Advent Concert of ZDF

Marie Jacquot Conductor
Diana Damrau Soprano
Piotr Beczala tenor

Pre-Christmas festive music

It is the traditional start to yuletide for classi­cal music lovers throughout Germany: on the eve of Advent Sunday, Dresden’s Frauenkirche offers a magnificent festive backdrop for a programme featuring international soloists and the Staatskapelle. This year, the evening will be directed for the first time by French musician Marie Jacquot, the designated Chief Conductor at Copenagen’s Royal Danish Thea­tre from 2024. This up-and-coming maestra is a virtuoso in more than one field: after all, the current First Kapellmeister of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein previously stood on the world’s centre courts as an acclaimed tennis talent before later deciding to study music.

An event held by the ZDF in cooperation with the Stiftung Frauenkirche Dresden, sponsored by the Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe.

Broadcasting date: December 11, 2022, 5.55 pm at ZDF
  • 26.11.2022
    18:00 Uhr
    Frauenkirche Dresden

Marie Jacquot

Since autumn 2019, she has been First Kapellmeister at Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf / Duisburg, where she conducts among others »Samson et Dalila«, »Roméo et Juliette«, »La Traviata« and »La Clemenza di Tito« as well as concerts of both the Düsseldorf Symphony and Duisburg Philharmonic Orchestra. In the season 2021/22 she will conduct new productions of »Orphée aux enfers« and »The Nutcracker«.

Marie Jacquot’s enthusiastically received debuts of the past seasons include Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Staatsoper Stuttgart (Cherubini’s »Medea«), MDR-Musiksommer, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre du Luxembourg, Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Munich Radio Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker and the orchestra of the Opéra national de Lorraine. She was invited by the Bayerische Staatsoper to conduct two world premieres (»Tonguecat«, »Die Vorübergehenden«) as part of the Munich Opera Festival after assisting GMD Kirill Petrenko in the world premiere of »South Pole«.
In the season 2021/22 she makes her debut with the Dresden Philharmonic and Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, at the

Royal Danish Opera in Copenhagen (»Faust«) and at the Semperoper Dresden (»Carmen«, »Der goldene Drache«). Furthermore, she returns to Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker as well as Staatsoper Stuttgart (»Don Giovanni«).

From 2016 to 2019, Marie Jacquot was First Kapellmeisterin and deputy GMD at Mainfranken Theater Würzburg. Here, she conducted the new productions of »Nabucco«, »Die Csardasfürstin«, »King Arthur«, »Il barbiere di Siviglia« and »Hänsel und Gretel«, as well as the revival of »Idomeneo«.
After studies of the trombone in Paris, Marie Jacquot studied conducting in Vienna and Weimar (Nicolas Pasquet) and in several master classes. Scholarships from SYLFF of Tokyo Foundation, Aspen Music Festival and the New Liszt Trust Weimar followed, since 2016, she has been a scholar of Dirigentenforum / Deutscher Musikrat (Second funding stage from 2019 onwards). She received the »Ernst-von-Schuch-Preis« in 2019 and was nominated as »Newcomer of the year« by the International Opera Awards in February 2020.

Diana Damrau

Soprano Diana Damrau has been performing on the world’s leading opera and concert stages for two decades. Her vast repertoire spans both lyric soprano and coloratura roles including the title roles in »Lucia di Lammermoor« (La Scala, Bavarian State Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House), »Manon« (Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera) and »La Traviata« (La Scala, Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera House, Opéra national de Paris and Bavarian State Opera) as well as Königin der Nacht in »Die Zauberflöte« (Metropolitan Opera, Salzburg Festival, Vienna State Opera, Royal Opera House).

Since her house debut as Zerbinetta in 2005, Diana Damrau has made seven major role debuts at the Metropolitan Opera and has appeared several times in live HD cinema broadcasts worldwide. Highlights included new productions of »Rigoletto« (Gilda), »Il barbiere di Siviglia« (Rosina), »Le comte Ory« (Adèle) and »Les pêcheurs des perles« (Leïla). Other engagements included the title roles in »La Sonnambula«, »La Fille du Régiment«, and »Roméo et Juliette«.

