Matthias Schulz and Daniel Barenboim announce the program for the 2018/19 season at Staatsoper Unter den Linden

During today’s press conference Matthias Schulz – Intendant of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden as of 1 April 2018 – and Musical Director Daniel Barenboim presented the program for the 2018/2019 season, which is associated with the term »Furchtlos« (fearless).

In addition to seven new productions, among them two world premieres, the new formats LINDEN 21 (featuring three world premieres and two further premieres), the Baroque festival BAROCKTAGE (23 November to 2 December 2018), a Prokofiev focus and an extension of the children’s and youth program set new tones in the 2018/19 season. In addition the program presents the 24th edition of the FESTTAGE festival (12 to 22 April 2019), 20 revivals of opera works, one children’s opera premiere and more than 85 concerts. You can look forward to more than 300 performances plus a large number of projects undertaken by the Junge Staatsoper. In 2018/19, the concert tours will lead the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim to Hamburg, Paris, Beijing and Sydney.


In 2018/19, Daniel Barenboim will conduct the season opening premiere of Luigi Cherubini’s MEDEA (MEDÉE), staged by Andrea Breth. Sonya Yoncheva gives her debut with the title role. The premiere, in the French original version, will take place on 7 October 2018 – on 3 October the Staatsoper will host the official ceremony on the occasion of the Day of German Unity. On 9 March 2019, Daniel Barenboim will perform Jörg Widmann’s BABYLON, in a reworked new version, after its 2012 world premiere at the Bayerische Staatsoper. The production is staged by Andreas Kriegenburg, with Harald Thor as the stage designer and with Mojca Erdmann as part of the cast. As the FESTTAGE premiere, Daniel Barenboim will together with Dmitri Tcherniakov present Sergei Prokofiev’s DIE VERLOBUNG IM KLOSTER (premiere: 13 April 2019).
In 2018/19, there will be a focus on Prokofiev which is also found in the symphonic program, the concert by the Opernkinderorchester (opera children’s orchestra) and in the chamber concerts. Furthermore, Daniel Barenboim will conduct the revivals of Strauss’ ELEKTRA (with, among others, Evelyn Herlitzius and Waltraud Meier, January / February 2019), Verdi’s FALSTAFF (in the premiere cast, December 2018 / January 2019) and MACBETH (with Plácido Domingo, May 2019) as well as Wagner’s DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG (among others, with Wolfgang Koch, Burkhard Fritz and Julia Kleiter, FESTTAGE, April 2019) and TRISTAN UND ISOLDE (with Andreas Schager and Anja Kampe, June 2019).

The new work presented in the 2018/19 season is the world premiere of VIOLETTER SCHNEE by Beat Furrer, the winner of the Ernst von Siemens 2018 music award (13 January 2019). The work was commissioned by Staatsoper Unter den Linden. In his musical theatre works the relation of language and sound plays a manor role. VIOLETTER SCHNEE reflects the existential experience of alienation and loss of speech in view of an impending catastrophe. The opera was created in close collaboration between the composer Beat Furrer, the stage director Claus Guth and the librettist Händl Klaus and is based on a draft by Vladimir Sorokin. Matthias Pintscher is the musical director. The cast features Anna Prohaska, Elsa Dreisig, Gyula Orendt, Georg Nigl and Tómas Tómasson and actress Martina Gedeck.

With the new production of RIGOLETTO (premiere: 2 June 2019) Verdi’s complete »Trilogia popolare« will be presented in the 2018/19 season (IL TROVATORE and LA TRAVIATA are on the program in October / November 2018 and in March 2019). American stage director Bartlett Sher and conductor Andrés Orozco-Estrada make their house debut at Staatsoper Unter den Linden with this premiere, a co-production with the Metropolitan Opera New York. Christopher Maltman sings the title role, Nadine Sierra will be performing as Gilda.

After a quarter of a century it was about time to take a new approach at Mozart’s DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE: The new production is staged by Yuval Sharon and is under the musical direction of Franz Welser-Möst (premiere: 17 February 2019). The »traditional« production with the stage setting based on Schinkel’s designs will remain part of the repertoire – in the future both productions will be performed.

HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE is the BAROCKTAGE premiere on 25 November 2018. For the first time, Staatsoper Unter den Linden puts a work by Rameau on stage – conducted by Simon Rattle who makes his debut with the Freiburger Barockorchester. Ólafur Elíasson will be the stage and costume designer. Together with stage director and choreographer Aletta Collins he will develop a concept which rethinks light, costume and space.


