Jürgen Flimm, Matthias Schulz and Daniel Barenboim introduce the program for the 2017/18 season - the first season in the re-opened Staatsoper Unter den Linden

At today's press conference at Staatsoper Unter den Linden, artistic director Jürgen Flimm, artistic director designate Matthias Schulz and musical director Daniel Barenboim revealed the program for the 2017/18 season – the first season after the return to the opera house Unter den Linden.

Special highlights in the 2017/18 program are the eight premieres on the main stage (among them a German premiere), two world premieres and four premieres in the Neue Werkstatt, 13 operas from the repertoire as well as more than 90 concerts. The FESTTAGE held for the 23rd time this season return to the place where they were founded, whereas the Festival of New Musical Theater INFEKTION! is held Unter den Linden for the first time. You can look forward to more than 290 performances plus a large number of projects undertaken by the Junge Staatsoper. Furthermore, in 2017/18 the Staatskapelle Berlin will be guest performing in Dresden, Paris, Vienna, Salzburg and Buenos Aires.

The re-opening of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden starts with a PRÄLUDIUM (»Prelude«) from 30 September to 8 October. The season then continues with a concert on the occasion of the 275th anniversary of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden on the very day of the anniversary (7 December) and a subsequent premiere weekend with Engelbert Humperdinck's »Hänsel und Gretel« (8 December) and Claudio Monteverdi's »L'incoronazione di Poppea« (9 December).

The start of the nine day long PRÄLUDIUM will be the STAATSOPER FÜR ALLE concert with Daniel Barenboim, the Staatsopernchor and the Staatskapelle Berlin on 30 September 2017 in the open air on Bebelplatz and free of charge, thanks to BMW Berlin. On the following day, 1 October, the citizens of Berlin and guests from all over the world have the opportunity to set out on an exploration of the opera house during guided musical tours. The focal point of the re-opening is the premiere of »Zum Augenblicke sagen: Verweile doch!« with Robert Schumann's »Szenen aus Goethes Faust« on 3 October, a joint new production of artistic director Jürgen Flimm and musical director Daniel Barenboim. The performance features Roman Trekel (Faust), Elsa Dreisig (Gretchen), René Pape (Mephistopheles), Katharina Kammerloher, Stephan Rügamer, Evelin Novak, Adriane Queiroz, Natalia Skrycka, Gyula Orendt, Narine Yeghiyan, Florian Hoffmann und Jan Martiník, all of them soloists from the Staatsoper ensemble or members of Internationales Opernstudio as well as the actors Meike Droste (Gretchen), André Jung (Faust) and Sven-Eric Bechtolf (Mephistopheles), the Staatsopernchor and the Staatskapelle Berlin (further performances on 6 October, 14, 17 December 2017). On 4 October, the Staatskapelle Berlin performs its first subscription concert of the season in the opera house Unter den Linden with Daniel Barenboim as the conductor. The soloist is pianist Maurizio Pollini. The  program will be presented again on 5 October in the Philharmonie. On 7 October, the Wiener Philharmoniker conducted by Zubin Mehta will make a guest appearance at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden. On 8 October the Neue Werkstatt will be inaugurated with a performance of »Rivale«, a world premiere by Lucia Ronchetti commissioned by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, staged by Isabel Ostermann and with Max Renne as the musical director (further performances on 11, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20 and 22 October 2017). As part of the PRÄLUDIUM there will be a cooperation with the TV channels arte together with ZDF and Unitel as well as a cooperation with the radio station rbb Kulturradio. Furthermore, much of the program of the PRÄLUDIUM will be broadcast live on Bebelplatz for everyone. Tickets for the PRÄLUDIUM go on sale on 8 July at 10:00 am.

In the next season Daniel Barenboim will conduct Robert Schumann's »Szenen aus Goethes Faust« (premiere: 3 October) as well as three further new productions. One of them is Wagner's »Tristan und Isolde« directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov with Andreas Schager and Anja Kampe in the title roles (premiere: 11 February 2018), the other two are Verdi operas: the FESTTAGE premiere with »Falstaff«, staged by Mario Martone, starring Michael Volle who makes his role debut in the title role (premiere: 25 March 2018) and »Macbeth« with Harry Kupfer as the director and with Plácido Domingo and Anna Netrebko as Macbeth and Lady Macbeth (premiere: 17 June). Furthermore, Daniel Barenboim will be the conductor of the revivals of Wagner's »Parsifal« and Debussy's »Pelléas et Mélisande«.

