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Bavarian State Opera /
Bayerische Staatsoper

A look at the company

From: Bavarian State Opera

photo

ABOVE: A 2005 production of Rigoletto at the Bayerische Staatsoper. INSET BELOW: The Nationaltheater before an evening performance, and Bavarian General Music Director Kent Nagano.

photoThe Bavarian State Opera, or Bayerische Staatsoper, is the oldest opera company north of the Alps. It traces its history back to 1653, when earlier generations of musicians and singers performed in the courts of Bavaria's Electors. (See official history.) Today's Bavarian State Opera attracts more than 500,000 spectators each year, with some 350 performances of operas, ballets, orchestral concerts, and choral events throughout the year.

The company performs in three theatres:

  • The Nationaltheater, Germany's largest opera house with 2,101 seats. The historic theatre opened in 1818 and has been reconstructed twice: once after a fire in 1823, and again after heavy bombing in World War II.

  • The Prinzregententheater or Prince Regent's Theatre, which was built as a festival theatre for Wagner and stages one production a year during the Munich Opera Festival.

  • The Cuvilliés-Theater, where Mozart's Idomeneo had its premiere in 1781. Following an extensive restoration, the Rococo auditorium reopened in June, 2008 with a new production of Idomeneo by the Bayerische Staatsoper.

At the beginning of the 2006-2007 season, California-born conductor Kent Nagano assumed the duties of Bavarian General Music Director. (He is also Music Director of the Bavarian State Orchestra, founded in 1539 and one of the oldest orchestras in the world.) He was subsequently joined by Klaus Bachler, the opera's new General and Artistic Director, who took up the position formerly held by Sir Peter Jonas.

For pictures of Bavarian State Opera and Ballet productions, see the next page; for up-to-date information on the company, including programs and schedules, visit the English-language Bavarian State Opera Web site.

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Photos copyright © Wilfried Hösl.

 

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