Symphony Concert N° 8

Christian Thielemann Conductor
Stephen Gould Waldemar
Camilla Nylund Tove
Christa Mayer Waldtaube
Markus Marquardt Bauer
Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke Klaus-Narr
Franz Grundheber Sprecher
State Opera Chorus Dresden
Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

Arnold Schönberg

  • »Gurre-Lieder« für Soli, Chor und Orchester

»Behold the sun!«

Between 1900 and 1911 Arnold Schoenberg worked on his late-Romantic »Gurre-Lieder«, afterwards describing this composition as »the key to my entire development«. The roots of the story of King Waldemar and his beloved Tove, who is ultimately murdered by the jealous Queen, can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Schoenberg drew on Jens Peter Jacobsen’s version of the Danish saga to create a monumental work that brilliantly opens up previously unimagined vocal and instrumental vistas.

  • 08.03.2020
    11:00 Uhr
  • 09.03.2020
    20:00 Uhr
  • 10.03.2020
    20:00 Uhr

Christian Thielemann

Principal Conductor

S Since 2012/13 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 occupied 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 and Strauss. 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 »Der Freischütz« and »Ariadne auf Naxos« while for the Salzburg Easter Festival he interpreted »Die Walküre« and »Tosca«.

Christian Thielemann maintains close ties to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, 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 Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner as well as numerous operas.

Christian Thielemann is an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music in London and holds honorary doctorates from the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar and the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. In May 2015 he was awarded the Richard Wagner Prize by the Richard Wagner Society of the city of Leipzig, followed by the Prize of the Semperoper Trust in October 2016. He is patron of the Richard-Wagner-Stätten in Graupa as well as the 49th International youth competition »jugend creativ« of the Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken. In 2019 he was awarded honorary membership of the Gustav Mahler Society in Hamburg. His recordings have been showered with awards.

Stephen Gould

Stephen Gould has sung in most of the great opera houses worldwide, from Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Paris, Rome and London, to New Yorks' Metropolitan opera, the New National Theater in Tokyo, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. He has also sung at the prestigious Salzburg Summer Festival, the Spring Festival Tokyo Opera Nomori, as well as a long-standing collaboration with the annual Bayreuth Festival. In May of 2015 at the Wiener Staatsoper, Stephen Gould was honored with the title of »Österreichischer Kammersänger«. In addition to his operatic work, he maintains a robust concert repertoire.

 Born in the United States of America, he trained at the New England Conservatory of Music and two years with the Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Artists. Stephen spent the first decade of his career in the United States, performing in concert, opera, and especially, touring in musical theater. During this period, he continued his studies with former Metropolitan Opera baritone John Fiorito, making the vocal transition to heldentenor.

Critical praise greeted his European debut as Florestan in »Fidelio«. Stephen soon received offers to sing at the prestigious Maggio Musicale in Florence under maestro Zubin Mehta. An important milestone in his career came with his debut as Tannhäuser under maestro Christian Thielemann at the 2004 Bayreuth Festival. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2011, also under maestro Thielemann.

Stephen Gould performs with conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Ivor Bolton, Pierre Boulez, Jesus Lopes Cobos, James Conlon, Myung-Whun Chung, Gabriele Ferro, Asher Fisch, Adam Fischer, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Hartmut Haenchen, Daniel Harding, Marek Janowski, Philippe Jordan, Daniel Lipton, Fabio Luisi, Zubin Mehta, Ingo Metzmacher, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Andris Nelsons, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Simon Rattle, Donald Runnicles, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Ulf Schirmer, Peter Schneider, Jeffrey Tate, Massimo Zanetti, and David Zinman.





Camilla Nylund

Camilla Nylund, born in Vaasa (Finland), first studied with Eva Illes, later in the opera and song class at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In December 1995 the International Mozarteum Foundation awarded her the Lilli Lehmann Medal for her outstanding achievements.

After a permanent engagement in Hanover, Camilla Nylund belonged to the ensemble of the Semperoper Dresden during the seasons 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. In addition to her Dresden engagements, she became more and more a sought-after guest at the most important opera houses. She has sung in Venice, Hamburg, Zurich, Salzburg, Cologne and Vienna.

This was followed by Camilla Nylund's debut at the Vienna State Opera, the Scala in Milan and in Chicago, under Sir Simon Rattle at the Berlin Philharmonie, with Henze's »Floss der Medusa«, at the New National Theatre Tokyo, her debut at the Salzburg Festival and at the Bastille in Paris, Berlin and Valencia under

Zubin Mehta. In summer 2011 Camilla Nylund made her debut at the Bayreuth Festival, followed by invitations for this role at the 2013 and 2014 Festivals. In 2013 she made her highly acclaimed role debut as Sieglinde in »Die Walküre« at the Wiener Staatsoper – she also interpreted this role later at the Bayreuth Festival in 2017.