The further premieres of the 2017/18 season feature Engelbert Humperdinck's »Hänsel und Gretel« staged by Achim Freyer and conducted by Sebastian Weigle (premiere: 8 December), Claudio Monteverdi's »L'incoronazione di Poppea« with Eva- Maria Höckmayr as the director, played by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin with Diego Fasolis as the conductor (premiere: 9 December) as well as Hans Neuenfels’ new production of Richard Strauss’ »Salome« with Zubin Mehta, honorary conductor of the Staatskapelle Berlin as the musical director (premiere: 4 March). With the German premiere of Salvatore Sciarrino's »Ti vedo, ti sento, mi perdo« as part of INFEKTION! Festival for New Musical Theater, Jürgen Flimm returns to the Staatsoper Unter den Linden as a director, continuing the intensive interpretation of the works of the Italian composer at the Berlin Staatsoper. The co-production with the Teatro alla Scala di Milano will be conducted by Maxime Pascal; the singers will be, among others, Laura Aikin and Otto Katzameier (premiere: 7 July 2018 | INFEKTION!).

Highlights of the repertoire are Jürgen Flimm's staging of Gluck's »Orfeo ed Euridice« with Bejun Mehta and Elsa Dreisig in the title roles, Wim Wenders’ production of Bizet's »Les pêcheurs de perles«, as for the premiere with Olga Peretyatko-Mariotti, as well as Purcell's »King Arthur« staged by Sven-Eric Bechtolf and Julian Crouch and conducted by René Jacobs. Britten's »The Turn of the Screw« and Mozart's »Don Giovanni« are two successful productions by Claus Guth which are revived this season, with Christopher Maltman and Maria Bengtsson among others. In addition to Rossini's »Il barbiere di Siviglia« the public can look forward to another staging by Ruth Berghaus: »Pelléas et Mélisande« – shown again for the first time since 2009. Furthermore, the 2017/18 season covers the period from the late 18th to the early 20th century, presenting Mozart's »Die Zauberflöte«, Puccini's »La Bohème« (with Angela Gheorghiu as Mimì), »Tosca«, Verdi's »La traviata«, Wagner's »Parsifal« (staged by Dmitri Tcherniakov) as well as Strauss’ »Ariadne auf Naxos« (staged by Hans Neuenfels).

Among the other singers for the next season are Maria Agresta, Laura Aikin, Daniela Barcellona, Piotr Beczala, Maria Bengtsson, Max Emanuel Cencic, Marianne Crebassa, Francesco Demuro, Plácido Domingo, Tara Erraught, Yusif Eyvazov, Angela Gheorghiu, Ekaterina Gubanova, Anja Kampe, Dmitry Korchak, Bejun Mehta, Anna Netrebko, René Pape, Olga Peretyatko-Mariotti, Ailyn Pérez, Adrianne Pieczonka, Anna Prohaska, Nadine Sierra, Nina Stemme, Simone Piazzola, Xavier Sabata, Fabio Sartori, Lauri Vasar, Rolando Villazón, Michael Volle and Kwangchul Youn.

The Staatskapelle Berlin will perform 16 symphony concerts featuring eight different musical programs – for the first time back to the opera house Opernhaus Unter den Linden and in the Philharmonie. Eight of them will be conducted by Daniel Barenboim. The conductors of the other orchestra concerts will be Antonio Pappano, Zubin Mehta, Christoph von Dohnányi and François-Xavier Roth. The performing soloists will be Maurizio Pollini (piano), Renaud Capuçon, Lisa Batiashvili (violin) and the singers Anna Prohaska, Nadine Sierra, Anna Nechaeva, Lauren Michelle (soprano), Marianne Crebassa (mezzo soprano), Bejun Mehta (countertenor), Ian Bostridge, Francesco Demuro (tenor), Thomas Hampson, Matthias Goerne (baritone) and Alex Espositio (bass).

A very special start to the concert season is the opening concert of the Musikfest Berlin on 31 August in the Philharmonie. The Staatskapelle Berlin will perform Anton Bruckner's Eighth Symphony, conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

The 2017/18 season holds even two special birthday concerts: On 15 November Daniel Barenboim will give a charity concert benefiting the Musikkindergarten Berlin e.V. in the Philharmonie on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Daniel Barenboim will be performing as a piano soloist together with his friend and companion of many years Zubin Mehta as the conductor of the Staatskapelle Berlin. The Staatsoper Unter den Linden will celebrate its 275th anniversary on 7 December. On the occasion of this anniversary, Daniel Barenboim will conduct works by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Pierre Boulez and Richard Strauss, all of them composers who conducted performances at the Staatsoper themselves.

It is for the very first time that James Levine will conduct the Staatskapelle Berlin on 31 October 2017 in the Philharmonie for Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony. The mezzo soprano Violeta Urmana and the Staatsopernchor and the Kinderchor will also perform. Our guests will be the Wiener Philharmoniker – first conducted by Zubin Mehta, performing works by Johannes Brahms, Joseph Haydn and Béla Bartók (7 October) and during the FESTTAGE 2018 conducted by Daniel Barenboim presenting Gustav Mahler (24 March). In addition, the Berliner Philharmoniker will perform a concert together with Simon Rattle as a guest orchestra in the Staatsoper Unter den Linden. They will perform music by Stravinsky and Rachmaninoff (30 November). In November, the Staatskapelle will be guest performing three concerts conducted by young conductors like Lahav Shani, Pablo Heras-Casado and Lorenzo Viotti in the Pierre Boulez Saal (4, 9, 21 November).