The BAROCKTAGE will be held yearly as a ten-day festival in November. The first edition from 23 November to 2 December 2018 is dedicated to the beginning and the end of the Baroque era: Monteverdi’s L’ORFEO and L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA are contrasted to Rameau’s HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE. The program further comprises a round table discussion, 13 concerts and a world premiere by Saar Magal, which is programmatically also connected to LINDEN 21: in A MONTEVERDI PROJECT (1 November 2018, Apollosaal, BAROCKTAGE and LINDEN 21) the Israeli stage director and choreographer deals with changes in interpersonal relationships and in love and sexuality under the impression of technological developments.


LINDEN 21 covers all productions and projects in the repertoire which are in search of new forms of performance and perception in contemporary musical theatre. The program features chamber operas as well as staged concerts or performance developments. The productions will take place in different locations in the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and will be incorporated into the program throughout the season. In addition to Saar Magal’s performance, the Belgian composer Annelies Van Parys developed USHER, a chamber music theatre work based on the fragment of Claude Debussy’s opera project on the subject of Edgar Allan Poe’s »The Fall of the House of Usher«. The world premiere, which is a work commissioned by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and the Folkoperan Stockholm, will be staged by theatre director Philippe Quesne, for whom this is his opera debut (12 October 2018). The »Opéra-rituel de mort« KOPERNIKUS by Claude Vivier will be performed as a production of the International Opera Studio in the Alter Orchesterprobensaal, staged by Wouter Van Looy (premiere: 18 January 2019). For HIMMELERDE the Musicbanda Franui and the Berlin based company Familie Flöz combine masque with the musical instruments typical for the Alps and the music from Romanticism (world premiere: 17 January 2019). Samuel Beckett’s WORDS AND MUSIC, written as a radio drama in 1961 and later set to music by Morton Feldman, will be performed as »HörTheater« in German for the first time in the Apollosaal (premiere: 23 April 2019).


The Staatskapelle Berlin will perform 16 symphony concerts (Abonnementkonzerte) featuring eight different programs – in the Staatsoper Unter den Linden and in the Philharmonie. Five double performances will be conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The conductors of the other orchestra concerts are Simon Rattle, Paavo Järvi and Zubin Mehta. You can look forward to soloists Kian Soltani (violoncello) and Martha Argerich (piano) and singers Waltraud Meier, Anita Rachvelishvili (mezzo-soprano), Krassimira Stoyanova, Genia Kühmeier (soprano), Anna Lapkovskaja (alto), Simon O‘Neill (tenor), and Alexander Tsymbalyuk (bass).

The concert program of the FESTTAGE 2019 opens on 12 April with the Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Daniel Barenboim and playing works by Prokofiev and Mahler. On 19 and 20 April the concert of the Staatskapelle Berlin features Verdi’s »Quattro pezzi sacri« and opera arias for soprano and orchestra with Anna Netrebko as the solo singer. On 20 April (11 am) the Opernkinderorchester (children’s opera orchestra) performs for the first time, presenting among other works Prokofiev’s »Peter and the Wolf«.

Monteverdi’s Italy is the focus of the BAROCKTAGE concerts (23 November to 2 December 2018) performed by the Akademie für Alte Musik and in a program with Dorothee Oberlinger and Dmitry Sinkovsky. Furthermore, the program features Rameau recitals on a modern piano and a historic cembalo by Alexandre Tharaud and Christophe Rousset, concerts by Marc Minkowski with Les Musiciens du Louvre, Les Talens Lyriques with Christophe Rousset, Voces Suaves, Le Concert des Nations and Jordi Savall as well as a concert for children aged 3 to 5. The locations for the concert program are the Apollosaal, the Großer Saal, the Alter Orchesterprobensaal and the Pierre Boulez Saal.

A special start to the concert season is the opening concert of the Musikfest Berlin on 1 September 2018 in the Philharmonie. With Daniel Barenboim as the conductor, the Staatskapelle Berlin performs Boulez’ »Rituel« and Stravinsky’s »Le sacre du printemps«.

The New Year’s Eve concerts on 30 and 31 December 2018 bring you a joint program with trumpet player Till Brönner, Lahav Shani – in a double role as a conductor and pianist – the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Till Brönner Orchestra. In addition to works by George Gershwin and Kurt Weill, Peter Tchaikovsky’s »Nutcracker Suite« will be performed in the original version for symphony orchestra and in a version for big band, arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.

