Premiere from Oscar Straus
In Vienna, Helena, Princess of the German principality of Flausenthurn, catches the dashing Lieutenant Niki and then marries him so quickly that the newly fledged Prince Consort takes fright. Even during the wedding celebrations, he slips away secretly and mixes with the people of Flausenthurn. He meets the attractive conductor of a Vienna ladies choir, Franzi Steingruber, who seems to be the embodiment of all the dreams he thought were lost for ever.
Kiss me, Kate
Premiere from Cole Porter
"Triumphant success of the first musical in Austria" - it was with acclamations like this that the papers welcomed "Kiss me, Kate" in February 1956 at the Volksoper. The masterpiece has remained one of the most popular shows among Volksoper audiences. The last production of "Kate" at the Volksoper took place exactly 17 years ago; now a team led by Bernd Mottl, making his debut at the Volksoper, and director John Owen Edwards (who has already enjoyed great success with "Hello, Dolly!") are giving this classic a new look.
Die Hochzeit des Figaro
Premiere from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
In 1785, Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte turned to a revolutionary French play: Beaumarchaiss comedy "The Mad Day". The manservant Figaro and his master, Count Almaviva, become opponents when Almaviva starts pursuing Figaros intended bride. The explosive conflict between the nobility and the middle class is played out in the private sphere - as a struggle between the frivolous arrogance of the master and the honest feeling of the servant. "The Marriage of Figaro" has thus become a timeless masterpiece.
Premiere from Stephan Thoss, Henryk Górecki, Philip Glass
The notorious figure of the wife-murdering knight Bluebeard stands at the centre of the ballet by Stephan Thoss. Using music by Henryk Górecki and Philip Glass, the choreographer explores different motifs in the fairy tale and discovers hidden secrets of Bluebeard the man. The story of Judith and Bluebeard is preceded in the first part of the evening by scenes depicting different aspects of the relationship between men and women.
Die verkaufte Braut
Premiere from Bedrich Smetana
In the 1860s, Bedrich Smetana and Karel Sabina created the Czech national opera par excellence. Marie loves Hans, but is supposed to enter into an arranged marriage with Wenzel, the son of the rich landowner Micha. Marie fights for her love, while Hans on the other hand promises the marriage broker Kecal that he will give up his bride if he gives her to Michas son. The outraged Marie does not yet know that Hans is the long-lost son of Michas first marriage.
Ein Sommernachtstraum (Ballett)
Premiere from Jorma Elo, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
The multi-layered levels of action in William Shakespeares comedy correspond to the many-faceted stylistic interpretation by the internationally famed choreographer Jorma Elo. Decisive factors for Elos approach to this work were its timelessness and the congenial music written for the play by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. The ballet, which had its world premiere in 2010 at the Vienna State Opera, won the famous Prix Benois de la Danse award.
Premiere from Albert Lortzing
The story is similar in some ways to that of "The Bartered Bride": the schoolmaster Baculus suspects he has shot one of the Counts roebucks, but the dead animal is ultimately revealed to be his own donkey is considering selling his Gretchen to the Baron for 5,000 talers. "Der Wildschütz", first performed in 1842 and based on August von Kotzebues comedy "The Roebuck" (Der Rehbock), is one of the most popular works of the multi-talented Albert Lortzing, alongside "Tsar and Carpenter" (Zar und Zimmermann).
Kreation und Tradition
"Creation" and "Tradition" - two essentially interconnected concepts of any artistic statement - are also motives for the art of dance. Ballet director Manuel Legris has used these concepts as the title of an evening that pursues two different aims. On the one hand, the nurturing of valuable pieces from the store house of traditional works, and on the other hand securing the continuation of this art form through the creation of new works.
Wagners RING an einem Abend
Premiere from Richard Wagner
The German magazine "Der Spiegel" paid tribute to the humourist Vicco von Bülow, a.k.a. Loriot, who died in summer 2011, as "the greatest German artist of the present time". The most important work by Germanys greatest opera composer, the "Ring" tetralogy by Richard Wagner, was provided with connecting texts by Loriot and condensed into an entertaining evening concert performance.
Premiere from Paul Lincke
In Paul Linckes Berlin operetta, three young men from Berlin - Steppke, Lämmermeier and Pannecke - travel to the moon in a "moonship". Frau Luna, the Lady of the Moon, is delighted to see them. At last something is happening in her boring realm - the last visitor was the earth-émigré Theophil, years ago. Back in Berlin, Theophil is missed by Frau Pusebach, who happens to have come along on the present trip to the moon. Frau Luna is interested in Steppke, but that does not please her long-term admirer Prince Sternschnuppe. Earth and Moon suddenly get dangerously close - in matters of feeling and in other ways too ...