The FESTTAGE 2018 concert program revolves around Gustav Mahler and Claude Debussy. After the opening on 24 March by the Wiener Philharmoniker who were invited to Berlin for the fifth time running, the Staatskapelle Berlin will together with Daniel Barenboim perform a concert comprising only works by Debussy on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the death of the composer (29 March). The program features his »Fantaisie« for piano and orchestra with Martha Argerich as a soloist and his monumental opus »Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien« starring Anna Prohaska (soprano), Marianne Crebassa (mezzo soprano), Anna Lapkovskaja (alto) and Maria Furtwängler as the speaker and the Staatsopernchor. The FESTTAGE concerts will be concluded on 31 March by a duo recital by Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim, also dedicated to Debussy.

The concerts at the turn of the year will take place in the Staatsoper Unter den Linden on 31 December 2017 and 1 January 2018, featuring Beethoven's Ninth Symphony conducted by Daniel Barenboim.

In the Pierre Boulez Saal Schubert's string quartet cycle is performed by the string quartet of the Staatskapelle Berlin (3 December 2017, 7 February, 5 March, 13 June 2018). The »Preussens Hofmusik« (Prussian court music) concert series, the chamber concerts with members of the Staatskapelle Berlin, the lieder recitals, the children’s and choir concerts will in the future be held in the Apollo-Saal of the Staatsoper. Furthermore, there will be anniversary concerts by the Orchesterakademie and the Internationales Opernstudio, a »climate concert« by the »Orchester des Wandels«, museum concerts in the Bode-Museum and concerts in the »Neue Werkstatt«. The symposium »450 years of Staatskapelle Berlin« will be continued with reflections on the »long« 19th century.

The orchestra and Daniel Barenboim will be going to the Kulturpalast Dresden (4 September) and to the Philharmonie de Paris (9 and 10 September) for guest performances. For 2018 performances in the Musikverein Wien (7, 9 and 10 May) and during the Pfingstfestspiele in Salzburg (20 and 21 May) are scheduled, as is a new tour to far horizons – to South America: In July 2018 the Staatskapelle will perform at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

The studio stage Werkstatt im Schiller Theater, which has established itself as the place for contemporary musical theater and for children's and youth operas in the past seven years, will find its new home in the historical orchestra rehearsal room as the »Neue Werkstatt«.

The Neue Werkstatt will be opened on 8 October with a performance of »Rivale«, a world premiere by Lucia Ronchetti commissioned by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, with Max Renne as conductor. The chamber opera is staged by Isabel Ostermann. The further program of the Neue Werkstatt comprises the world premiere of »Abstract Pieces« by Manos Tsangaris commissioned by the Staatsoper Unter den Linden (world premiere: 19 May 2018), the premiere of »Sommertag« by Nikolaus Brass based on the novel of the same name by Jon Fosse (stage direction: Eva-Maria Weiss, musical direction: Max Renne, premiere: 10. February 2018) as well as »Ein Portrait des Künstlers als Toter«, a project by the Italian author Davide Carnevali together with the Argentinean composer Franco Bridarolli (premiere: 28 June 2018 | INFEKTION!). For the young audience: Mike Svoboda's musical theater for children from six years on »Der unglaubliche Spotz« (stage direction: Marcin Łakomicki, premiere: 24 November 2017) will be performed. From 5 April 2018 on, the children's opera house Kinderopernhaus Lichtenberg stages - in cooperation with the Staatsoper - »Fanny! – Wer will mir wehren zu singen«, a musical theater work for children by Fanny Mendelssohn.

From 1st September 2017 on Matthias Schulz will be co-artistic director, and on 1st April 2018 he will be taking over the full managerial duties of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden as artistic director.

Advance tickets for the PRÄLUDIUM go on sale on Saturday, 8 July, at 10:00 am. Advance tickets for all performances in the 2017/18 season will be available on Saturday, 7 October, from 10:00 am. Ticket sales for subscriptions and the FESTTAGE cycles starts as early as on 23 September. Friends of the Staatsoper, subscribers and holders of a StaatsopernCard are entitled to buy tickets for all performances early, starting on 30 September.

The relaunch of the websites staatsoper-berlin.de and  staatskapelle-berlin.de in the new corporate design takes place on 23 September.

Here you find the season brochure 2017/18 digitally: https://issuu.com/staatsoperberlin/docs/sob_vorschau_1718_presse_einzelseit