New Year's Eve Concert of the Staatskapelle Dresden

Christian Thielemann Conductor
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller Soprano
Christa Mayer Alto
Klaus Florian Vogt Tenor
Georg Zeppenfeld Bass
State Opera Chorus Dresden

Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Symphony No. 9 in d minor, Opus 125

»Joy!«

The custom of celebrating the turn of the year with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth goes back to Arthur Nikisch: on New Year’s Eve 1918, he conducted the symphony at a »celebration of peace« in front of thousands of workers, who heard the joyful theme of the final movement ring out at midnight. In this way, he helped give birth to a tradition that quickly became popular all around the world. Nevertheless, it is worth trying to listen to this most radical symphonic work in music history as if you were experiencing it for the first time: then you can truly feel the existential impact of the premiere, when the audience were dumb­founded by the use of the human voice in the finale and the completely unprepared har­monic twists and turns.

Broadcasting date: December 29, 2022, from 10.15 pm at ZDF
  • 29.12.2022
    19:00 Uhr
    Semperoper
    Tickets
    Ticket price:
    120.00 – 250.00 €
  • 30.12.2022
    19:00 Uhr
    Semperoper
    Tickets
    Ticket price:
    120.00 – 250.00 €
  • 31.12.2022
    17:00 Uhr
    Semperoper
    Tickets
    Ticket price:
    120.00 – 310.00 €

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 of the Semperoper Trust in October 2016 and an honorary award of the state of Salzburg in April 2022. 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 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 German magazine »Opernwelt« as ›Young Artist of the Year‹. From 2012 to 2017, she was a member of the Bavarian State Opera. At the 2017 Opera Festival, she bid farewell to the ensemble with her celebrated Sophie in Strauss' »Rosenkavalier«, but has maintained close bonds with the house as a guest ever since. She joined the Bavarian State Orchestra on tours to Japan (Pamina), Carnegie Hall New York (Sophie, »Rosenkavalier«) and the Paris Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.

Since then, one house debut followed the other: In 2017 she sang Marzelline in Jürgen Flimm’s »Fidelio« for the first time at the MET in New York. Shortly after, 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 has since performed in the same role at the Bavarian State Opera and at the Vienna State Opera. This was followed in 2018 by her debut at the Opera Zurich as Ilia in Mozart’s »Idomeneo«. In early 2020, she returned to the MET in New York, this

time as Susanna in Mozart's »Le nozze di Figaro«. In July 2021, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller closed the season at the Bavarian State Opera with her role debut as Elettra in Mozart´s »Idomeneo« under Constantinos Carydis.

The versatile singer also is a regular guest on the concert stage. This season, her schedule includes concerts with Orchestre de Paris (Mahler´s 2nd Symphony) with Semyon Bychkov and, at Semperoper Dresden under Christian Thielemann, Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Highlights from earlier years include Berg's »Seven Early Songs« with the Berlin Philharmonic under Paavo Järvi or Schumann's »Faustszenen« at Daniel Harding’s inaugural concert at the Orchestre de Paris, not to forget her spectacular last-minute appearance at the opening concerts of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg in 2017.

With her long-term piano partner Juliane Ruf, she made her recital debut at La Scala in Milan and at Wigmore Hall London in 2018. They had already appeared at major recital venues before, including Heidelberger Frühling, Festival RheinVokal, Philharmonie Cologne, Schubertiada Vilabertran, Teatro de la Zarzuela Madrid and deSingel Antwerp. In summer 2017, Hanna-Elisabeth Müller released her first solo album »Traumgekrönt« with songs by Strauss, Berg and Schönberg. In February 2020, her new exclusive label Pentatone released her debut album »Reine de Coeur«, presenting works by Schumann, Zemlinsky and Poulenc.

Christa Mayer

Christa Mayer studied at the University of Music and Theatre in Munich. She attended the class of Lied interpretation with Helmut Deutsch and the opera course, taking part in performances at the Prinzregententheater Munich, and graduated with 1st class honours.

She was a prize winner in several competitions, such as the ARD International Music Competition 2000. Moreover, she has been awarded the Richard-Strauss-Medal – the Young Talent Prize of the Richard Strauss Society – and the Bavarian State’s Prize for Young Artists.