Premiere from Stephen Sondheim
After many years of exile, the barber Sweeney Todd returns to his home town of London, in order to take bloody revenge on his tormentor, Judge Turpin. When Turpin escapes him, Todd in his rage becomes a mass murderer, slitting his customers throats. His accomplice, the pie maker Mrs. Lovett, makes meat pies out of his victims. The multi-award winning "musical thriller" by Stephen Sondheim, first performed in 1978, was made into a film starring Johnny Depp in 2007.
Ballett-Premiere from Vesna Orlic, Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov
Andrey Kaydanovskiy and Vesna Orlic transfer two literary fairy tales to the ballet stage, designed with both children and adults in mind: both works are based on music by Russian composers and both have a "happy ending". Kaydanovskiy turns to the Andersen story of "The Ugly Duckling" and superimposes upon it Modest Mussorgskys "Pictures at an Exhibition". Vesna Orlics ballet, which is based upon Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakovs "Scheherazade", focuses on the oriental tale of "One Thousand and One Nights".
Premiere from Giuseppe Verdi
To celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, the Volksoper is including a classic in its programme: in the early 1850s, "Il trovatore", together with "Rigoletto" and "La Traviata" set the scene for Verdis worldwide success. The action centres on two brothers who have become unaware of the fact that they are related. The troubadour Manrico thinks he is the son of the gypsy Azucena, who is obsessed by the idea of revenging the death of her child.
Eine Nacht in Venedig
Premiere from Johann Strauß
The plot of this operetta by Johann Strauss is as full of twists and turns as the city of Venice itself, and centres on the Duke of Urbino, a notorious womaniser, and his personal barber Caramello, who assists him in all his amorous exploits. In the meantime the ladies, including Caramellos fiancée Annina, are also pursuing their own interests. By the end, all the couples are properly (re)united, and all the confusion is blamed on the Carnival, so that the operetta may have a happy ending.
Premiere from Benjamin Britten
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Benjamin Brittens birth, the Volksoper is showing his comic opera "Albert Herring". The local dignitaries of a small English town are concerned about a decline in morals and decide to reintroduce an old custom: an outstandingly virtuous maiden is to be crowned May Queen. But there are no maidens who meet their requirements, and so the title is given to Albert Herring, the greengrocers son. However, it only becomes apparent after his crowning as May King that his virtuousness is rather more due to a lack of opportunity.
Volksoper im MuTh:
Erwin, das Naturtalent
Premiere from Emmerich Kálmán
Kálmáns "Countess Mariza" is a love story set against the background of the economic crisis. The impoverished Count Tassilo has entered the service of Countess Mariza, who is surrounded by a host of admirers, as her estate manager. Their burgeoning love is disrupted by the arrival of Tassilos sister Lisa, who is mistaken for his lover. But Lisa finds happiness with the charming Baron Koloman Zsupán and Tassilos Aunt Bozena intervenes to make sure that there is a happy ending for the operettas hero and heroine.
Ein Reigen (Ballett)
Against the backdrop of Arthur Schnitzlers drama "La Ronde", the creators of this ballet (choreographer Ashley Page and designer Antony McDonald) evoke the almost explosive creativity which characterised Vienna in the years between 1900 and 1914. Based on real personalities, this ballet brings both the light and the dark sides of this period to the stage, portraying individual characters and shedding light on the relationships between them. Compositions which arose from this extraordinarily rich artistic period provide the musical basis for the ballet.
Premiere from Ludwig van Beethoven
A woman disguises herself as a man to look for her husband, who is a political prisoner languishing in a state dungeon. After his joyful release, Leonores fidelity to Florestan is celebrated in a song of praise idealising marital love. Did Beethoven choose the ideal of faithful love between man and wife as a lifeline after the political utopias of his time had given rise to a terrible reality?
Premiere from Richard Strauss
The mayors daughter Diemut has rebuffed Kunrads advances. In revenge, Kunrad puts out all the fires in the city; they can only be relit by a hot-blooded maiden. Diemuts night of passion with Kunrad (masterfully described by the orchestra) brings light back to the city. Richard Strauss' second musical work for the theatre has already appeared twice at the Volksoper (in 1912 and 1964) and this third production is a concert performance.