She was the first singer in Metropolitan Opera history to sing both Pamina and the Queen of the Night in different performances of the same

series of »Die Zauberflöte«.

The soprano can be seen on the opera stage time and again with contemporary repertoire. The title role in Iain Bell’s adaptation of Hogarth’s »A Harlot’s Progress« (Theater an der Wien 2013) and the two roles of Drunken Woman and Gym Instructress in Lorin Maazel’s opera »1984« (Royal Opera House 2005) were composed especially for her.

Diana Damrau is also one of the most important song interpreters of our time. She has a close artistic partnership with pianist Helmut Deutsch and harpist Xavier de Maistre.  

 As a Warner Classics/Erato exclusive artist, Diana Damrau made her debut album with Arie di Bravura, a collection of Mozart and Salieri arias. Further solo albums followed, receiving various awards, including the ECHO and the OPUS Klassik. Diana Damrau’s work is documented on various opera complete recordings and DVDs.

Diana Damrau is Kammersängerin of the Bavarian State Opera (2007), she was awarded the Bavarian Maximilian-Orden for Art and Science (2010) and the German Cross of Merit for Cultural and Social Merit (2021) – the hightest civil honour of the German Republic.

Piotr Beczala

Piotr Beczala is one of the most sought after tenors of our time and a constant guest in the world’s leading opera houses. The Polish-born artist is acclaimed not only for the beauty of his voice, but also for his ardent commitment to each character he portrays. He was born in Czechowice-Dziedzice in Southern Poland and received his initial vocal training at the Katowice Academy of Music, where he was given instruction by such illustrious singers as Pavel Lisitsian and Sena Jurinac.

Since his debut as Duca in »Rigoletto« in 2006, Piotr Beczala is a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera New York. In 2011 he accompanied the MET on a tour to Japan.  In the 2015/16 season he was making his highly acclaimed debut in the title role of Wagner´s »Lohengrin« at the Semperoper Dresden.

Piotr Beczala also regularly sings at the State Operas in Munich and in Vienna. On the stage of the National Theatre in Munich, he interpreted the Italian Singer in »Der Rosenkavalier«, and the title role of Massenet’s »Werther«, amongst others. During the Munich Opera Festival, Piotr Beczala was heard as Alfredo in »La Traviata«. In Vienna he performed Roméo in Jürgen Flimm’s production of »Roméo et Juliette«, under the baton of Plácido Domingo. Piotr Beczala sang guest performances at the Nederlandse Opera, Théâtre de la Monnaie/de Munt, Staatsoper Hamburg, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Berlin,

Grand Théâtre de Genève, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatr Wielki (Warsaw), and the Mariinsky Theatre, amongst many others.

Since his debut as Tamino in 1997, Piotr Beczala is a regular guest at the Salzburg Festival. In 2013 he was heard in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wiener Philharmoniker and Riccardo Muti conducting.

In addition to his opera career, he has sung many of the great choral and orchestral vocal works with the world’s most distinguished orchestras and maestri. In 2011 and 2012 he performed in the New Year’s Eve concerts at the Semperoper Dresden under the baton of Christian Thielemann. Further concert appearances have taken him to Baden-Baden, Amsterdam, Madrid, Budapest, Vienna, Milan and Oman.

Piotr Beczala has released two solo albums for Deutsche Grammophon, »My Heart’s Delight« in 2013 and »The French Collection« in 2015. In 2012, he sang the New Year’s Eve concerts at the Semperoper in Dresden, which were directed by Christian Thielemann and released on CD and DVD by Deutsche Grammophon. A DVD of his stunning debut in the title role of »Lohengrin«  released internationally in 2017. His first solo album on Pentatone featuring versimo arias »Vincerò!« was released in May 2020.

In 2014 Piotr Beczala was awarded at the ECHO Klassik Award as »Singer of the Year« and in 2019 he was honoured as Kammersänger of the Vienna State Opera.