Symphony Concert N° 8

Herbert Blomstedt Conductor
Christina Landshamer Sopran
Simona Šaturová Sopran
Tilman Lichdi Tenor
State Opera Chorus Dresden

Franz Schubert

  • Symphony No. 2 B flat major D 125

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy

  • »Lobgesang« Symphony-Cantata for Soli, Choir, Orchestra and Organ op. 52

»The night has gone by!«

In 1840, elaborate celebrations were held in Saxony to mark the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing. These were capped with a performance of Mendelssohn’s »Lobgesang« in Leipzig’s Thomaskirche. When the piece was published, the composer dedicated the symphony-cantata to the Saxon King Frederick Augustus II. In return, the monarch expressed his gratitude by awarding him the honorary title of »Royal Saxon Kapellmeister«. Although the plan to secure the services of the famous conductor for the Saxon court fell through, Mendelssohn became a frequent visitor to Dresden. On Palm Sunday in 1843, he conducted the Royal Kapelle (today’s Staatskapelle) in a programme that included his oratorio »St. Paul«.

A concert introduction will be offered 45 minutes before the beginning of each performance in the opera cellar of the Semperoper.

  • Sunday
    19:00 Uhr
    Ticket price:
    16 – 94 €
  • Monday
    19:00 Uhr
    Ticket price:
    16 – 94 €

Herbert Blomstedt

Conductor Laureate

The close relationship between Herbert Blomstedt and the Staatskapelle Dresden has now lasted for half a century. Following his debut with the orchestra in April 1969, he held the post of Principal Conductor from 1975 to 1985, a decade that is not only unforgettable musically, but which was also marked by difficult political conditions. In purely human terms, this was certainly a special chapter in the ensemble’s long history. Alongside the »local heroes« Wagner and Strauss, Herbert Blomstedt performed a wide repertoire during his time in Dresden, stretching from the Kapelle’s Baroque heritage to numerous world and German premieres. He recorded a vast number of works with the orchestra, and in 1985 conducted the first Staatskapelle concert in the newly rebuilt Semperoper. To the present day he has given more than 300 concerts with the Kapelle, including no fewer than ten appearances at the traditional Palm Sunday Concert, and has conducted a number of opera productions, formerly in the Dresden State Theatre. In 2007 the Staatskapelle awarded him its Golden Badge of Honour. In May 2016 he was named the orchestra’s Conductor Laureate, making him only the second conductor after Sir Colin Davis to hold this title.

Born in

the USA to Swedish parents, Herbert Blomstedt gave his conducting debut in 1954 with the Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra. Later he led the Oslo Philharmonic as well as the Danish and Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestras in Copenhagen and Stockholm, respectively. He has been Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Principal Conductor of the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg and the 19th Kapellmeister of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He is the Conductor Laureate of the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, Leipzig, Copenhagen and Stockholm, the Bamberg Symphony and the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. As a guest conductor, Herbert Blomstedt works with the world’s top orchestras. In 2011 he enjoyed a late debut with the Vienna Philharmonic, paving the way for a series of collaborations with that ensemble. He is an elected member of the Royal Swedish Music Academy, holds a number of honorary doctorates and in 2003 was awarded the Order of Merit (Großes Verdienstkreuz) of the Federal Republic of Germany. In April 2016 he received the prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize of Denmark for his life’s work as an artist.

Simona Šaturová

Simona Šaturová was born in Bratislava (Slovakia) and was only five when she was given her first violin lesson. She studied singing at Bratislava Conservatory and attended various master classes, most notably with the Romanian soprano Ileana Cotrubas.

The singer has given guest performances as a concert and oratorio singer in New York, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Oslo, Toronto, Istanbul, at the Salzburg Festival, Tanglewood Festival, the Oregon Bach Festival, in Japan, Israel, Venezuela, at the Festival Internazionale di Musica e Arte Sacra Roma, the Salzburger Festspiele, the Lucerne Festival, the Vienna Spring Festival, the Schleswig-Holstein and Rheingau Music Festival. Conductors with whom the soprano regularly works include Christoph Eschenbach, Charles Dutoit, Herbert Blomstedt, Iván Fischer, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sir Neville Marriner, Sylvain Cambreling, Jiří Bělohlávek,

Manfred Honeck, Tomáš Netopil, Kent Nagano, Philippe Herreweghe and Helmuth Rilling.

Simona Šaturová’s great success as Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with the Aalto-Theater in Essen and the Semperoper Dresden led to a close association with both houses. In addition to numerous performances at the National Theatre in Prague, the soprano has also appeared on the stages of the Teatro Colón Buenos Aires, the Frankfurt Opera, the Theater an der Wien, the Théâtre du Châtelet Paris, the Opéra de Monte Carlo and the Megaron in Athens. Her repertoire includes the roles of Lucia (Lucia di Lammermoor), Adina (L'elisir d'amore), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni), Elettra (Idomeneo), Giulietta (I Capuleti e i Montecchi), Celia (Lucio Silla) and Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus).

Tilman Lichdi

Tilman Lichdi has established himself as a significant concert and song interpreter, particularly as the Evangelist in Bach's oratorios and passions. In addition to working with many renowned conductors, he regularly collaborates with Ton Koopman and Herbert Blomstedt. Of his many recordings, notable are his two recordings of Schubert song cycles, "Die schöne Müllerin" and "Die Winterreise," both in a new version with guitar. Besides  his international appearances, he currently holds a einging professorship at the Academy of Music in Darmstadt.


Lichdi was engaged as a lyric tenor at the State Theatre in Nuremberg from 2005-2013 and sang all the important roles in his field there. He lives near Heilbronn and received his first singing lessons at the age of 18 from Alois Treml (Stuttgart State Theatre), but initially studied trumpet for four years with Prof. Günther Beetz in Mannheim before switching to singing studies with Prof. Charlotte Lehmann in Würzburg in 1999, which he completed with distinction.

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.