Recent engagements include last year's debut in »Der Rosenkavalier« at the Metropolitan Opera New York, as Kaiserin in »Die Frau ohne Schatten« at Wiener Staatsoper under the baton of Christian Thielemann and as Eva in »Die Meistersinger« at Salzburg Easter Festival and in Dresden.

Camilla Nylund also sings regularly on important concert stages with leading conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle, Marek Janowski, Fabio Luisi, Ingo Metzmacher and Yakov Kreizberg.

Christa Mayer

Christa Mayer was born in Sulzbach-Rosenberg and studied singing at the Bayerische Singakademie and the Musikhochschule München. The ARD prizewinner has been a member of the Semperoper Dresden ensemble since 2001. Here she sings roles such as Ottavia (»L'incoronazione di Poppea«), Orlando (»Orlando«), Cornelia (»Giulio Cesare«), Fenena (»Nabucco«), Mrs. Quickly (»Falstaff«), Suzuki (»Madama Butterfly«), Erda, Fricka and Waltraute (»Der Ring des Nibelungen«), Brangäne (»Tristan und Isolde«), Gaea (»Daphne«), Gräfin Geschwitz (»Lulu«) and Auntie (»Peter Grimes«). In 2005 Christa Mayer was awarded the Christel Goltz Prize of the Foundation for the Promotion of the Semper Opera.

Guest performances led the artist to the opera houses in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Venice, Florence, Barcelona, Bilbao and Seville, to the Rheingau Music Festival and to the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival as well as to the Lucerne Festival. In 2007 Christa Mayer performed in La Fura dels Baus's »Ring«-production in Valencia under the baton of Zubin Mehta. In 2008 she made her debut as Erda and Waltraute at the Bayreuth Festival under the direction of Christian Thielemann and has been a regular guest in Bayreuth ever since. In the summer of 2018 she sang

Brangäne in »Tristan und Isolde« and Mary in »Der fliegende Holländer«.

In concert performances she worked regularly with conductors such as Christian Thielemann, Herbert Blomstedt, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Chailly, Fabio Luisi, Ingo Metzmacher, Marek Janowski, Jonathan Nott, Sir Charles Mackerras, Sir Colin Davis and Simone Young. In 2015, Christa Mayer made her debut at the New National Theatre in Tokyo as Erda in »Das Rheingold« and was on the Easter tour of the Gustav Mahler Jungendorchester with Gustav Mahler's »Resurrection Symphony« conducted by Jonathan Nott in Lisbon, Madrid, Aix-en-Provence and Vienna. In 2018 she made her US-debut with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Jaap van Zweden.

Highlights of the 2016/17 season were Herodias in the new production »Salome« at the Semperoper, Erda in »Siegfried« at the NNT Tokyo and Fricka in »Die Walküre« at the Salzburg Easter Festival. In 2017/18 she appeared at the Semperoper as Didon in the new production »Les Troyens« as well as Brigitta in »Die tote Stadt« and in the cyclical performance of Wagner's »Ring« under Christian Thielemann as Fricka, Erda and Waltraute.

Markus Marquardt

Geboren in Düsseldorf, studierte Markus Marquardt an der Hochschule für Musik seiner Heimatstadt. Nach einem Engagement in Stuttgart wurde der Bass-Bariton im Jahr 2000 Ensemblemitglied der Semperoper Dresden, wo er 2004 mit dem Christel-Goltz-Preis der Stiftung zur Förderung der Semperoper geehrt wurde.

Gastspiele führten ihn u.a. nach Amsterdam, zu den Salzburger und Bregenzer Festspielen, an die Staatsopern in Hamburg, München und Wien, an die Deutsche Oper Berlin, die Deutsche Oper am Rhein, die Oper Leipzig, die Oper Stuttgart, nach Genf, Lyon, Neapel, Tokio, Toronto und an das Teatro alla Scala di Milano. An der Semperoper sang er bisher u.a. die Partien Cardillac, Rigoletto, Macbeth, Figaro (»Le nozze di Figaro«), Leporello (»Don Giovanni«), Jochanaan (»Salome«), Frank Maurrant (»Street Scene«), Dr. Schön/Jack the Ripper (»Lulu«), Sharpless (»Madama Butterfly«), Vater (»Hänsel und Gretel«), Colline (»La bohème«), Giorgio Germont (»La traviata«), Holländer (»Der fliegende Holländer«), Orest (»Elektra«),

Baron Scarpia (»Tosca«), Wotan (»Das Rheingold«), Wotan (»Die Walküre«) und der Wanderer (»Siegfried«).

