Premieres in Bonn und Hanover

Premieres in Bonn und Hanover

Catching, Courageous, Cutting Edge – Bonn Opera and the Hanover State Opera present world premieres, national premieres, rediscoveries and special concerts. The opera houses in Bonn and Hanover are bringing together the excitement of introducing stimulating new works and that of placing undeservedly neglected classics in a contemporary context. Productions from the Ricordi catalogues will be presented at both houses in the coming months. 

31.01.2022, Bonn (WP)

Moritz Eggert – Iwein Löwenritter (2020-2021)

Opera in two Acts
Based on the Novels by Felicitas Hoppe and Hartmann von Aue
Libretto by Andrea Heuser
A cooperation project of Theater Bonn with Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg and Theater Dortmund as part of the series Junge Opern Rhein-Ruhr

View score

Oper Bonn, Aron Stiehl (Stage dir.), Beethoven Orchester BonnDaniel Johannes Mayr (Music. dir.)

More information at the presenter page

Children are among the most obvious losers in the COVID pandemic. All the more important, then, for the cultural sector – wherever possible – to organize events for children, whether concerts or music-theatre stagings. Thus Bonn Opera, in spite of all the ongoing uncertainty, has firmly stuck to its plan of presenting the world premiere of Moritz Eggert’s new children’s opera Iwein Löwenritter – and scored a great success! Thanks to a partnership with the series of Junge Opern Rhein Ruhr, this production can be seen during the coming season at the opera houses of Dortmund and Düsseldorf/Duisburg.

About Iwein Löwenritter

Iwein is young, he is strong and he is a knight – the best of the best! But he is terribly bored at King Artus’ court and so he sets out to find adventure. On his travels, he not only finds new stories but also meets Laudine, his great love. But his friend Gawein disturbs this newfound happiness by luring him back out into the world of knights’ games. They get so caught up in their fights for honour that Iwein almost loses Laudine. On the long road back to her, Iwein fights not only dragons and two-faced knights, but comes across a very special friend. Georg-Büchner-Award-winner Felicitas Hoppe has created an intelligent and imaginative story from Hartmann von der Aue 12th century chivalric tale. It brings the large issues of honour and friendship and the fight about good and evil closer to young readers without neglecting their importance and depth. Librettist Andrea Heuser expands the story by adding the viewpoints of today’s world: It opens up a path into a magical world for the children of today – if only for a moment – and they can lose or find themselves inside it. IWEIN LÖWENRITTER is the fifth Family Opera to be presented at Theater Bonn as part of the cooperation project Junge Opern Rhein-Ruhr. Moritz Eggert, who has composed several operas including a football-oratorio, has been commissioned to compose the music for the world premiere.
Text: Oper Bonn, published with kind permission by the presenter

World premiere of Iwein Löwenritter, Bonn 2022

Reviews of Iwein Löwenritter

"Eggert is notoriously fearless when it comes to styles. He routinely shops at the self-service musical convenience store of different periods and then amalgamates it all into something completely new. The result is genuine Eggert: entertaining, fast-paced, always pointed and characterful, serious and witty, sometimes also tragic or absurd. But there’s one thing this music can never be called: unambitious."
Die Deutsche Bühne, 31.01.2022

"Without Eggert’s music everything would be only half as entertaining. Leitmotifs already identify the characters before they set foot on stage. Cascades of strings and groovy rhythms embellish one adventure after another."
taz, 31.01.2022

"The basis of this well-thought-out libretto by Andrea Heuser is Felicitas Hoppe’s book for young readers Iwein Löwenritter. Heuser’s idea was to visualize the exchange of hearts scenically. She has written stunning duets for Iwein with Laudine and with his friend Gawein and created strong roles for basses and female voices. She deploys the Opera Chorus – in top form under the baton of Marco Medved – to vocalize the forest atmosphere as well as to represent [dazustellen im dt. Orig.]the people suffering under misrule, then rejoicing at the end."
Das Opernmagazin, 21.01.2022

26.02.2022, Hanover (NP)

Philip Venables – Denis & Katya (2018-2019)

Opera with a libretto by Ted Huffman
WP: 18.09.2019, Philadelphia

Staatsoper Hannover, Ted Huffman (Stage dir.), Members of the Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester HannoverMaxim Böckelmann (Music. dir.)

More information at the presenter page

There are hardly any music-theatre works written especially for young people. The English composer Philip Venables, who achieved international success with his chamber opera 4.48 Psychosis, based on a play by Sarah Kane, has created another award-winning stage success, Denis & Katya. Conceived as a form of documentary music theatre, using the everyday language of youth, it transforms the true story of a teenaged Russian couple into music and stage action with instrumental support from four cellos. At the Hanover State Opera, the piece will be performed for the first time in a specially prepared German translation and version. Following the French premiere in Montpellier in July 2021 and now the German premiere, Venables' opera can also be enjoyed for the first time in the Netherlands on March 11, 2022, presented by the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam

In an interview with Regine Palmai, Philip Venables talks about his opera and the specifics of the German version.

from 13.03.2022, Bonn

Giacomo Meyerbeer – Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (1843)

Singspiel in drei Akten in Lebensbildern aus der Zeit Friedrichs des Großen
Text von Ludwig Rellstab nach einem Entwurf von Eugène Scribe

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Oper Bonn, Jakob Peters-Messer (Stage dir.), Beethoven Orchester BonnDirk Kaftan (Music. dir.)

