Welcome to the season 2022/23
New artists, new performances, but also the beloved and familiar: In her first season at the Volksoper Wien, Lotte de Beer is building bridges, together with musical director Omer Meir Wellber, between the known and the unknown, tradition and renewal, nostalgia and utopia:
Eight premieres are on schedule for the 2022/23 season: The first full-length operetta in music history, Orpheus in the Underworld (Orpheus in der Unterwelt), directed by Spymonkey, Britains leading theatre group for physical comedy, is juxtaposed with The last Conspiracy (Die letzte Verschwörung), an operetta premiere about conspiracy theories written by Moritz Eggert, and the Viennese-Berlin operetta Die Dubarry with Annette Dasch and Harald Schmidt. The German play opera The Merry Wives of Windsor (Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor) is represented in a humorous-feminist view by Nina Spijkers, while Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Singspiel The Abduction from the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) is staged by Turkish director Nurkan Erpulat. The Threepenny Opera (Dreigroschenoper) by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht, with Sona MacDonald as Macheath, will be seen for the first time at our house, Peter I. Tchaikovsky's opera and ballet will be woven into a poetic family performance in Iolanta and the Nutcracker (Jolanthe und der Nussknacker), and the Vienna State Ballet will present Promethean Fire.
Four gems from the Volksoper repertoire return to our repertoire: Carsten Süss presents a new production of Die Fledermaus and Sigrid Hauser plays the first female Frosch in Volksoper’s history, and after a long time Harry Kupfer's La bohème production, Achim Freyer's La Cenerentola and Matthias David’s Anatevka are back on stage. The repertoire includes 17 productions of operetta, opera, musical and ballet.
The new musical director of the Volksoper Wien, Omer Meir Wellber, will significantly shape the musical profile of the house, together with first guest conductors Ben Glassberg, Carlo Goldstein and Alexander Joel and the conductors in residence Keren Kagarlitsky, Manuela Ranno and Tobias Wögerer as well as the new chorus director Roger Díaz-Cajamarca. In addition, Omer Meir Wellber is programming a new concert series for the orchestra of the Volksoper Wien and will make a guest appearance at the Vienna Konzerthaus as launch event.
There are many more new developments: in the newly founded Opernstudio, supported by Christian Zeller, six young singers and a pianist are given the opportunity to develop artistically and work together on the future of musical theatre. And there are exciting partnerships: with the Wiener Festwochen, the Austrian premiere of a pop evening by choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker is planned; on the occasion of Vienna Pride. The Volksoper will present the evening Not the Fathers (Nicht die Väter), a deadly serious stand-up comedy about the role of the father. Also scheduled are a choir singalong (1000 Stimmen), artistic speed dating with students in which the entire Volksoper becomes the stage, and a symposium on contemporary operetta.
The program of the Junge Volksoper is being expanded; in addition to a new production Iolanta and the Nutcracker (Jolanthe und der Nussknacker) and seven repertoire works, 24 performances and matinees are aimed specifically at families: La Cenerentola for children (revival), the imaginative Cardboard operetta by Steef de Jong, The Jungle Book and the Turkish fairy tale Keloglan and the 40 robbers (Keloglan und die 40 Räuber) by Sinem Altan are shown in a family-friendly manner on Sundays and holidays at 11:00 am.
On the outside, the Volksoper Wien will prensent itself in a new and more sustainable manner: in summer, the facade will be renewed, a photovoltaic system will be installed on the roof, a switch to e-mobility will be made and a digital offensive will be launched in the artistic production process. We are reaching new target groups with new offers: With our U30 promotion, visitors under 30 pay only 12 euros for selected performances.
The season opens with the Volksoper premiere of the Viennese-Berlin operetta Die Dubarry by Carl Millöcker/Theo Mackeben. Jan Philipp Gloger illuminates the development of the ambivalent title heroine in the form of a journey through time that begins in the present and leads back to the time of Louis XV. Kai Tietje conducts, and Annette Dasch returns to the Volksoper as the king's mistress. As His Majesty Louis XV, legendary talkshow host Harald Schmidt makes his Volksoper debut.
(Premiere on September 3, 2022)
Iolanta and the Nutcracker (Jolanthe und der Nussknacker) offers musical theatre for the whole family, an evening about the moment in life when you have to decide whether you want to remain a blind princess or open your eyes to reality. 130 years after the world premiere of the opera and ballet written by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Lotte de Beer, musical director Omer Meir Wellber and choreographer Andrey Kaydanovskiy weave the two pieces together to create a magical evening of theatre about growing up.
(Premiere on Oct. 9, 2022)
In the Manifesto series, the Volksoper invites theatre makers to think loud about the how and why of making musical theatre. Director Maurice Lenhard forms a prelude by staging The Threepenny Opera (Dreigroschenoper) as a struggle for survival in a cold world. Macheath is embodied by Kurt Weill specialist Sona MacDonald, with Carlo Goldstein conducting.
(Premiere on Nov. 27, 2022)
Spymonkey, UK's leading physical comedy company, stages Orpheus in the Underworld (Orpheus in der Unterwelt). Directing duo Aitor Bausari and Toby Park encounter Jacques Offenbach's travesty of myths with British (occasionally black) humour, contemporary clowning and slapstick. Julian Crouch's set design provides a perfect playground for the Volksoper's versatile ensemble and for Ruth Brauer-Kvam as Public Opinion. Alexander Joel is the conductor of this operetta.
(Premiere on January 21, 2023)
Two icons of modern dance – Paul Taylor and Mark Morris – seen for the first time with the Vienna State Ballet! Ballet director Martin Schläpfer responds to the powerful modern dance language of the two Americans with two miniatures. Promethean Fire is an evening of ballet between hubris and humanity, catastrophe and beauty, creation and transience.
(Premiere on February 11, 2023)
An operetta premiere composed by Moritz Eggert, The last Conspiracy (Die letzte Verschwörung) is a parodic ride through the abysses of contemporary conspiracy myths. Directed by Lotte de Beer, set design by Christof Hetzer, and musical direction by Steven Sloane, we meet ensemble members Rebecca Nelsen as a “flat earther”, Timothy Fallon as a talkshow host whose worldview is increasingly coming apart at the seams, and Wallis Giunta as his wife who turns out to be an ominous Russian entrepreneur.
(World premiere on March 25, 2023)
In Martin Winkler, the Volksoper has an ideal cast for Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor (Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor). Dutch director Nina Spijkers, together with award-winning set designer Rae Smith (Tony Award for Warhorse), takes a humourus-feminist look at Otto Nicolai's German play opera, conducted by Ben Glassberg.
(Premiere on May 13, 2023)
Turkish director Nurkan Erpulat creates a new, authentic, and immediate interpretation for Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus dem Serail). The musical direction of the opera between Orient and Occident, man and woman, culture and nature, revenge and forgiveness lies in the hands of Angelo Michele Errico, who has an exemplary Mozart ensemble at his disposal in the form of Rebecca Nelsen, Hedwig Ritter, Timothy Fallon, Daniel Kluge and Stefan Cerny.
(Premiere on June 17, 2023)