In 2001/2002 season Christa Mayer joined the ensemble of the Saxon State Opera in Dresden, where she has been performing Erda in »Das Rheingold« and »Siegfried«, Fenena in »Nabucco«Suzuki in »Madama Butterfly« with Fabio Luisi, Quickly in Verdi’s »Falstaff« with Daniele Gatti, Baba in »The Rake’s progress«, Adelaide in »Arabella« with Peter Schneider.

She was engaged at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and at the Bavarian Staatsoper Munich as well as at the Teatro di Maggio musicale Florence and the Teatro La Fenice Venice.

In 2006 she performed (»Rheingold«) in the »Ring«-Cycle at the Semperoper Dresden under the baton of Fabio Luisi, and she debuted as Waltraute in »Götterdämmerung«. In 2007 she took part in the »Ring«-Cycle in Valencia and Florence (M° Zubin Mehta) as Erda Rheingold«).

Christa Mayer is even an internationally acclaimed concert singer: Bach »Weihnachtsoratorium«  – Helmuth Rilling, »Mozart-Requiem« – Barcelona Palau de la Musica, Beethoven »Missa C-Dur« – Lissabon Teatro San Carlo; Beethoven »9th Symphony« – Bamberger Symphoniker,

Bach »h-moll-Messe« – Kreuzkirche, Dresden; Händel- »Messiah« – Konzerthaus Berlin and Mahler-»Kindertotenlieder«, September Musical Montreux. Glanert »Requiem for Bosch« with BBC London, »Gurrelieder« with Thielemann in Dresden.

Following her CD Recital Debut with songs of Hermann Zilcher at Orfeo International, the artist performed at the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, the Bad Kissingen Summer Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.

In Summer 2008 Christa Mayer made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival – as Erda and Waltraute, followed by the re-invitation for 2009 and 2010, even as Mary in »Der fliegende Holländer«. Her interpretation of Brigitta in »Die tote Stadt« at the Venice Fenice turned out to be a much acclaimed success.

In Dresden she sang Cornelia in Handel’s »Giulio Cesare«, Gaea in Dresden’s new production »Daphne«, Didon in »Les Troyens« and Erda/Waltraute in »Ring«. As Cornelia she was even invited to Düsseldorf, at the Hamburg State Opera she sang Quickly (»Falstaff«) and Erda.

Her Brangäne in »Tristan«, new production, at the Bayreuth Festival received high international acclaim. The New National Theatre Tokyo invited Christa Mayer as Erda (»Rheingold«/»Siegfried«). In Salzburg Christa Mayer sang Emilia (»Otello«), the mezzo part in »Missa solemnis« and Fricka (»Walküre«) under Christian Thielemann.

The Saxon State Opera of Dresden honoured Christa Mayer for her artistic achievements and awarded her the prestigious title of »Kammersängerin«. The Bavarian State awarded Christa Mayer the »Bayerischer Kulturpreis«.

Klaus Florian Vogt

Born in Holstein, in the North of Germany, Klaus Florian Vogt studied horn and played for several years with the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg. Later he studied at the Conservatory in Lübeck and gave up his position as a horn player in the orchestra to become a tenor. He made his debut in Flensburg and then became a member of the company at the Opera in Dresden. Since 2003 he has been a freelance artist.

Klaus Florian Vogt’s Lohengrin takes him to the most important stages all over the world. The tenor has established his reputation also as a concert singer and a fine interpreter of Lied. His international recital career took him many times to Vienna, New York, London, Athens, Berlin, Leipzig as well as the Tanglewood Festival, the Grafenegg Festival the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and the Salzburg Festival.

In 2007 Klaus Florian Vogt gave a triumphal debut as Walther von Stolzing at the Bayreuth Festival in a new staging by Katharina Wagner of »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg«. From 2011 to 2015 he achieved further notable success as Lohengrin in the staging by Hans Neuenfels. In 2016 the audience saw him in the titel role of a new production of »Parsifal« under the baton of Hartmut Haenchen. In 2017 and 2018 he performed Stolzing in an other new Bayreuth production of »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg«, directed by Barrie Kosky and conducted by Philippe Jordan, in 2019 he returend to the festival for the revival of the production and for the title role in »Lohengrin« in the production from 2018. 

His concert repertoire covers works by Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, Verdi, Flotow und Wagner. He achieved great success in 2019 with the premiere of a chamber music version of Franz Schubert's »Die schöne Müllerin« at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. He regularly appears with renowned orchestras such as the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and works with famous conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Andris Nelsons, Mariss Jansons, Simone Young, Antonio Pappano and Kent Nagano.

