Season’s opening premiere on 7 October, featuring Luigi Cherubini’s MEDEA staged by Andrea Breth and with Daniel Barenboim as conductor – Sonya Yoncheva gives her debut in the title role

On 7 October, Luigi Cherubini’s MEDEA (MÉDÉE), staged by Andrea Breth and with the Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim, will be the opening premiere of the 2018/19 season at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Sonya Yoncheva will give her debut in the title role. The stage designer is Martin Zehetgruber, and Carla Teti is responsible for the costumes.

For Andrea Breth, MEDEA will be the fifth work staged at the Berlin Staatsoper following WOZZECK (2011), LULU (2012), KATJA KABANOWA (2014) and JAKOB LENZ (2017). She has been granted multiple awards for her theatre and opera staging. In addition to the Theaterpreis Berlin, the FAUST-Preis, the Nestroy-Theaterpreis and the Schillerpreis, she was awarded, among other accolades, the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art 1st Class as well as the Order of Merit 1st class. Furthermore, she is a member of numerous Academies of Arts, among others the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung. In July 2018, Andrea Breth was admitted to the order Pour le mérite for Sciences and Art, of which Daniel Barenboim is also a member.

The subject of the mythological character of Medea has been portrayed in a wide variety of artistic disciplines and styles and frequently adapted to musical theatre. Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842), who was among the best-known composers of his time and whom Beethoven and others held in high esteem, brought his version of the antique subject to the stage in 1797 in Paris. The Staatsoper Unter den Linden performs this original version, including spoken dialogues in French, in a version adapted by Andrea Breth and Sergio Morabito. Cherubini’s opera is fully focused on the thinking and actions as well as the emotional flow of the title character, having distinctively arranged solo and ensemble scenes as its major feature. After the premiere, the work was staged in German in Berlin in the year 1800 and in Vienna in 1802, but in the later years of the 19th century it all but disappeared from the opera stages. It only gained greater attention in 1953 thanks to Maria Callas’ legendary embodiment of the title role in an Italian translation and a fundamentally different and through-composed version.

The Bulgarian soprano singer Sonya Yoncheva, who debuts in the role of Medea, is a regular guest on the great opera house stages worldwide, among them the Bayerische Staatsoper München, Alte Oper Frankfurt, Wiener Staatsoper, Opernhaus Zürich, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London, the Teatro Real Madrid and the Metropolitan Opera New York. In February 2018, she published a CD with arias from different Guiseppe Verdi operas through Sony Classics. She was last heard at the Berlin Staatsoper as Violetta Valéry in LA TRAVIATA (2016), and in the revival of LA BOHÈME as Mimì (2015). In 2019 she will return to the Staatsoper as Tosca (3, 5, 9, and 12 May).

The role of Jason will be sung by the American tenor Charles Castronovo, who started his career as a member of the Los Angeles Opera, where he sang a large number of roles in more than 100 performances. Further engagements led him to notable venues such as the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, the Bayerische Staatsoper and the Salzburger Festspiele. The last role Charles Castronovo sang at the Berlin Staatsoper was Faust in LA DAMNATION DE FAUST (2017).

The Scottish bass-baritone Iain Paterson, who sings the role of Créon, debuted at the Berlin Staatsoper in June 2016 as Wotan/the wanderer in the DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN performances conducted by Daniel Barenboim. He has been a performer at the Bayreuth Festival every year since 2015. Many other engagements led him to sing at other opera houses – the Wiener Staatsoper, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden London, the Edinburgh Festival, the Teatro alla Scala in Milan, the Beijing Festival and the Houston Grand Opera.

The ensemble further includes Elsa Dreisig (Dircé), Marina Prudenskaya (Néris), Sarah Aristidou (First companion of Dircé) and Corinna Scheurle (Second companion of Dircé). The Staatsopernchor (State Opera Choir) sings in this performance, rehearsed by Martin Wright.

Traditionally, the season's opening premiere of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden is held on 3 October – this year, however, it will take place on 7 October, as on 3 October the Staatsoper will host the official ceremony on the occasion of the Day of German Unity.

We are happy to reserve you a press ticket for the premiere or a subsequent performance, subject to availability, at

Opéra in three acts (1797)
Music by Luigi Cherubini

Text by François-Benoît Hoffman
Premiere on 7 October 2018 at 18:00 hours
Further performances on 12, 17, 20, 25, and 28 October 2018
Staatsoper Unter den Linden

The production is supported by the Verein der Freunde und Förderer der Staatsoper Unter den Linden.

Tickets and further information: +49 30 20 35 45 55 or