Munich Opera Festival

Highlight of the opera year

Four festival premières, three first performances and an almost six-week programme of opera and ballet productions, evenings of song and the two free "Oper für Alle" (Opera for All) open-airs enchant thousands of local and international opera lovers every year.

The 2019 Munich Opera Festival takes place from June 27 to July 31. The festival began back in 1875. The Bayerische Staatsoper (Bavarian State Opera) itself looks back on almost 350 years of history and is one of the world's most renowned opera houses. Its name is synonymous with leading directors such as the current General Music Director Kirill Petrenko and opera stars such as Jonas Kaufmann, Anja Harteros, Anna Netrebko, Edita Gruberova and Marlis Petersen.

Festival stages are the Nationaltheater (National Theatre), the Prinzregententheater (Prince Regent Theatre) and the Cuvilliés Theatre. The annual Festival Workshop also sees modern musical theatre staged in unusual venues – this year the Reithalle and Alte Pinakothek (art gallery). The Opera Festival 2019 is taking as its theme the topical subject of "ALLES WAS RECHT IST" ("EVERYTHING THAT IS RIGHT"), and includes the première of Richard Strauss‘ opera "Salome".  The title role will be sung by Marlis Petersen. The other roles are also taken by the highly prominent performers Wolfgang Koch (Jochanaan), Michaela Muster (Herodias) and Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Herodes). Musical direction is by the General Music Director Kirill Petrenko.

The second festival première is Georg Friedrich Handel's opera Agrippina at the Prince Regent Theatre. The title role will be sung by Alice Coote. Franco Fagioli will sing Nerone. Gianluca Buratto plays Claudio and Elsa Benoit will take to the stage as Poppea. Musical direction is by Ivor Bolton.

The "Opera for All" has been a fixed feature of the opera festival for over 20 years. On July 6, 2019, opera aficionados flocked to the Max-Joseph-Platz (square) in front of the Nationaltheater (Opera House) armed with picnic baskets and blankets for a free live broadcast of "Salome". As well as directing the Strauss opera, Kirill Petrenko, General Music Director at the State Opera, will also lead the Festival Concert as part of "Opera for All" on July 20 on the Marstallplatz (square) behind the Opera House. Works by George Gershwin and extracts from Broadway musicals are on the programme here. The Bayerisches Staatsorchester will be playing. The evening will open with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester Youth Orchestra ATTACCA, directed by Allan Bergius, with George Gershwin's overture from the musical Funny Face.

Another free event is the UniCredit Festspiel-Nacht (Festival Night) which opens the festival on June 29. For the 18th time, artists will present highlights from opera, concert, song and literature across a variety of stages and venues in Munich's old town. In addition to members of the Bayerische Staatsoper, you can also hear winners from the HypoVereinsbank Jugend-kulturell-Förderpreis (youth culture sponsorship prize) as part of the programme.



Photo: Wilfried Hösl


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