CANCELLED: Symphony Concert N° 9

Omer Meir Wellber Conductor
Rachel Willis-Sørensen Soprano
Stepanka Pucalkova Mezzosopran
Werner Güra Tenor
Gábor Bretz Bass

Johann Sebastian Bach / Maximilian Otto

  • Contrapunctus I aus »Die Kunst der Fuge« BWV 1080

Johann Sebastian Bach/ Péter Tornyai

  • Contrapunctus V aus »Die Kunst der Fuge« BWV 1080

Johann Sebastian Bach / Anton Webern

  • Ricercar a 6 aus »Das musikalische Opfer« BWV 1079

Johann Sebastian Bach / Ella Milch-Sheriff

  • Contrapunctus XIV aus »Die Kunst der Fuge« BWV 1080

Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Messe C-Dur op. 86 für Soli, Chor und Orchester

Bach – Beethoven – today

Regarding his first mass setting from 1807, Beethoven claimed that: »While I do not wish to say anything much about my mass or indeed about myself, I nonetheless believe that I have treated the text as it has seldom been done before.« This beguiling work is preceded by arrangements of Bach’s fugues from the 20th and 21st centuries, each not merely a translation into orchestral sound but rather a reinterpretation of the original.


All performances of the Sächische Staatstheater – Staatsoper Dresden and Staatsschauspiel Dresden until April 19, 2020 are cancelled with the aim of inhibiting the spread of the corona virus. Thank you for your understanding.

  • 05.04.2020
    19:00 Uhr
  • 06.04.2020
    20:00 Uhr

Omer Meir Wellber

Omer Meir Wellber has established himself as one of today’s leading conductors of operatic and orchestral repertoire alike. In September 2018 he begins his tenure as Principal Conductor at the Semperoper Dresden. In July 2019 he will take up the position of Chief Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and from January 2020 the position of Music Director of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo. He has directed some of the world’s most prestigious ensembles, such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Staatskapelle Dresden, RAI Torino and Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich. His combination of energy and clarity and his ability to evoke nuanced detail from an orchestra have made him a regular guest conductor at the Bavarian State Opera Munich, La Fenice in Venice, and the Israeli Opera.

In season 2018/19 Omer Meir Wellber gives his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with Bizet’s Carmen in October 2018 and shortly before at the Lucerne Festival with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

For the first time he stands at the rostrum of NDR

Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and conducts concerts with Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, among others at the Bachfest Leipzig in June 2019. As Principal Guest Conductor of the Semperoper Dresden he not only conducts the new production of Verdi’s Nabucco in May 2019, but also revival performances of Don Giovanni, Tannhäuser, Der Rosenkavalier and a symphonic concert with the Staatskapelle Dresden.

Omer Meir Wellber served as the Music Director at the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in Valencia from 2010 to 2014, leading both orchestral and operatic performances.

From 2008 to 2010, he assisted Daniel Barenboim at both the Berliner Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Milan’s Teatro alla Scala, whose ensemble he led in a critically-hailed performance of Verdi’s Aida at the Israeli Opera.

2016, he led the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra during its residency at the Dresdner Music Festival. Since 2009, he has been the Music Director of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra, founded in 1991 to assist Jewish immigrants with their integration in Israel.

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.

Stepanka Pucalkova

Geboren in Berlin, absolvierte die tschechische Mezzosopranistin Stepanka Pucalkova ihr Gesangstudium an der Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, wo sie bei O. Univ. Prof. KS Elisabeth Wilke studierte. Im Jahr 2012 absolvierte sie ihr Masterstudium im Fach Oper und Musiktheater mit der höchsten Auszeichnung, bei O. Univ Prof. Dr. Josef Wallnig und Univ. Prof. Eike Gramss. Im selben Jahr erhielt sie von der Organisation Stiftung Mozarteum die Lilli-Lehmann-Medaille.

