Zurich Opera House tickets 21 May 2025 - Die tote Stadt | GoComGo.com

Die tote Stadt

Zurich Opera House, Zurich, Switzerland
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Important Info
Type: Opera
City: Zurich, Switzerland
Starts at: 19:00
Acts: 3
Sung in: German
Titles in: German,English
Cast
Performers
Conductor: Lorenzo Viotti
Choir: Additional choir of the Zurich Opera House
Tenor: Eric Cutler (Paul)
Orchestra: Philharmonia Zürich
Choir: SoprAlti
Soprano: Vida Mikneviciute (Marietta)
Choir: Zurich Opera Children`s Choir
Creators
Composer: Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Director: Dmitri Tcherniakov
Author: Georges Rodenbach
Librettist: Paul Schott (Julius Korngold)
Overview

"Wie weit soll unsere Trauer gehen, ohne uns zu entwurzeln?" ("How far should our grief go without uprooting us?")

This sentence, spoken by the main character Paul, could be the motto for Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt. After all, it is about a young man whose beloved wife Maria has died young. Paul gives in completely to his grief over his loss, until one day the dancer Marietta – who looks very much like Marie – appears. Paul falls for Marietta, who awakens long-forgotten longings in him, and becomes obsessed. At the same time, however, he struggles with the feeling that he is being unfaithful to his late wife. As Marietta takes up more and more space in his life and increasingly rebels against the constant presence of the dead, Paul kills Marietta. But suddenly she is back in his room, alive and kicking. So was it all just a dream? World premiered in 1920, Korngold’s Tote Stadt is unmistakably influenced by Sigmund Freud’s Traumdeutung, or The Interpretation of Dreams, which was published some 20 years prior and described how repressed longings and unconscious fears can enter our consciousness through dreams. Of course, the importance of letting go of the past in order to face the future and continue living was also a central theme of the period after the First World War. The sensational success of the world premiere, which took place simultaneously in Cologne and Hamburg, proved that Korngold touched a raw nerve with the topic. This production marks the return of Dmitri Tcherniakov to the Opernhaus Zürich. A stage director who opened the first season of Andreas Homoki’s artistic direction, he returned to Zurich for Pelléas et Mélisande and Die Sache Makropulos after directing Jenůfa in 2012. Now he will take on Die Tote Stadt with a subtle touch and psychological precision that are characteristic of his directorial style. Swiss conductor Lorenzo Viotti, currently General Music Director at the National Opera in Amsterdam, will unleash the colorful orchestral frenzy contained in Korngold's score. Vida Miknevičiũte und Eric Cutler can be heard in the vocally demanding yet rewarding lead roles.

History
Premiere of this production: 04 December 1920, Hamburg State Opera Cologne Opera

Die tote Stadt (German for The Dead City) is an opera in three acts by Erich Wolfgang Korngold set to a libretto by Paul Schott, a collective pseudonym for the composer and his father, Julius Korngold. It is based on the 1892 novel Bruges-la-Morte by Georges Rodenbach.

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
Acts: 3
Sung in: German
Titles in: German,English
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