2018: Successful first BAROCKTAGE festival at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden with more than 90% of tickets sold

The BAROCKTAGE festival, held for the first time at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden from 23 November to 2 December, attracted more than 15,000 visitors from 46 different countries (including, apart from Europe, Australia, Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Korea, New Zealand, Panama, Singapore, the US and the United Arab Emirates). This led to a capacity of 91 % of seats sold. The performance series of HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE, L’ORFEO, A MONTEVERDI PROJECT and nearly all of the concerts were fully sold out. The performances and concerts took place at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Großer Saal, Apollosaal, Alter Orchesterprobensaal) and at the Pierre Boulez Saal. In the future, the festival will take place every year for 10 days in November: in 2019 it will run from 1 to 10 November, featuring works by Alessandro Scarlatti and Henry Purcell. While this year’s inaugural BAROCKTAGE was taking place, Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin were simultaneously on tour in Beijing at the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) and in Australia at the Sydney Opera House from 18 to 27 November 2018.

»I am very happy that the BAROCKTAGE attracted such an engaged and enthusiastic audience in its first year and that the festival atmosphere could be felt in the entire opera house. Because of its architecture, the close proximity of the audience to the stage and the improved acoustics, the music performed here unfolds its sound in a very special way. My intention with the BAROCKTAGE was to take the Staatsoper’s long-standing Baroque music tradition one step further and consciously create a space where this music in all its facets can be experienced within a short time. Who would have thought that a composer as timeless and important as Jean-Philippe Rameau had never before been heard in the Staatsoper! I am looking forward to the future festivals to come – always 10 days in November,« says Intendant Matthias Schulz.

The festival featured three operas by Monteverdi and Rameau in the main hall (Großer Saal) and a dance and theatre performance in the Apollosaal, as well as 13 concerts, guided tours and a round table discussion. The focal point was the premiere of Rameau’s HIPPOLYTE ET ARICIE, showcasing the Freiburger Barockorchester with Simon Rattle as the musical director and Anna Prohaska, Magdalena Kožená, Reinoud Van Mechelen, Gyula Orendt and Elsa Dreisig singing the lead roles. The new production was developed by Olafur Eliasson who designed the stage set, costumes and lighting in cooperation with stage director and choreographer Aletta Collins. This production will be performed three more times after the BAROCKTAGE festival (4, 6 and 8 December). Additionally, two works by Monteverdi were restaged: L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA, staged by Eva-Maria Höckmayr with Diego Fasolis as the musical director and L’ORFEO, directed by Sasha Waltz and conducted by Leonardo García Alarcón, marking his debut at the Staatsoper. The Apollosaal was the venue of A MONTEVERDI PROJECT, a dance and theatre performance by the Israeli director and choreographer Saar Magal based on music by Monteverdi.

The concert programme of the first BAROCKTAGE festival comprised 13 concerts by international orchestras, ensembles and soloists – all in just 10 days. The performing musicians included Les Musiciens du Louvre, conducted by Marc Minkowski, Les Talens Lyriques with Christophe Rousset, La Capella Reial de Catalunya and Le Concert des Nations conducted by Jordi Savall, the Akademie für Alte Musik, the vocal ensemble Voces Suaves and soloists such as Dorothee Oberlinger, Dmitry Sinkovsky, Alexandre Tharaud and Ambroisine Bré. The programme was concluded with concerts for children.