New Year's Eve Concert of the Staatskapelle Dresden

Franz Welser-Möst Conductor
Jonas Kaufmann Tenor
Rachel Willis-Sørensen Soprano
Elisabeth Kulman Mezzo-Soprano
Andreas Schager Tenor
Nikola Hillebrand Adele
Sebastian Wartig Falke
Michael Kraus Frank
Tahnee Niboro Ida
Beomjin Kim Dr. Blind
Sky du Mont Moderator
Christine Schütze Moderatorin
State Opera Chorus Dresden

Johann Strauß (Sohn)

  • »Die Fledermaus«

»Champagner hat’s verschuldet …«

Mit dem österreichischen Dirigenten Franz Welser-Möst und internationalen Gesangsgrößen verabschiedet die Staatskapelle das Jahr 2018. Johann Strauß’ »Die Fledermaus« steht im Mittelpunkt des Abends und ist als Paradestück der Wiener Operette mit dem großen Fest beim Prinzen Orlovsky im zweiten Akt ein Garant für Schwung und Champagnerseligkeit zum Jahresausklang.

Solisten werden später bekanntgegeben.

Date of broadcast: 30. Dezember 2018, ab 22 Uhr im ZDF
  • 29.12.2018
    19:00 Uhr
  • 30.12.2018
    18:00 Uhr

Franz Welser-Möst

Following top positions with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Zurich Opera House, Franz Welser-Möst has been music director of the Vienna State Opera since 2010. Eight years previously he was appointed to the same post with the Cleveland Orchestra, where his contract was subsequently extended to cover the orchestra’s hundredth birthday in 2018. As a guest conductor he regularly collaborates with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester as well as the great symphony orchestras of the USA. Franz Welser-Möst enjoys close ties to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, conducting their New Year’s Concerts of 2011 and 2013 and accompanying the orchestra to the Lucerne Festival, the BBC Proms as well as the Salzburg Festival. Now he will give his long overdue debut on the rostrum of the Staatskapelle Dresden.

Als Gastdirigent hat Welser-Möst eine besonders enge und produktive Beziehung zu den Wiener Philharmonikern entwickelt. Er stand zweimal am Pult des Neujahrskonzertes und dirigiert das Orchester regelmäßig in Abonnementkonzerten im Wiener Musikverein, bei Gastspielen in Luzern, bei den BBC Proms, bei Tourneen in den USA, Skandinavien, Japan und 2018 erstmals auch in China. Diese besondere Beziehung wurde im Frühjahr 2014 mit der Überreichung des Ehrenrings der Wiener Philharmoniker gewürdigt. 

2018/19 wird er neben der Staatskapelle Dresden auch das Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks sowie die Tschechische Philharmonie leiten.

Franz Welser-Möst ist Träger zahlreicher Auszeichnungen und hat CD- und DVD-Aufnahmen vorgelegt, die mehrfach internationale Preise erhielten.

Jonas Kaufmann

He is one of the great tenors of our time, celebrated around the world for his appearances at such illustrious operatic houses as the MET, La Scala and Covent Garden, as well as top classical venues in Vienna, Berlin, Munich, Paris and Salzburg. Jonas Kaufmann moves effortlessly from one stage triumph to the next with a repertoire that ranges from Beethoven and Schubert to Berlioz, Bizet, Massenet and Puccini, not forgetting the great Verdian and Wagnerian roles. In 2010 he gave his acclaimed debut on Bayreuth’s »green hill« in the role of Lohengrin. And in the special Wagner Jubilee Year 2013 he will sing at a non-subscription Staatskapelle concert conducted by Christian Thielemann to mark the composer’s 200th birthday. In the current season this native of Munich is sure to delight Semperoper audiences when he appears with Renée Fleming and Christian Thielemann at the traditional New Year’s Eve Concert.

2010 gab der Tenor sein Debüt bei den Bayreuther Festspielen, als Lohengrin in der Aufsehen erregenden Inszenierung von Hans Neuenfels. Kaufmann ist im italienischen und französischen Repertoire international genauso gefragt wie im deutschen. Er hat Massenets Werther in Paris und Wien, Cavaradossi in Puccinis »Tosca« in London, an der Metropolitan Opera New York und der Scala gesungen. Im Wagner-Jahr 2013 war er gemeinsam mit der Sächsischen Staatskapelle und Christian Thielemann in einem Sonderkonzert zum 200. Geburtstag des Komponisten-Jubilars zu erleben. 2018 wird er im traditionellen Silvesterkonzert der Staatskapelle Dresden sein Rollendebüt als Eisenstein in Strauß' »Fledermaus« geben.

Rachel Willis-Sørensen

Rachel Willis-Sørensen first came to international attention after winning the National Council Auditions at New York’s Met in 2010 and the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna in 2011. Last season she joined the Semperoper ensemble. Her early performances in Dresden were as Elettra and Rachel in new productions of Mozart’s »Idomeneo« and Halévy’s »La juive«,

while the young soprano has also performed the roles of the Countess in »Figaro« at London’s Royal Opera House and Donna Anna in »Don Giovanni« at Houston Grand Opera. She has also sung with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at a performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

Elisabeth Kulman

Elisabeth Kulman is one of today’s most sought-after singers and leading authorities in the international classical music scene. She impresses audiences and critics alike with her rich, colourful timbre, her charismatic stage personality and her musical versatility.

She studied voice with Helena Lazarska at the Vienna Music University, made her debut as Pamina in 2001 at the Volksoper in Vienna and enjoyed early success as a soprano. Since 2005 Elisabeth Kulman has been singing the major parts of the mezzo and alto repertoire. As a member of the ensemble at the Vienna State Opera she quickly became a favourite of the audience and established the basis for her vast repertoire. Her most important roles include Fricka, Erda and Waltraute (»The Ring of the Nibelungs«), Carmen, Mrs. Quickly (»Falstaff«), Brangäne (»Tristan and Isolde«), Begbick (»Mahagonny«), Orlofsky (»The Bat«), Orfeo (»Gluck«) and Marina (»Boris Godunov«).

