Two festival premières and a programme spanning almost six weeks, featuring opera and ballet performances, Liederabenden (evenings featuring the performance of German art songs or Lieder), concerts and two free “Opera for All” open-air performances delight thousands of local and international opera fans each year.
Munich Opernfestspiele (Opera Festival) will take place from 24 June to 31 July 2018. The festival has been held annually since 1875. The Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) itself is steeped in history dating back more than 350 years, and is one of the world’s most celebrated opera houses. It is synonymous with star directors such as the current musical director Kirill Petrenko, as well as opera stars such as Jonas Kaufmann, Elīna Garanča, Juan Diego Flórez, Anja Harteros, Brenda Rae and Pavol Breslik.
Venues for the Opera Festival performances include the Nationaltheater (National Theatre), the Prinzregententheater (Prince Regent Theatre) and the Cuvillié Theatre. In addition, the year-round Festspielwerkstatt (Festival Studio) sees modern musical theatre presented in unusual venues.
The motto for the 2018 Opera Festival, which will open on 28 June with Wagner’s “Parsifal”, is “Show me your wound”. The title role will be sung by Jonas Kaufmann. The other parts will also be sung by very well-known artists including Christian Gerhaher (Amfortas), René Pape (Gurnemanz), Wolfgang Koch (Klingsor) and Nina Stemme (Kundry). Musical director Kirill Petrenko will be responsible for the musical production. Georg Baselitz is working on the stage design for “Parsifal” and has also designed the State Opera’s annual brochure.
The second Opera Festival première in 2018 will be “Orlando Paladino” by Joseph Haydn on 23 July, 2018, starring Mathias Vidal, Sofia Fomina, Hélène Guilmette, Edwin Crossley-Mercer and Tara Erraught. The performance will be conducted by Ivor Bolton.
In keeping with the “Opera for All” concept, opera aficionados will head to Max-Joseph-Platz in front of the Opera House on 8 July, armed with picnic baskets and blankets, to enjoy a free live broadcast of “Parsifal”. The second “Opera for All” performance will be the Festival live concert on 21 July on Marstallplatz, behind the Opera House. The ATTACCA Youth Orchestra of the Bavarian State Orchestra, conducted by Allan Bergius, will play “Tragic Overture op. 81” by Johannes Brahms. The Bavarian State Orchestra, led by Michele Mariotti, will play the overture from “Les Vêpres siciliennes”, ballet music by Macbeth, and a selection of arias by Guiseppe Verdi, as well as “Symphony No. 8 in G major, op. 88” by Antonin Dvořák. The soprano will be Sonya Yoncheva.
Another free event will be the UniCredit Festival Night, during which artists will grace various stages and venues in Munich’s old town (Altstadt) district for the 17th time, to present a selection of opera, concert, song and literature highlights. In addition to members of the Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera), these performances will also feature prize winners from the Youth Cultural Sponsorship Awards organised by the HypoVereinsbank.