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Munich Opera Festival 2023

Opera For All

The lights slowly dim until the audience is shrouded in darkness. Then, finally, the thick velvet curtains open. A figure, half-illuminated, slowly walks, singing onto the stage. The conductor’s hands are poised and ready to command the orchestra as a high operatic voice radiates throughout the theatre, bouncing off the walls and into the audience’s ears. Here the performer’s voice shares a story on an operatic journey at the world-renowned Munich Opera Festival

Each year, the Munich Opera Festival attracts opera fans from all over the world. Over six summer weeks, visitors can enjoy not only opera performances but ballet, song recitals, and festival concerts. Each year, the festival is opened with a choral concert performed as part of a Roman Catholic service at Michaelskirche. The festival is hosted and organised by the Bavaria State Opera. All the festival performances are held at the National Theatre, the Prince Regent Theatre and the Cuvilliés Theatre.

With over 2,000 seats, the National Theatre is the largest opera house in Germany and has a rich history within its foundations. Although built-in 1751, it was reconstructed in 1825, due to a great fire, and subsequently Opera For All The lights slowly dim until the audience is shrouded in darkness. Then, finally, the thick velvet curtains open. A figure, half-illuminated, slowly walks, singing onto the stage. The conductor’s hands are poised and ready to command the orchestra as a high operatic voice radiates throughout the theatre, bouncing off the walls and into the audience’s ears. Here the performer’s voice shares a story on an operatic journey at the world-renowned Munich Opera Festival destroyed again during World War II. The theatre was reopened in 1963 as a regal edifice with eight granite columns and ancient Greek figures.

The 2023 Opera Festival unites new productions created on the basis of the current season’s guiding principles. Two apparently opposing complexes, war and love, are closely interwoven with one another: war and peace, love and hate, between peoples and nations, between religions, between lovers

Walking up to the Cuvilliés Theatre, visitors enter a courtyard and a water fountain adorned with black marble warriors. Yet the best features are inside. The all-surrounding rococo style of the interior is decorated in deep red and gold, with a circular structure of private boxes leading up to intricate frescos that cover the ceiling.

The opera premiere performances change annually.

The 2023 Opera Festival unites new productions created on the basis of the current season’s guiding principles. Two apparently opposing complexes, war and love, are closely interwoven with one another: war and peace, love and hate, between peoples and nations, between religions, between lovers, between families, between tyrants and citizens, and in each individual person.

To close the Opera Festival, focus will be on works by Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner, two antagonist composers in vision and temperament, at the helm of competing musical currents. With Aida, to be enjoyed as an “Opera for All” new production, Othello and Don Carlo by Verdi and Lohengrin, also a new production, Tristan and Isolde by Wagner, the programme features five of the world’s greatest operas. The state of love could not be considered more differentiated here. It becomes a wrestling of the Titans, a plea for love.

The Festival’s two opera premieres, Hamlet by Brett Dean and Semele by Georg Frideric Handel, combine the earliest musical theatre with contemporary musical theatre. Further opera performances: War and Peace by Sergei S. Prokofiev, Così van tutte by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Dido and Aeneas / Expectation by Henry Purcell / Arnold Schönberg as further new productions of the current season and repertoire highlights such as Boris Godunov by Modest P. Mussorgsky and Salome by Richard Strauß.

The ballet performance Heute ist Morgen, with contemporary choreographies, celebrates a premiere at the beginning of the Festival, complemented by the new productions, Schmetterling by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot and Tchaikovsky Overtures by Alexi Ratmansky

The ballet performance Heute ist Morgen, with contemporary choreographies, celebrates a premiere at the beginning of the Festival, complemented by the new productions, Schmetterling by Sol León and Paul Lightfoot and Tchaikovsky Overtures by Alexi Ratmansky.

The Munich Opera Festival is an unmissable event for those who enjoy watching the arts through dance and music and enjoy reliving masterpieces again through different adaptations and expressions. Guests who come will be left speechless after the festival’s performances and leave surely wishing to return for an encore.

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