Darüber hinaus ist Markus Marquardt auch auf dem Konzertpodium gefragt. Zu den jüngsten Engagements gehören Wotan (»Die Walküre«) mit dem London Philharmonic Orchestra unter Vladimir Jurowski, eine Rückkehr an die Wiener Staatsoper als Jochanaan (»Salome«), Holländer (»Der fliegende Holländer«) für die Volksoper Wien und sein Hausdebüt an der Canadian Opera Company in Toronto als Baron Scarpia (»Tosca).

2019/20 ist er an der Semperoper u. a. als Baron Scarpia (»Tosca«), Rigoletto (»Rigoletto«) und Nekrotzar in der neuen Produktion von Calixto Bieto von »Le Grand Macabre« unter der Leitung von Omer Meir Wellber zu erleben. Außerdem wird er als Holländer (»Der fliegende Holländer«) an die Volksoper Wien zurückkehren und den Amfortas in der Neuproduktion von »Parsifal« an der Opera National du Rhin geben.

Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke

Born in Austria, Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke studied at the Musikhochschule in Vienna with Gerhard Kahry and Kurt Equiluz. He made his début at the Opéra National de Paris in 1997 and subsequently is invited to do Goro (»Madame Butterfly«), Monostatos (with Bob Wilson and Fura del Baus) as well as 1st Geharnischter (»Zauberflöte«), Capito (»Mathis der Maler«), Mime (»Ring des Nibelungen«) and also participated at the world premiere of Philippe Manoury’s »K...«.

At the Glyndebourne Festival Opera he sung in more than 130 performances. Other important commitments included at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Festspiele Baden-Baden, Lucerne Festival, Salzburg Festival, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris as well as the opera houses in Vienna, Munich, Venice, Stuttgart, Milano, Zurich, London, Berlin

und Lyon. Recently he has performed Aegisth (»Elektra») at Staatsoper Wien, Shabby Peasant (»Lady Macbeth of Mszensk«) at Opéra national de Paris, Wenzel (»Bartered Bride«), Franz I./Karl V. (»Krenek«) and Herod (»Salome«) at Bayerische Staatsoper and Münchner Opernfestspiele

He works with conductors such as Kirill Petrenko, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst, Daniele Gatti, Kent Nagano, Christian Thielemann, Robin Ticciati, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Vladimir Jurowski.

Future engagements include the Bavarian State Opera, the Zurich Opera House, the Berlin State Opera, »Gurre-Lieder« at the Helsinki Festival, the Bergen Festival and the Philharmonie de Paris.

Franz Grundheber

Born in Trier, he studied at the University of Indiana in Bloomington after completing three years of officer training with the Air Force. In 1966 Rolf Liebermann engaged him at the Hamburg State Opera, to which he is still bound with a guest contract, and which made him an honorary member in 2006 on the occasion of his 40th anniversary. In the past seasons he has sung roles like Amonasro (»Aida«), Musiklehrer (»Ariadne auf Naxos«), Peter (»Hänsel und Gretel«) and Graf Waldner (»Arabella«).

Franz Grundheber is also closely connected with the Vienna State Opera, which has honoured him with the title of »Kammersänger«. Since 1976 he has sung here in premiers of »Wozzeck«, »Orestes«, »Cardillac«, Borromeo (in Pfitzner’s »Palestrina«), Dr. Schön (»Lulu«), Guglielmo Wulf (»Le Villi«) and last of all Moses (»Moses und Aaron«), in addition in repertory performances Rigoletto, Macbeth, Amonasro, Scarpia, Amfortas, Holländer, Barak, Mandryka and Jochanaan. As Jochanaan under Herbert von Karajan, he could be experienced at the Salzburg Festival, where he also performed as Jupiter (»Die Liebe der Danae«), Olivier (»Capriccio«), Orest, Amfortas, Faninal and Sprecher in »Die Zauberflöte«.

Some of the stations of Grundheber’s European guest performances are Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Oviedo, Athens, Rome, Florence, Turin, Milan and the Arena di Verona, where he was the first German singer to be

given the part of Amonasro. Further engagements took him to Copenhagen, Helsinki, Savonlinna, Moscow, Brussels, Amsterdam and London, where at Covent Garden he sang Barak, Rigoletto and Simon Boccanegra. He also appeared at the Theater an der Wien as Riedinger in Hindemith’s »Mathis der Maler«.