More information at the presenter page

Giacomo Meyerbeer was one of the most popular and frequently performed composers of the 19th century, but changing tastes and anti-Semitism led to the virtual disappearance of his operas from the standard repertoire. Recent decades have witnessed a Meyerbeer renaissance, and now Bonn Opera is bringing a genuine rarity to the stage: Ein Feldlager in Schlesien (“A Camp in Silesia”). In conjunction with its publication in a critical edition, this Meyerbeer rediscovery will be mounted for the first time since its premiere. 

About Ein Feldlager in Schlesien

Theater Bonn will be the venue of what is presumably the first revival of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s German-language light opera EIN FELDLAGER IN SCHLESIEN for nearly one hundred and fifty years. Composed for the occasion of the re-opening of the Royal Opera House in Berlin following the great fire of 1843, the piece features scenes from the life of Frederick II – who actually never appears – and in it, General Music Director Meyerbeer celebrated not only the House of Hohenzollern but also opera itself. This work and the heroic tableaux vivants that concluded its first ever performance express more of an element of national pride than any German-language piece of music theatre ever before. A version revised for Vienna under the title of VIELKA continued on the programmes of opera houses for some time and Meyerbeer included some scenes from FELDLAGER in his opera L’ÉTOILE DU NORD, premiered in Paris in 1854. But as a whole, the original version seemed to have been lost to musical theatre. The experienced Meyerbeer expert Volker Tosta has prepared a new edition of EIN FELDLAGER IN SCHLESIEN on behalf of the Berlin Ricordi Bühnen- und Musikverlag, which publishes the scientifically critical complete edition of Meyerbeer's operas. Thanks to the initiative of the Bonn Opera, the work is being presented to an audience for the first time since its premiere. In regard to the once so incomparably successful work of Giacomo Meyerbeer in general but also to the case of FELDLAGER in particular, we must once again ask why the disappearance of this piece was accepted so unquestioningly even after the end of the Nazis’ racial mania in 1945. For today’s director Jakob Peters-Messer, who already premiered the original version of L’AFRICAINE, the piece poses a very special challenge because its reception is always aware of the disappearance of Meyerbeer’s music, based on slander and racial mania.
Text: Oper Bonn, published with kind permission by the presenter

30. & 31.01.2022, Hanover

Sarah Nemtsov – en face (2018)

for large orchestra with solo percussion and actor/narrator
to the story “Einsamkeit” (“Loneliness”) by Bruno Schulz
WP: 05.04.2019 Cottbus

Read our blog article on the world premiere.

Aleksander Wnuk (Perc.), Felix Briegel (Sprecher), Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover, Titus Engel (Music. dir.)

More information at the presenter page


"There are unusual sounds and a lot of noise, sometimes it sounds touching, not rarely humorous, but always interesting and original."
HAZ, 02.02.2022

"Not quite an easy task for actor Felix Briegel to hold his own in such a soundscape - all the more remarkable his ability to clearly articulate Bruno Schulz's whimsical Kafkaesque text "Einsamkeit" over long stretches."
CZ, 03.02.2022

November 2022, Bonn

Alberto Franchetti – Asrael

Leggenda in quattro atti di Ferdinando Fontana
Revisione sulle fonti a cura di ANTONIO MOCCIA

More information at the presenter page

About Asrael

Asrael is the first theatrical work by Alberto Franchetti (1860-1942), the Italian composer who, following his studies in Venice, continued his musical training in Munich and Dresden.  

The subject for Asrael was borrowed from the French novel Asraël et Nephta by Samuel-Henry Berthoud, which was published in 1831. Arrigo Boito, who at the time was busy writing Nerone, declined the commission for the libretto, which was eventually written by Ferdinando Fontana, who was in touch with Giacomo Puccini to refine his work.

Asrael made its premiere in Reggio Emilia on February 11, 1888. That same year, it was performed in Bologna, and opened the opera seasons at La Scala in Milano and Teatro Carlo Felice in Genova. It was the work’s highly successful performance at La Scala that led to Asrael’s fame throughout Italy, Europe and beyond. In 1889 Asrael was performed in Florence, Treviso and Trieste. In 1890, performances were staged in Hamburg, Prague (for a host of repeat performances), Coburg, Budapest (featuring Gustav Mahler as conductor), and New York. Asrael remained popular until 1903. But after a 1926 reprise in Treviso, and perhaps a performance in Genova, Franchetti’s opera would never be performed again.

The new edition is based on a reconstruction of the version of Asrael performed on December 29, 1888 at La Scala, where, after a series of difficulties during the production phase, sixteen repeat performances were staged through March of the following year.

Photos: Thilo Beu (Iwein Löwenritter), Clemens Heidrich (Denis & Katya), Ricordi Berlin (Meyerbeer), Clemens Heidrich_Staatsoper Hannover (en face), Archivio Storico Ricordi (Franchetti)
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