In der Saison 16/17 gab Stepanka Pucalkova ihr Rollendebüt als Siegrune in Richard Wagners »Walküre« bei den 50. Osterfestspielen Salzburg. Musikalisch in der Begleitung der Staatskapelle Dresden und von Christian Thielemann geleitet.

Im Dezember 2016 gewann Stepanka den Preis »Die beste weibliche Stimme« beim »Concours international de Belcanto Vincenzo Bellini« in Marseille, Frankreich.

Im Januar 2019 wird Stepanka zusammen mit Plácido Domingo am Prager Standestheater den Geburtstag vom W.A.Mozart feiern und im Rahmen der Salzburger Mozartwoche in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts »Davide penitente« zu hören sein.

Stepanka Pucalkova ist seit der Saison 2018/2019 Ensemblemitglied der Semperoper Dresden.

Zahlreiche Konzertauftritte führen sie u. a. nach Dänemark, China, Japan, Norwegen, Österreich, Deutschland, Italien und Tschechien.

Werner Güra

German tenor Werner Güra, born in Munich, received his musical training at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and completed his vocal studies with Professor Kurt Widmer. Furthermore he was coached by Nicolai Gedda, Professor Margreet Honig, Amsterdam, and Professor Wessela Zlateva, Vienna.

After guesting at the opera houses of Frankfurt and Basel he joined in 1995 the ensemble of the Semperoper Dresden where he sang the important Mozart and Rossini parts of his Fach. Daniel Barenboim invited Werner Güra for various productions at the Staatsoper Berlin. He continued as guest in Dresden and furthermore sang his highly acclaimed Mozart roles Tamino, Ferrando and Don Ottavio at Teatro Carlo Felice, Genova, Opera of Lille, La Monnaie Brussels and  the Opéra National de Paris, at the Innsbruck Festival für Alte Musik and in Baden-Baden.

At this stage of his career, Werner Güra concentrates his activities to vocal-symphonic and oratoria works. He sang on the important European concert stages such as Konzerthaus and Musikverein Wien, Royal Festival Hall London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie Berlin, Philharmonie Paris and worked with many orchestras including Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Wiener Symphoniker, BBC Symphony Orchestra, the German,  Dutch, Spanish, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestras, the Gulbenkian Orchestra Lissabon, with conductors such as laudio Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Sir Colin Davis, Bernard

Haitink, Daniel Harding, René Jacobs, Ton Koopman, Fabio Luisi, Kurt Masur, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Sir Roger Norrington, Trevor Pinnock, Peter Schreier and David Zinman. The tenor enjoyed frequent co-operation with Nikolaus Harnoncourt under whose baton he appeared at Wiener Musikverein, Styriarte Festival, Philharmonie München, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and on tour in Japan.

Recordings for Harmonia Mundi France include »Orpheus« (Telemann), »The Seasons« (Haydn), »Così fan tutte« (Mozart), Christmas Oratorio and St. Matthew Passion (J.S. Bach), all under the baton of René Jacobs. Lieder by Schubert and »Der Rose Pilgerfahrt« with the RIAS Chamber Choir conducted by Marcus Creed were also released at Harmonia Mundi. Beethoven´s »Fidelio« under the direction of Daniel Barenboim with Werner Güra in the role of Jacquino has been released by the Label Teldec. For Sony/BMG Werner Güra recorded Haydn´s »Orlando Paladino« and »The Seasons« as well as Bach´s Christmas Oratorio, all under the baton of Nikolaus Harnoncourt. In autumn 2000 appeared Werner Güra's first solo recording for Harmonia Mundi: Schubert »Die schöne Müllerin«. For his »Winterreise« Werner Güra received the BBC Music Magazine Award »Vocal« 2011. For his latest Schubert-CD »Willkommen und Abschied« he was awarded the prestigious German ECHO Klassik prize 2012.

Werner Güra teaches since 2009 at the Music Academy Zürich.


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.