In cooperation with the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden again invites to the opera house on 31 March 2019 for a KONZERT FÜR BERLIN performed by the Staatskapelle Berlin and conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Thanks to BMW Berlin, STAATSOPER FÜR ALLE will take place on 15 and 16 June 2019, featuring a transmission of TRISTAN UND ISOLDE live to Bebelplatz and an open-air concert by Staatskapelle Berlin.

The programs of the ten chamber concerts with members of Staatskapelle Berlin comprise the complete chamber music work by Prokofiev. Lied recitals, children’s concerts, the concert series Preußens Hofmusik (Prussian court music) and the Museum concerts in the Bode Museum are also part of the varied program.

Furthermore, there will be a »120 Jahre Deutsche Grammophon« gala concert with Staatskapelle Berlin, the climate concert of the Orchester des Wandels and the advent concert with the children’s choir. There is a concert of Musicbanda Franui, and Thomas Quasthoff & Trio will present a jazz program. On 15 January the program brings you a concert with works by Beat Furrer and Morton Feldmann in the Apollosaal.

In 2019, the symposium »450 years of Staatskapelle Berlin« is under the motto: »Freedom and constraints: Staatskapelle Berlin between 1919 and 1955«.


On 5 and 6 September 2018, the Staatskapelle Berlin and its Musical Director will go to the Philharmonie de Paris and on 15 May 2019 to the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg for guest performances. From 16 November to 3 December a concert tour to Beijing and Sydney is scheduled where, among other works, the four Brahms symphonies will be performed.


With Matthias Schulz as Intendant, the youth program will be further extended, e.g. by the foundation of the Opernkinderorchester (opera children’s orchestra) for children aged 7 to 12, which will be established together with the music schools of the Land of Berlin and the Staatskapelle Berlin. The Opernkinderorchester will have its first performance on 20 April 2019 as part of the FESTTAGE festival, playing Prokofiev’s »Peter and the Wolf« with Rolando Villazón and conducted by Daniel Barenboim. Further concerts with Max Renne as the musical director will take place on 5, 6 and 19 May – the last date as part of the music school congress of the German Music School Association.

In addition to the Kinderopernhaus Lichtenberg, the children’s opera house project shall be further instigated in other Berlin districts in cooperation with music schools, elementary schools and youth centers. The intention is to give children the opportunity of getting to know opera for the first time and to experience in direct contact and in a playful manner what it means to make music and play theatre. Both projects, the Opernkinderorchester and the Kinderopernhaus, will expand and strengthen the cooperation with the educational institutions in Berlin.

The children’s concerts will be held for additional age groups (3 to 5 years, 6 to 9 years and 10 to 12 years) and integrated in festivals like the BAROCKTAGE. In addition to the other offers (workshops, rehearsal visits, youth club, composition workshops, projects), Staatsoper Unter den Linden will in 2018/19 participate in »Rhapsody in School« and launch an opera reporter project.

Next season’s children’s opera premiere will be SCHNEEWITTCHEN by Wolfgang Mitterer based on Engelbert Humperdinck’s work, staged by Constanze Albert (13 March 2019).

Furthermore, the International Opera Studio supported by the Liz Mohn Kultur- und Musikstiftung, the Orchestra Academy, the children’s choir and the youth choir are embedded in the very heart of the program.

From 29 June to 7 July 2019, Staatsoper Unter den Linden invites to the OPERNNÄCHTE (opera nights) for the first time: With public screenings of stagings from the past season and from former years shown on the big screen. In addition, the Staatsoper live stream range will be expanded.

From the beginning of the 2018/19 season on, BMW and UBS will be the main sponsors of Staatsoper Unter den Linden.

From 1 April 2018 on, Matthias Schulz, who has been the co-Intendant since September 2017, will take over full and sole duties as Intendant of Staatsoper Unter den Linden.

The ticket sales for all performances in the 2018/19 season begin on Saturday, 14 April 2018 from 10 am. Ticket sales for subscriptions and the FESTTAGE cycles start as early as on 24 March. Friends of the Staatsoper, subscribers and holders of a StaatsopernCard are entitled to buy tickets for all performances early, starting on 7 April 2018. A new feature offered from mid-May on is a 360 degrees seat plan panorama view for online ticket purchases.

Press release as PDF as well as link to the Season brochure 2018/19 as well as Concert brochure 2018/19