) National Theatre
28 March 1916 Der Ring des Polykrates / Violanta Korngold Leo Feld and Julius Korngold / Hans Müller-Einigen National Theatre
12 June 1917 Palestrina Hans Pfitzner Pfitzner Prinzregententheater
30 November 1920 Die Vögel Walter Braunfels Braunfels (play by Aristophanes) National Theatre
24 July 1938 Friedenstag Richard Strauss Joseph Gregor and Stefan Zweig National Theatre
5 February 1939 Der Mond Carl Orff Orff National Theatre
28 October 1942 Capriccio Richard Strauss Strauss and Clemens Krauss National Theatre
11 August 1957 Die Harmonie der Welt Paul Hindemith Hindemith Prinzregententheater
9 July 1978 Lear Aribert Reimann Claus H. Henneberg National Theatre
6 July 1991 Ubu Rex Penderecki Penderecki and Jerzy Jarocki (play by Alfred Jarry) National Theatre
17 July 2003 Das Gesicht im Spiegel Jörg Widmann Roland Schimmelpfennig Cuvilliés Theatre
30 June 2007 Alice in Wonderland Unsuk Chin David Henry Hwang National Theatre
22 February 2010 Die Tragödie des Teufels Peter Eötvös Albert Ostermaier National Theatre
27 October 2012 Babylon Jörg Widmann Peter Sloterdijk National Theatre


Bavarian State Opera has issued numerous recordings under record labels such as Deutsche Grammophon. In May 2021, it launched its own recording label, Bayerische Staatsoper Recordings (BSOrec).[13]

Among the company's noted recordings are the 1989 video recording of Wagners' Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch, which won Best Video in the 1993 Gramophone Classical Music Awards.[14] The 1973 recording of Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, conducted by Carlos Kleiber and released in 2008, was highly acclaimed and selected as Editor's Choice in the April 2009 issue of Gramophone Magazine.[15]

At International Opera Awards, the Bayerische Staatsoper won the 2018 the Opera Company Award.[16] Their recording of Handel's Agrippina, directed by Barrie Kosky from the Royal Opera House, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Opera Awards. [17]

In 1977, a recording by the Bavarian State Opera was selected by NASA to be included on the Voyager Golden Record, a gold-plated copper record that was sent into space on the Voyager space craft. The record contained sounds and images which had been selected as examples of the diversity of life and culture on Earth. In the recording, soprano Edda Moser sings "Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen" from Mozart's opera, The Magic Flute, conducted by Sawallisch.[18][19][20]


  1. ^ Warrack, John (2001). German Opera: From the Beginnings to Wagner, pp. 27–28. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23532-4
  2. ^ Brug, Manuel (16 June 2008). "München hat ein neues Rokoko-Prachtstück". Die Welt (in German). Hamburg. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  3. ^ Frank, Werner (10 March 2001). "Klein-Bayreuth an der Isar". Die Welt (in German). Hamburg. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  4. ^ Schönbauer, Sina (15 June 2016). "Die Bayerische Staatsoper ist die drittgrößte Bühne Europas". Focus (in German). Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  5. ^ Spahn, Claus (19 November 1993). "Die Droge Oper". Die Zeit (in German). Hamburg. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Bayerische Staatsoper ist Opernhaus des Jahres". Die Welt (Press release). Munich. dpa. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Kirill Petrenko und Nikolaus Bachler verlängern ihre Verträge" (Press release). Bavarian State Opera. 13 October 2015. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  8. ^ Matthias Wulff (13 October 2015). "Kirill Petrenko kommt später als erwartet nach Berlin". Berliner Morgenpost. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  9. ^ Joshua Barone (7 July 2021). "The 'Prince of Opera' Bids Munich Farewell". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  10. ^ Michael Cooper (6 March 2018). "An Opera Powerhouse, Munich, Picks Its Next Leaders". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Winners 2018". International Opera Awards. Retrieved 9 October 2023.
  12. ^ "Winners 2023". International Opera Awards. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  13. ^ "Recordings". Bayerische Staatsoper. Bayerische Staatsoper. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Wagner Der Ring des Nibelungen". Gramophone. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  15. ^ "Strauss, R: Der Rosenkavalier". Presto Classical. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  16. ^ "2018". Opera Awards. 29 January 2018. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  17. ^ "2020". Opera Awards. 5 February 2020. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Voyager – Music on the Golden Record". voyager.jpl.nasa.gov. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  19. ^ "Late Junction: The songs they sent to space". www.bbc.co.uk. BBC Radio 3. Retrieved 4 May 2021.
  20. ^ Sagan, Carl (2 April 2013). Murmurs of Earth. Random House Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-307-80202-6.

External links[edit]