Zurich Opera House 10 April 2024 - Carmen | GoComGo.com


Zurich Opera House, Zurich, Switzerland
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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Zurich, Switzerland
Starts at: 19:00

The up-and-coming mezzo-soprano Marina Viotti, born in Lausanne, makes her debut as Carmen. One can also look forward to the star tenor Saimir Pirgu - closely associated with the Zurich Opera House - as Don José. Łukasz Goliński is currently in demand worldwide as Escamillo. Bizet's tremendously evocative score still offers untapped interpretive potential - General Music Director Gianandrea Noseda is sure to elicit new sounds from this oft-performed work.

There is arguably no stronger motive for hatred and murder than disenchanted love. In Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, the simple soldier Don José becomes a murderer in a matter of moments. When he meets the attractive Carmen, he falls desperately in love with her – Don José commits himself to her for the rest of his life. But Carmen soon turns to the torero Escamillo. All of Bizet’s characters move between worlds in life, criss-crossing a dangerously explosive field of tension between attraction and rejection, between seriousness and play, between lust and self-sacrifice, duty and desire.

Bizet's Carmen has lost none of its fascination thanks to its relentless drama and the elemental effect of its melodicism. "This is a masterpiece in the truest sense, one of those rare compositions that reflect to the highest degree the musical aspirations of an entire age", Tchaikovsky once wrote. But the bourgeois audience at the 1875 premiere at the Opéra Comique in Paris initially reacted with disapproval to Bizet’s work. It was perceived as too garish and too immoral. In her anarchic desire for freedom and her lustfully lived femininity, the title character represented a danger to the established order. The opera soon began its triumphal march and became an operatic icon of the modern era.

Stage director Andreas Homoki combines the material's timelessness with a concrete theatrical situation: the starting point for his production is the place of its premiere, the Opéra Comique. Bizet’s work, in its playfully open form and multilayered theatrical levels, is tangibly connected to the genre cultivated on that stage.

Premiere of this production: 03 March 1875, Opéra-Comique, Paris

Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera was first performed by the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 March 1875, where its breaking of conventions shocked and scandalized its first audiences.

Venue Info

Zurich Opera House - Zurich
Location   Sechseläutenplatz 1

Zürich Opera House is a main opera house in Zürich and Switzerland. Located at the Sechseläutenplatz, it has been the home of the Zürich Opera since 1891, and also houses the Bernhard-Theater Zürich. It is also home to the Zürich Ballet. The Opera House also holds concerts by its Philharmonia orchestra, matinees, Lieder evenings and events for children. The Zürich Opera Ball is organised every year in March, and is usually attended by prominent names.

The first permanent theatre, the Aktientheater, was built in 1834 and it became the focus of Richard Wagner’s activities during his period of exile from Germany.

The Aktientheater burnt down in 1890. The new Stadttheater Zürich (municipal theatre) was built by the Viennese architects Fellner & Helmer, who changed their previous design for the theatre in Wiesbaden only slightly. It was opened in 1891. It was the city's main performance space for drama, opera, and musical events until 1925, when it was renamed Opernhaus Zürich and a separate theatre for plays was built: The Bernhard Theater opened in 1941, in May 1981 the Esplanada building was demolished, and the present adjoint building opened on 27/28 December 1984 after three years of transition in the Kaufhaus building nearby Schanzengraben.

By the 1970s, the opera house was badly in need of major renovations; when some considered it not worth restoring, a new theatre was proposed for the site. However, between 1982 and 1984, rebuilding took place but not without huge local opposition which was expressed in street riots. The rebuilt theatre was inaugurated with Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the world première of Rudolf Kelterborn’s Chekhov opera Der Kirschgarten.

As restored, the theatre is an ornate building with a neo-classical façade of white and grey stone adorned with busts of Weber, Wagner, and Mozart. Additionally, busts of Schiller, Shakespeare, and Goethe are to be found. The auditorium is built in the neo-rococo style and seats approximately 1200 people. During the refurbishment, the issue of sightlines was not adequately addressed. As a result, the theatre has a high number of seats with a limited view, or no view, of the stage. This is unusual in international comparison, where sightlines in historic opera houses have been typically enhanced over time.

Corporate archives and historical library collections are held at the music department of the Predigerkirche Zürich.

The Zürich Opera House is also home of the International Opera Studio (in German: Internationales Opernstudio IOS) which is a educational program for young singers and pianists. The studio was created in 1961 and has renowned artists currently teaching such as Brigitte Fassbaender, Hedwig Fassbender, Andreas Homocki, Rosemary Joshua, Adrian Kelly, Fabio Luisi, Jetske Mijnssen, Ann Murray, Eytan Pessen or Edith Wiens.

Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Zurich, Switzerland
Starts at: 19:00
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