Bavarian State Opera tickets 16 July 2025 - Dido and Aeneas / Erwartung |

Dido and Aeneas / Erwartung

Bavarian State Opera, Munich, Germany
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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Munich, Germany
Starts at: 19:00
Sung in: German
Titles in: German,English
Soprano: Sonya Yoncheva (Dido)
Soprano: Sonya Yoncheva (The Woman)
Orchestra: Bavarian State Orchestra
Baritone: Günter Papendell (Aeneas)
Conductor: Valentin Uryupin
Composer: Arnold Schönberg
Composer: Henry Purcell
Director: Krzysztof Warlikowski
Librettist: Marie Pappenheim
Librettist: Nahum Tate

The creative team surrounding director Krysztof Warlikowski has a long history of successful collaboration that has taken them to all of Europe’s great opera houses.

At the Bayerische Staatsoper the team last staged Salome in almost the same configuration in 2019. For the DidoandAeneas / Erwartung double bill, Małgorzata Szczęśniak is again designing the stage and costumes, as she has for all of Warlikowski's productions since 1992. For more than 20 years Felice Ross has been responsible for the lighting design for the team's opera productions. Kamil Polak, who won an Oscar in 2008 in the Animated Short Film category, designs the videos, and dancer and actor Claude Bardouil is in charge of movement direction – tried and tested as always. Dramaturge Christian Longchamp, also connected to the team by numerous projects at other theatres, is now also working for the first time in Munich.

Warlikowski is also connected with the singer now embodying both roles, Dido and the Woman, Ausrine Stundyte. They celebrated highly acclaimed success at the Salzburg Festival in 2020 with Elektra, and the singer has been a regular guest in Munich since 2015, most recently appearing as Regan in Reimann's Lear in 2021 and Jeanne in Krzysztof Penderecki's The Devils of Loudun in 2022.

"What heavy air rushes out ... like a storm that stands ... so horribly calm and empty," is how the woman in Arnold Schoenberg's Expectation describes the mood that surrounds her and in which she is reflected. The 1909 monodrama continues Purcell's 1689 opera Dido and Aeneas in the Bayerische Staatsoper’s new production. A bridge is thus built across the centuries, across tonal and textual languages, from the myth of the Queen of Carthage to the expressionist situation that manifests itself as a mysterious non-location in Marie Pappenheim's libretto, which she writes in the shortest possible time, as if in a breath for Schönberg. An arrival remains a longing wishful thought. Dido, so the story goes, had to leave her homeland and finally arrived on the North African coast, where she founded the city of Carthage. Aeneas also ends up here, and so two people meet, both in search of a future home, both driven by the flight from the violence of the past, which seems to have caught up with them in the end, when expectation becomes the realization of loss.

Premiere of this production: Josias Priest's girls' school, London

Dido and Aeneas is an opera in a prologue and three acts, written by the English Baroque composer Henry Purcell with a libretto by Nahum Tate. It recounts the love of Dido, Queen of Carthage, for the Trojan hero Aeneas, and her despair when he abandons her.

Premiere of this production: 06 June 1924, New German Theatre, Prague

Erwartung (Expectation) is a one-act monodrama in four scenes by Arnold Schoenberg to a libretto by Marie Pappenheim. Composed in 1909, it was not premiered until 6 June 1924 in Prague conducted by Alexander Zemlinsky with Marie Gutheil-Schoder as the soprano. The opera takes the unusual form of a monologue for solo soprano accompanied by a large orchestra. In performance, it lasts for about half an hour. It is sometimes paired with Béla Bartók's opera Bluebeard's Castle (1911), as the two works were roughly contemporary and share similar psychological themes. Schoenberg's succinct description of Erwartung was as follows:

Venue Info

Bavarian State Opera - Munich
Location   Max-Joseph-Platz 2

The Bavarian State Opera or the National Theatre (Nationaltheater) on Max-Joseph-Platz in Munich, Germany, is a historic opera house and the main theatre of Munich, home of the Bavarian State Opera, Bavarian State Orchestra, and the Bavarian State Ballet.

During its early years, the National Theatre saw the premières of a significant number of operas, including many by German composers. These included Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (1865), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1868), Das Rheingold (1869) and Die Walküre (1870), after which Wagner chose to build the Festspielhaus in Bayreuth and held further premières of his works there.

During the latter part of the 19th century, it was Richard Strauss who would make his mark on the theatre in the city in which he was born in 1864. After accepting the position of conductor for a short time, Strauss returned to the theatre to become principal conductor from 1894 to 1898. In the pre-War period, his Friedenstag (1938) and Capriccio were premièred in Munich. In the post-War period, the house has seen significant productions and many world premieres.

First theatre – 1818 to 1823
The first theatre was commissioned in 1810 by King Maximilian I of Bavaria because the nearby Cuvilliés Theatre had too little space. It was designed by Karl von Fischer, with the 1782 Odéon in Paris as architectural precedent. Construction began on 26 October 1811 but was interrupted in 1813 by financing problems. In 1817 a fire occurred in the unfinished building.

The new theatre finally opened on 12 October 1818 with a performance of Die Weihe by Ferdinand Fränzl, but was soon destroyed by another fire on 14 January 1823; the stage décor caught fire during a performance of Die beyden Füchse by Étienne Méhul and the fire could not be put out because the water supply was frozen. Coincidentally the Paris Odéon itself burnt down in 1818.

Second theatre – 1825 to 1943
Designed by Leo von Klenze, the second theatre incorporated Neo-Grec features in its portico and triangular pediment and an entrance supported by Corinthian columns. In 1925 it was modified to create an enlarged stage area with updated equipment. The building was gutted in an air raid on the night of 3 October 1943.

Third theatre – 1963 to present
The third and present theatre (1963) recreates Karl von Fischer's original neo-classical design, though on a slightly larger, 2,100-seat scale. The magnificent royal box is the center of the interior rondel, decorated with two large caryatids. The new stage covers 2,500 square meters (3,000 sq yd), and is thus the world's third largest, after the Opéra Bastille in Paris and the Grand Theatre, Warsaw.

Through the consistent use of wood as a building material, the auditorium has excellent acoustics. Architect Gerhard Moritz Graubner closely preserved the original look of the foyer and main staircase. It opened on 21 November 1963 with an invitation-only performance of Die Frau ohne Schatten under the baton of Joseph Keilberth. Two nights later came the first public performance, of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, again under Keilberth.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Munich, Germany
Starts at: 19:00
Sung in: German
Titles in: German,English
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