Franz Grundheber has been repeatedly invited to the major opera houses of the United States, such as the Metropolitan Opera New York, where he was the first German to be engaged for »Rigoletto«. He won the critics prize for his Simon Boccanegra in Santiago de Chile. Grundheber was introduced to Japanese audiences in several guest performances as Amfortas, Orestes and in Schönberg’s »Gurre-Liedern«.

Among his many recordings, two of Berg’s »Wozzeck« were awarded the Prix Georges Till. With Olivier, Faninal, Mandryka, Jupiter, Barak and last under Semyon Bychkov, Orest, Grundheber has recorded almost all of the Strauss repertoire in his field. In addition in 2008 his CD »Lieder einer Reise« came out with Lieder compositions by Mendelssohn and Schubert through to Wolf and Martin.

In his concert and oratory performances, Grundheber has worked together with Herbert von Karajan, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Colin Davis, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Claudio Abbado and Semyon Bychkov among others.

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. 


Not only is the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir the largest concert choir with one of the richest traditions within the German Broadcasting Corporation (ARD) but it is also regarded world-wide as one of the most sought-after ensembles of its kind. Conductors such as Herbert von Karajan, Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Claudio Abbado, SirSimon Rattle, Sir Neville Marriner, Seiji Ozawa, Lorin Maazel, Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, Georges Prêtre and Sir Roger Norrington have all paid tribute to the ensemble. The choir also regularly performs with the MDR Symphony Orchestra. Further artistic partners include the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra as well as the Staatskapelle Dresden.

Not only an excellent partner for major orchestras, the ensemble regularly demonstrates its expertise with highly acclaimed a cappella performances. Secular and sacred music, wide-ranging ensemble singing and choral symphonic works complete a repertoire that encompasses practically a thousand years of musical history. Numerous world premieres attest to the 73 choir members' reputation as a specialised ensemble for contemporary music.

From 2015 to 2019 the Estonian conductor Risto Joost held the post of

artistic director of the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir. In January 2020 he will be succeeded by Philipp Ahmann who as guest conductor has collaborated closely with the choir and in recent years has shaped the choir's profile through a cappella programmes and CD productions. The line of his predecessors includes names such as Herbert Kegel, Gert Frischmuth and Howard Arman, who also created the highly successful format of the 'Nachtgesänge', late-night a cappella concerts held in Leipzig‘s Peterskirche.

Nearly 200 LPs and CDs – many of them award-winning – have been recorded by the ensemble during its more than 70-year history. In 2017 the choir was awarded the International Classical Music Award for its recording of Max Reger's Motets op. 110, and in March 2018 the Diapason d‘Or for its recording of Rachmaninov‘s Vespers conducted by Risto Joost. Whether via the European Broadcasting Union, through touring or in guest performances worldwide, the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir, which was awarded the European Cultural Prize in 2013, acts as a supreme musical ambassador for central Germany.

Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (GMJO) was founded in Vienna in 1986/87 on the initiative of Claudio Abbado. Today it is regarded as the world’s leading youth orchestra and was awarded by the European Cultural Foundation in 2007.

As well as supporting young musicians and their work, Abbado was keen to encourage the music making of young Austrian musicians together with colleagues from the then socialist republics of Czechoslovakia and Hungary. As a consequence, the GMJO became the first international youth orchestra to hold open auditions in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc. In 1992, the GMJO opened up to musicians aged up to 26 from all over Europe. As the youth orchestra for the whole of Europe, it is under the patronage of the Council of Europe.

At the auditions that take place every year in over twenty-five European cities, an international jury selects candidates from an average of 2000 applicants. Prominent orchestra musicians are members of this jury and also responsible for the preparation of the repertoire in the individual sections during the rehearsal periods of the orchestra.

The GMJO tour repertoire ranges from classical to contemporary music with the emphasis on the great symphonic works of the Romantic and late Romantic periods. Its high artistic level and

international success have prompted many leading conductors and soloists to perform with the GMJO, such as Claudio Abbado, Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Myung-Whun Chung, Sir Colin Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, Peter Eötvös, Daniele Gatti, Bernard Haitink, Paavo Järvi, Mariss Jansons, Kent Nagano. The GMJO has been a regular guest at the most prestigious concert halls and festivals for many years, such as the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Mozarteum Argentino in Buenos Aires, the Salzburg Festival and the Salzburg Easter Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival, the BBC Proms, the Semperoper Dresden, and the Lucerne Festival. Many former members of the GMJO are now members of leading European orchestras, some of them in principal positions. In 2012, an intensive partnership with the renowned Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden was announced which includes concerts and projects involving members of both orchestras.

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester was appointed »Ambassador UNICEF Austria« on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. Erste Bank and Vienna Insurance Group – Main Sponsors of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester.