New Year's Eve Concert of the Staatskapelle Dresden

Christian Thielemann Conductor
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller Soprano
Saimir Pirgu Tenor
Igor Levit Piano

Dazzling New Year’s Eve Gala

Once again, German broadcaster ZDF invites you to see off the old year with a variety of songs, hits and operetta classics from Berlin to Broadway. In the glittering Semperoper, guests at the Staatskapelle’s popular New Year’s Eve concerts can look forward to upbeat melodies from the »Golden Twenties«. Christian Thielemann will conduct musical excerpts from »Metropolis« as well as familiar hit songs from the heyday of German cinema as silent movies gave way to the talkies. The programme spotlights Berlin, which became the glamorous centre of a new form of operetta, and New York, with its Broadway musicals and the music of George Gershwin.

Ticket sale starts mid-October

  • 30.12.2021
    19:00 Uhr
    Semperoper
  • 31.12.2021
    17:15 Uhr
    Semperoper

Christian Thielemann

Principal Conductor

Since the 2012/2013 season Christian Thielemann has been Principal Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden. Following engagements at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, in Gelsenkirchen, Karlsruhe, Hanover and Dusseldorf, in 1988 he moved to Nuremberg to occupy the post of Generalmusikdirektor. In 1997 he returned to his hometown of Berlin to direct the Deutsche Oper until 2004, when he became Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic, a post he held until 2011. In addition to his current position in Dresden, Thielemann has been Artistic Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival since 2013, where the Staatskapelle is resident orchestra.

In previous seasons Christian Thielemann has contributed greatly to the birthday celebrations for Wagner, Strauss and Beethoven. At the same time he has explored a wide range of music from Bach to Henze, Rihm and Gubaidulina in Dresden and on tour. In the Semperoper he recently conducted new productions of »Ariadne auf Naxos« and »Capriccio« while for the Salzburg Easter Festival he interpreted »Die Walküre«, »Tosca« and »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg«.

Christian Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic, whose New Year’s Concert he conducted in 2019. Following his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2000, he has

returned every year to thrill audiences with benchmark interpretations. After serving five years as the festival’s Musical Advisor, in June 2015 he became its Music Director. In addition, he has been invited to conduct the leading orchestras of Europe, the United States, Israel and Asia.

As a UNITEL exclusive artist, Christian Thielemann has a comprehensive catalogue of recordings. His most recent projects with the Staatskapelle have been to record the symphonies of Anton Bruckner and Robert Schumann, Arnold Schoenberg’s »Gurre-Lieder« as well as numerous operas. Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London, honorary professor at Dresden’s Carl Maria von Weber College of Music and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In 2003 he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In May 2015 he received the Richard Wagner Prize from the Richard Wagner Society of the city of Leipzig, followed by the Prize from the Semperoper Trust in October 2016. He is patron of the Richard-Wagner-Stätten in Graupa. His recordings have been showered with awards.

Hanna-Elisabeth Müller

Hanna-Elisabeth Müller studied with Rudolf Piernay with whom she still closely collaborates. The multi award winning soprano later fine-tuned her skills in masterclasses with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Julia Varady, Elly Ameling and Thomas Hampson.

In March 2017 she made her debut at the MET in New York as Marzelline in Jürgen Flimm’s Fidelio. In May, she made both a role and house debut at the Scala in Milan as Donna Anna in Robert Carson’s production of Don Giovanni. She returned to the MET, as Pamina, in December 2017, followed by her debut at the Opera Zurich as Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo.

In 2014, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller achieved her international breakthrough at the Salzburg Opera Festival with her sensational debut as Zdenka alongside Renée Fleming and Thomas Hampson under the baton of Christian Thielemann and, shortly afterwards, was distinguished by the German magazine »Opernwelt« as Young Artist of the Year. She later resumed the role at the Semperoper Dresden and at the Munich Opera Festival. In Amsterdam, she made her house and role debut as Sophie in a new production of Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier in 2015.

From 2012 to 2016, she was a member of the Bavarian State Opera, where she appeared as Pamina, Zerlina, Susanna, Servilia, Gretel, Zdenka, the Infanta Donna Clara in Zemlinsky’s The Dwarf, Sophie in Massenet’s Werther and Marzelline, amongst others. She made her farewells to the ensemble as much-acclaimed Sophie in Strauss’ Rosenkavalier during the Munich Opera Festival, but remains associated to the house as a guest. In the 2017-2018 season, she accompanied the Bavarian State Orchestra on tours to Japan (Pamina) and the Carnegie Hall New York (Sophie, Rosenkavalier). She returned to Munich as Zdenka in summer 2018.

The versatile singer is a regular guest on the concert stage. Hanna-Elisabeth Müller celebrated the arrival of 2017 in spectacular style, stepping in at the opening concerts of Elbphilharmonie Hamburg with Beethoven’s 9th symphony.
In 2016-2017, she also appeared at the Philharmonie de Paris, Philharmonie Essen, Philharmonie Cologne (with WDR Symphony Orchestra), and the Tonhalle in Düsseldorf.

In the 2017-2018, she performed Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Yannick Nézét-Seguin and Berg’s Sieben frühe Lieder with the Bilbao Orkestra under Erik Nielsen.

With her permanent piano partner Juliane Ruf, she regularly appears at major recital venues such as Heidelberger Frühling, Philharmonie Cologne, deSingel Antwerp and at the Festival RheinVokal.

 

Saimir Pirgu

Saimir Pirgu zählt zu den gefragtesten Stars der internationalen Opernlandschaft und feiert regelmäßig Erfolge an allen großen Opernbühnen wie der Metropolitan Opera New York, der Wiener Staatsoper, der Mailänder Scala, dem Royal Opera House Covent Garden, der Pariser Oper, dem Bolschoi-Theater von Moskau, der Berliner Staatsoper und Deutschen Oper, dem Opernhaus Zürich, dem Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, der San Francisco Opera und der Arena di Verona. Pirgu studierte bei Vito Maria Brunetti am Konservatorium von Bozen und perfektionierte seine Technik mit Luciano Pavarotti. Mit 22 Jahren wurde er von Claudio Abbado ausgewählt, unter seiner musikalischen Leitung als Ferrando in Così fan tutte in Ferrara zu debütieren. In dieser Partie gab der Künstler 2004 als jüngster Sänger in einer Hauptrolle sein Debüt bei den Salzburger Festspielen dirigiert von Philippe Jordan. Erfolge der letzten Jahre umfassen unter anderem Rigoletto am Royal Opera House Covent Garden, an der Wiener Staatsoper und am Opernhaus Zürich, La traviata an der Metropolitan Opera New York, dem Royal Opera House Covent Garden, der Berliner Staatsoper und Deutschen Oper, Riccardo in Un ballo in maschera in Tel Aviv dirigiert von Zubin Mehta und am Teatro Regio in Parma, L’elisir d’amore an der Wiener Staatsoper und an der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Die Zauberflöte an der Mailänder Scala, La clemenza di Tito an der Opéra National de Paris, La bohème und Roméo et Juliette am Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Madama Butterfly am Opernhaus Zürich, Werther am New National Theatre in Tokyo, La damnation de Faust am Bolschoi-Theater in Moskau und im Wiener Konzerthaus, Lucia di Lammermoor, Simon Boccanegra und Madama Butterfly am Teatro San Carlo in Neapel Rigoletto und Don Giovanni an der Arena di Verona, Shepherd in Krol Roger am Royal Opera House Covent Garden und am Opernhaus von Sydney, Verdis Messa da Requiem bei den Salzburger Festspielen, im Wiener Musikverein, mit dem Bayerischen Rundfunk, im Concertgebouw Amsterdam, im Palau de la Musica Barcelona und im Palau de les Arts Valencia.

Der Tenor hat mit vielen der wichtigsten Dirigenten wie etwa Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Mariss Jansons, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Seiji Ozawa, John Eliot Gardiner, James Conlon, Antonio Pappano, Daniele Gatti, Gianandrea Noseda und Tugan Sokhiev gearbeitet. Unter den Regisseuren, mit denen Saimir Pirgu gearbeitet hat finden sich große Namen wie Franco Zeffirelli, Woody Allen, Peter Stein, Graham Vick, Willy Decker, Deborah Warner, Luca Ronconi, Kasper Holten, David McVicar, Ferzan Ozpetek, Mario Martone, Michael Haneke und Robert Carsen. Im Jahr 2013 wurde ihm die renommierte Auszeichnung »Pavarotti d'Oro« verliehen.

Igor Levit

Piano

Born in Nizhni Novgorod, Igor Levit moved to Germany with his family at the age of eight. He completed his piano studies in Hannover with the highest score in the history of the institute. His teachers included Karl-Heinz Kämmerling, Matti Raekallio, Bernd Goetzke, Lajos Rovatkay and Hans Leygraf. Igor Levit was the youngest participant in the 2005 International Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Tel Aviv, where he won silver, the special prize for chamber music, the audience prize and the special prize for the best performance of contemporary pieces. In spring 2019 he was appointed professor for piano at his alma mater, the University of Music, Theatre and Media Hanover. Igor Levit is the Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Academy and of the Festival »Standpunkte« at the Heidelberg Spring Festival. For his political commitment Igor Levit has been awarded the 5th International Beethoven Prize in 2019 followed by the award of the “Statue B” of the International Auschwitz Committee in January 2020. In October 2020 Igor Levit was recognized with the Oder of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. In Berlin, where he makes his home, Igor Levit is playing on a Steinway D Grand Piano kindly given to him by the Trustees of Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells. With an alert and critical mind, he places his art in the context of social events and understands it as inseparably linked to them. The New York Times describes Igor Levit as one of the »most important artists of his generation«. Igor Levit is Musical America’s »Recording Artist of the Year 2020« and the 2018 Gilmore Artist. In November 2020 he was nominated for a Grammy in the category »Best Classical Instrumental Solo«.

As a recitalist Igor Levit regularly performs at the world’s most renowned concert halls and festivals. He is regular soloist with the world’s leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic. Performing with the Vienna Philharmonic at their iconic Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn in June 2021, Igor Levit’s upcoming schedule includes concerts in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and Tokyo. In spring 2021 Igor Levit and the Lucerne Festival announced a multi-year collaboration for a new piano festival curated by Igor Levit starting in 2023. An exclusive recording artist for Sony Classical, Igor Levit’s 2019 highly-acclaimed first recording of the 32 Beethoven-Sonatas was awarded the Gramophone »Artist of the Year« Award as well as the Opus Klassik in autumn 2020. His next album »Encounter« followed in September 2020. Recorded during the lockdown in spring 2020 it is a deeply personal album marked by a desire for human encounter and togetherness. The program includes rarely played arrangements of Bach and Brahms by Ferruccio Busoni and Max Reger, as well as Palais de Mari – Morton Feldman’s final work for piano. Igor Levit’s next release is a double album featuring Shostakovich’s 24 Preludes and Fugues Op. 87 and Ronald Stevenson’s Passacaglia on DSCH. The artwork has been specially created for this album by the internationally renowned artist and graphic designer Christoph Niemann, who regularly illustrates for the New Yorker and The New York Times.