Klaus Florian Vogt has a comprehensive discography. Three solo CDs have been published at SONY Classical: »Heroes« (2012, Orchestra Deutsche Oper Berlin, Peter Schneider), »Wagner« (2013, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Jonathan Nott) and »Favorites« (2014, Munich Radio Orchestra, Gerrit Prießnitz). In addition, the tenor has presented a recording of Korngold’s »Die tote Stadt« (Frankfurt Opera, Sebastian Weigle), a CD and DVD with hits from Berlin to Broadway co-starring Renée Flemming under the musical direction of Christian Thielemann as well as a complete recording of »Lohengrin« with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin under Marek Janowski. In 2017 followed another complete recording of »Lohengrin« with the Concertgebouw Orkest Amsterdam and Sir Mark Elder and a DVD of the »Parsifal« production from the Bayreuth Festival 2016. In 2018 the Bayreuth production »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg« directed by Barrie Kosky has been released on DVD and has been awarded an OPUS Klassik 2019. In 2012 Klaus Florian Vogt has been awarded the ECHO Klassik as »artist of the year«. In 2019 the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg honours Klaus Florian Vogt with the title »Hamburger Kammersänger«.

Georg Zeppenfeld

Bass

Bass Georg Zeppenfeld, born in Westphalia, studied singing at the Cologne University of Music. Engagements have taken him to the great opera houses of Munich, Berlin, Hamburg, Vienna, Milan, Paris, Barcelona, Lyon, Antwerp, the Bayreuth Festival, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera New York and San Francisco. In 2002 he made his first guest appearance at the Salzburg Festival, where he sang Sarastro (»The Magic Flute«) under Nikolaus Harnoncourt in 2012, and King Karl in Schubert's »Fierrabras« in 2014. From 2001 to 2005 Georg Zeppenfeld was an ensemble member of the Semperoper Dresden. Here he appeared in roles such as Figaro and Bartolo (»Le nozze di Figaro«), King Filippo II. (»Don Carlo«), Zaccaria (»Nabucco«), Banco (»Macbeth«), Eremit and Kaspar (»Der Freischütz«), König (»Aida«), Sarastro (»The Magic Flute«), Colline (»La bohème«), Alidoro (»La cenerentola«), Fasolt (»Das Rheingold«), Landgrave Hermann (»Tannhäuser«), King Marke (»Tristan and Isolde«), Gharib (»L'Upupa and the Triumph of Son Love«), Aquarius (»Rusalka«), Peneios (»Daphne«), Seneca (»L'incoronazione di Poppea«), Sparafucile (»Rigoletto«), Henry the Bird (»Lohengrin«) and Rocco (»Fidelio«). In 2013 he made his debut as Daland in the new production of »The Flying Dutchman« alongside »Orlando«. In the 2013/14 season he sang the role of Don Alfonso in Andreas Kriegenburg's new production of »Così fan tutte«. Under Cornelius Meister, Georg Zeppenfeld was a guest at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London in 2015 as Sarastro. In 2016 he sang the part of Lodovico in »Otello« at the Salzburg Easter Festival, and in 2017 he will appear there as Hunding in »Die Walküre«.

At the Bayreuth Festival, Georg Zeppenfeld has been a welcome guest since 2010: in the summer of 2017, he sang the part of Hunding in »Die Walküre« and Gurnemanz in »Parsifal« in Bayreuth. In the 2015/16 season Georg Zeppenfeld made his role debut in Dresden as Baculus in the new production of »Der Wildschütz« and also sang the roles of Hunding (»Die Walküre«), Heinrich der Vogler (»Lohengrin«), Sarastro (»Die Zauberflöte«) and Kaspar (»Der Freischütz«). In 2017/18 he could be seen as Raimondo Bidebent in »Lucia di Lammermoor« as well as Fasolt in »Das Rheingold«, Hunding in »Die Walküre« and Fafner in »Siegfried«. In 2018/19 Georg Zeppenfeld interpreted for the first time in Dresden, among others, Arkel in »Pelléas et Mélisande« and Landgrave Hermann in »Tannhäuser«. He is, among others, the winner of the Christel Goltz Prize of the Semperoper Foundation. In October 2015 Georg Zeppenfeld was awarded the honorary title of Kammersänger.

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.