Since 2010 Elisabeth Kulman has been working as a freelance artist. She is a much sought-after soloist in the metropolitan centres of the music world: Vienna, Paris, London, Munich, Berlin, Tokyo, Salzburg, Moscow, etc. She works regularly with world-class orchestras and conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Kirill Petrenko, Christian Thielemann, Marek Janowski or Franz Welser-Möst. She enjoyed a particularly close collaboration with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Since 2015 Elisabeth Kulman has been focusing her artistic activities on recitals (together with her longtime accompanist Eduard Kutrowatz), concerts and operas in concert. She is especially devoted to unconventional projects: »Mussorgsky Dis-Covered« with an international jazz quartet, »Mahler Lieder« and »Wer wagt mich zu höhnen?« with the ensemble Amarcord Wien as well as »Hungaro Tune« with symphony orchestra and jazz soloists. Her latest solo programme »La femme c’est moi« features pieces from Carmen up to the Beatles.

Andreas Schager

Andreas Schager studied at the University for Music in Vienna and currently studies with Heidrun Franz Vetter in Berlin. Whilst still studying, he made his operatic debut as Ferrando in Così fan tutte at the Schlosstheater Schönbrunn. During the following years he sang at several important theaters and festivals including Koblenz, Frankfurt, Vienna (Festival), Bologna, Amsterdam, Gent, Antwerp, Cologne, and Toronto.

In summer 2009, Schager made a very significant step in his career, moving to a more dramatic repertoire. He made his highly regarded debut at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl as David in Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.
Since then, he performed the roles of Florestan/Fidelio, Max/Der Freischütz, Rienzi/Rienzi, Tristan/Tristan und Isolde, and Siegfried in both Götterdämmerung and Siegfried. Further engagements led him to renowned houses such as Deutsche Oper and Staatsoper Berlin, Teatro Real Madrid, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Teatro dell’Opera Rome, and Teatro alla Scala Milan. As a concert singer, Schager sang the tenor parts in Mahler‘s Das Lied von der Erde (Hamburg NDR) and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Ravenna, Bonn, Tokyo, and Berlin.

His appearances as Siegfried/Götterdämmerung at Staatsoper Berlin, at BBC Proms 2013 in London, and at the Teatro alla Scala under Daniel Barenboim were highly acclaimed by press and audience and resulted in his international breakthrough.

The most recent highlights on the opera stage include Fidelio, Parsifal, Siegfried and Götterdämmerung at Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin under Daniel Barenboim, Siegfried/Götterdämmerung at Dresden‘s Semperoper under Christian Thielemann, Tannhäuser at Deutsche Oper Berlin, at Vienna’s State Opera Apollo/Daphne under Simone Young as well as Max/Der Freischütz under Tomáš Netopil, and the title role in Parsifal at the Bayreuther Festspiele 2017-18, at Hamburgische Staatsoper and at Opéra Bastille.

In addition to his outstanding operatic success, Andreas Schager is also active as a concert singer. Highlights of the past years include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra under Franz Welser-Möst in Cleveland and at Carnegie Hall, Gurrelieder at Philharmonie de Paris and Beethoven’s 9th at Vienna’s Konzerthaus with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, both under Philippe Jordan, Mahler’s 8th under Riccardo Chailly in Lucerne, as well as Beethoven’s 9th with Marek Janowski and the Rundfunksinfonieorchester at Berlin’s Konzerthaus.


State Opera Chorus Dresden

Had it not been for Carl Maria von Weber, Dresden’s opera chorus would not have been founded, or at least not on October 8, 1817. It was Weber who obtained royal approval for this initiative; after all, it was his artistic mission (and personal ambition) to establish a German opera company alongside the tradition-steeped Italian opera. Besides suggesting other reforms for the staging of opera, he argued that it was now essential to have a regular choir. The choir started to participate in the traditional Palm Sunday concerts as early as 1827. Major landmarks in its history include the performances in 1846, 1847 and 1849 of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under the later Kapellmeister Richard Wagner, who was forced to flee Dresden shortly after the last-mentioned performance.

Currently comprising 89 singers, the Dresden State Opera Chorus has now become one of Europe’s finest opera choruses and has been acclaimed as such in virtually every premiere review in recent years. This preservation of tradition, coupled with a growing awareness of quality, is indebted to such artists as Joseph Metzner, Wilhelm Fischer, Karl Maria Pembaur, Ernst Hintze, Gerhart Wüstner, Franz Peter Müller-Sybel, Hans-Dieter Pflüger, Matthias Brauer and Pablo Assante, who have led the choir through difficult times to the present day. The Dresden State Opera Chorus is currently directed by Jörn Hinnerk Andresen, who since assuming his post in 2014 has maintained and developed such qualities as tonal coherence, refinement and reliably consistent precision.

The State Opera Chorus of today has to a significant degree been shaped by its collaboration with the conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli, who died far too early and dedicated much time and effort to developing the choir’s artistic potential. Nowadays, the choir frequently demonstrates its qualities in operatic productions and concert performances. Radio, television and CD recordings bear further testimony to the immense prowess on account of which the State Opera Chorus is much sought after in many places besides Dresden: the choir receives invitations to perform at festivals, on tours and in concerts and has since 2013 worked together with the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Salzburg Easter Festival, which has been directed by Christian Thielemann ever since. October 8, 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the founding of the Dresden State Opera Chorus.