Opern- und Schauspielhaus Frankfurt

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Theatre and Opera house (2014)
Building at night (2006)
From above
interior

Opern- und Schauspielhaus Frankfurt is the official name of the opera and drama theatres in Frankfurt am Main. The Oper Frankfurt (Frankfurt Opera) is one of the leading opera houses in Europe, and voted best "Opera house of the year" several times since 2003.

The more famous historical building of the Alte Oper serves as a concert hall today.

History[edit]

Frankfurt's first opera was Johann Theile's Adam und Eva, performed in 1698 by Johann Velten's touring company. The young Goethe's first operas in his home town of Frankfurt were productions by Theobold Marchand's company.[1]

1918-1944[edit]

During the 1920s the opera in Frankfurt had more prominent Jewish singers than any other company in Germany, including the tenor Hermann Schramm, bass Hans Erl (the first King in Schreker's Der Schatzgräber), baritone Richard Breitenfeld and contralto Magda Spiegel, who also toured with Frankfurt Opera performing Wagner in the Netherlands. These singers were forced to leave the opera in June 1933, though the opera's director Hans Meissner was able to persuade the mayor to speak up for Schramm, who had a non-Jewish wife. Other Jewish members of the opera company among those rounded up at 9 November 1938 at the Festhalle Frankfurt, where Erl sang In diesen Heilgen Hallen, from the Magic Flute for the deportees. Members of Frankfurt Opera were sent to Auschwitz and other camps where they perished. Schramm survived, living to testify against the Frankfurt Gestapo officer Heinrich Baab in 1951.

1945-1970s[edit]

The "Alte Oper" was damaged in an air raid in January 1944, and then almost completely destroyed in March. After the war money was tight.[2]

The Gielen years[edit]

From 1978 to 1988 Frankfurt Opera was led by Michael Gielen.[3] This decade became known as the "Gielen Era",[citation needed] notable for the music of a conductor who was also a composer, and directors including Ruth Berghaus and Hans Neuenfels, whose productions of standard works such as Verdi's Aida or Wagner's Ring Cycle were thought-provoking. Operas which received their world premieres at the house were also performed again, including Franz Schreker's Die Gezeichneten.

1989 to date[edit]

Many famous singers started their career with the company, including Franz Völker, Edda Moser, Cheryl Studer and Diana Damrau), and many established artists have been engaged there in recent seasons including Christian Gerhaher, whose roles here have included Monteverdi's L'Orfeo and his first Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Piotr Beczała in Massenet's Werther and Jan-Hendrik Rootering in Wagner's Parsifal.

Music Director, since 2008, is Sebastian Weigle, General Manager, since 2002, Bernd Loebe. Weigle's new productions there have included Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten, Daphne and Arabella, Korngold's Die tote Stadt, Reimann's Lear and Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauß. He has also conducted performances of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Beethoven's Fidelio, Wagner's Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal for the company.[4] He performed the four parts of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, staged by Vera Nemirova, finishing with Götterdämmerung in 2012.[5] The complete cycle was performed twice in 2012.[6]

Impresarios[edit]

Opera[edit]

The first conductors had the title Kapellmeister. From 1924 it was Generalmusikdirektor (GMD, General Music Director), who often also held the administrative leadership Intendant (Int.).

Theatre[edit]

Premieres[edit]

Premieres at the Frankfurt Opera have included:

Date Opera Composer
16 September 1810 Silvana Carl Maria von Weber
4 April 1819 Zemire und Azor Louis Spohr
20 January 1851 Die Opernprobe (de) Albert Lortzing
26 November 1853 Rübezahl Friedrich von Flotow
8 Dezember 1881 Das Käthchen von Heilbronn Carl Martin Reinthaler
12 November 1902 Dornröschen Engelbert Humperdinck
18 August 1912 Der ferne Klang Franz Schreker
15 March 1913 Das Spielwerk und die Prinzessin Franz Schreker
25 April 1918 Die Gezeichneten Franz Schreker
21 October 1919 Fennimore und Gerda Frederick Delius
21 Januar 1920 Der Schatzgräber Franz Schreker
1 July 1920 Die ersten Menschen (de) Rudi Stephan
26 March 1922 Sancta Susanna Paul Hindemith
9 July 1924 Der Sprung über den Schatten Ernst Krenek
8 November 1924 Sakahra Simon Bucharoff
25 February 1926 Die zehn Küsse Bernhard Sekles
14 November 1926 Der Golem Eugen d’Albert
25 December 1926 Die Lästerschule Paul von Klenau
1 February 1930 Von heute auf morgen Arnold Schönberg
23 March 1930 Achtung, Aufnahme!! Wilhelm Grosz
25 May 1930 Transatlantic George Antheil
31 January 1934 Prinz Eugen der edle Ritter Max Pflugmacher
22 May 1935 Die Zaubergeige Werner Egk
26 May 1936 Doktor Johannes Faust (de) Hermann Reutter
8 June 1937 Carmina Burana Carl Orff
13 January 1942 Columbus Werner Egk
7 September 1942 Odysseus Hermann Reutter
20 February 1943 Die Kluge Carl Orff
1 March 1962 Die Alkestiade Louise Talma
1964 Dame Kobold (de) Gerhard Wimberger
1986 Die Reise zum Mittelpunkt der Erde Hans-Joachim Hespos
15 June 1986 Stephen Climax Hans Zender
12 December 1987 Europeras 1 & 2 John Cage
18 May 1989 What Where Heinz Holliger
14 June 2002 Dr. Popels fiese Falle Moritz Eggert
7 Oktober 2006 Caligula Detlev Glanert
14. September 2014 Sirenen – Bilder des Begehrens und des Vernichtens Rolf Riehm (de)

References[edit]

  1. ^ F. M. Stockdale, M. R. Dreyer The Opera Guide 1990 342
  2. ^ Die Frankfurter "Alte Oper": Baumonographie eines Opernhauses Christiane Wolf Di Cecca - 1997 p225 "Das Frankfurter Opernhaus erfährt am 29. Januar 1944 durch einen Luftangriff zunächst eine leichte, schließlich in der Nacht zum 23. März 1944 eine schwere Beschädigung. Nach dem Krieg fehlt vor allem zunächst das Geld für Abriß und ..."
  3. ^ Richard Wagner, Fritz Lang, and the Nibelungen ix David J. Levin - 1999 "For a decade, 1978 to 1988, Frankfurt Opera under Michael Gielen was such a place. ' He hired some of the most interesting and innovative production teams — stage directors as well as set and costume designers ..."
  4. ^ "Sebastian Weigle". Frankfurt Opera. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Friedeon Rosén (29 January 2012). "Frankfurt: Götterdämmerung – Premiere" (in German). der-neue-merker.eu. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  6. ^ "Der Ring des Nibelungen Cycle 1". oper-frankfurt.de. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°06′29″N 8°40′27″E / 50.10806°N 8.67417°E / 50.10806; 8.67417