Symphony Concert N° 8

Manfred Honeck Conductor
Christina Landshamer Sopran
Simona Šaturová Soprano
Tilman Lichdi Tenor
State Opera Chorus Dresden
André Kellinghaus Einstudierung

Ludwig van Beethoven

  • Symphony No. 1 in C major, Opus 21

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
  • Monday
    19:00 Uhr

Manfred Honeck

Renowned for his distinctive interpretations, Manfred Honeck has served as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since the 2008/2009 season. The 2017/2018 season will mark 10 years of this acclaimed partnership and in honour of the occasion in Pittsburgh, three of the programmes throughout the year will feature a special commission to commemorate this decade of successful music-making. Consistently recognized for their performances, he and the orchestra are celebrated both in Pittsburgh and abroad and regularly perform in major music capitals and festivals, among them the BBC Proms, Musikfest Berlin, Lucerne Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Grafenegg Festival, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have also built a close relationship with the Musikverein in Vienna. Following a week-long residency in 2012, they returned for three performances in the course of an extensive tour of Europe in spring 2016. Their next tour, in summer 2017, took them again to Europe’s most prestigious music festivals, including the BBC Proms, Lucerne Festival and Salzburg Festival.

Manfred Honeck's successful work with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has been extensively documented on recordings with the Reference and Exton labels. All SACDs released by Reference Recordings, amongst them Strauss tone poems and suites, Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4, Beethoven Symphonies No. 5 and 7, and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6  have received numerous rave reviews and honours. After two Grammy nominations for Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 and the Symphonic Suite from Janáček's opera Jenůfa, conceptualized by the artist himself, as well as for Bruckner’s Fourth, the most recent recording, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, won the Grammy for "Best Orchestral Performance" in January 2018.

Born in Austria, Manfred Honeck received his musical training at the Academy of Music in Vienna. Many years of experience as a member of the viola section in the Vienna Philharmonic and Vienna State Opera Orchestra have given his conducting a distinctive stamp. He began his career as assistant to Claudio Abbado and as artistic leader of the Vienna Jeunesse Orchestra. Subsequently, he was engaged by the Zurich Opera House, where he was bestowed the prestigious European Conductor’s Award in 1993. Other early posts include Leipzig, where he was one of three main conductors of the MDR Symphony Orchestra and Oslo,

where he assumed the post of Music Director at the Norwegian National Opera on short notice for a year and was engaged as Principal Guest Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for several years. From 2000 to 2006 he was Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in Stockholm and, from 2008 to 2011 and again from 2013 to 2016, Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.

From 2007 to 2011, Manfred Honeck was Music Director of the Staatsoper Stuttgart where he conducted premieres including Berlioz's Les Troyens, Mozart's Idomeneo, Verdi's Aida, Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier, Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites and Wagner's Lohengrin and Parsifal, as well as numerous symphonic concerts. His operatic guest appearances include Semperoper Dresden, Komische Oper Berlin, Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Royal Opera of Copenhagen, the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg and the Salzburg Festival. Moreover, he has been Artistic Director of the International Concerts Wolfegg in Germany for more than twenty years.

As a guest conductor Manfred Honeck has worked with the world’s leading orchestras including the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Staatskapelle Dresden, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome and the Vienna Philharmonic. Orchestras he conducted in the United States include New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony. He is also a regular guest at the Verbier Festival. Highlights of his recent and upcoming guest engagements in the 2017-2018 season include the New Year’s concert of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic and Vienna Symphony. He also continues his regular collaboration with the New York Philharmonic, Bamberg Symphony, and Accademia di Santa Cecilia.

Manfred Honeck has received honorary doctorates from several North American universities. Most recently, he was awarded the honorary title of Professor by the Austrian Federal President. The expert jury of the International Classical Music Awards selected him as "Artist of the Year" 2018.

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.