Guest Performance in Paris

Christian Thielemann Musical direction
Krassimira Stoyanova Die Gräfin
Christa Mayer Clairon
Daniel Behle Flamand
Christoph Pohl Der Graf
Georg Zeppenfeld La Roche
State Opera Chorus Dresden Acht Diener

Richard Strauss

  • »Capriccio« op. 85

expected concert duration: 150 minutes

  • 11.05.2021
    19:00 Uhr
    Théâtre des Champs-Élysées

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.

Krassimira Stoyanova

Since her debut at the National Opera in Sofia, Krassimira Stoyanova has enjoyed huge success as a guest artist, performing in celebrated opera houses such as New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Hamburg State Opera, the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, London’s Royal Opera House as well as top classical venues such as the Berlin Philharmonie and Baden-Baden’s Festspielhaus. A singer with an unusually wide repertoire, she performed Beethoven’s »Missa solemnis« under Christian Thielemann at the Staatskapelle’s annual Remembrance Concert of 2010. Vienna State Opera bestowed on Krassimira Stoyanova the honorary title »Kammersängerin « in 2009.

2010 trat sie unter Christian Thielemann im Gedenkkonzert der Staatskapelle Dresden in Beethovens »Missa solemnis« auf. Die Wiener Staatsoper verlieh der Sopranistin 2009 den Titel einer Kammersängerin.

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.

Daniel Behle

Daniel Behle is one of the most versatile German tenors and is equally successful in the concert, lied and opera genres. His extensive repertoire ranges from Baroque masterpieces to Classical and Romantic works to compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The year 2017 marks an absolute highlight in his carreer, including concert debuts with Santa Cecilia Rome (»Lobgesang« with Pablo Heras-Casado), Gewandhausorchester Leipzig (»Jahreszeiten« with Trevor Pinnock), Wiener Symphoniker (»St John Passion« with Philippe Jordan), Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble (»St John Passion« with Thomas Hengelbrock), and Berlin Philharmonic (Missa solemnis with Christian Thielemann), as well as his debut at the Bayreuth Festival as David in »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg«. In April 2014 he made his acclaimed debut as Matteo in Strauss’s »Arabella« at the Salzburg Easter Festival under Christian Thielemann. 

Daniel Behle appears in concert with renowned orchestras, including the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, DSO Berlin, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, SWR Radio Orchestra or the Stuttgart Bach Academy, working with such conductors as Stefan Asbury, Jiří Bělohlávek, Bertrand de Billy, Christoph Eschenbach, James Gaffigan, Marek Janowski, Ingo Metzmacher, Kent Nagano, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, George Petrou, Hans-Christoph Rademann, Jérémie Rhorer, Andreas Spering, Jeffrey Tate, and Christian Thielemann.

Daniel Behle fascinates his audiences as a lieder singer at such venues as the Schwetzingen Festival, the Schubertiade, the Prinzregenten Theater in Munich, the Cologne Philharmonie, Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle, the Beethoven House in Bonn, London’s Wigmore Hall and the Richard Strauss Festival in Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Christoph Pohl

After his first vocal experiences in Hannover’s Boys Choir Christoph Pohl was a member of the renowned a cappella vocal group »Modell Andante« for eight years. He then studied opera singing at the Academy of Music and Theatre in Hannover with Carol Richardson-Smith, and was in the song class of Justus Zeyen. From 2003 until 2005, Christoph Pohl was a member of the Opera Studio at the Hamburg State Opera where he performed in several productions, including his debut as Papageno.

Christoph Pohl has won several national and international competitions, a.o. the International Schumann Song Competition 2008.  In the same year, he was awarded with the Christel Goltz Prize by the Semper Opera Foundation.

In September 2005 Christoph Pohl became member of the Semperoper Dresden, where he regularely appears in major baritone roles. He sang for the first time and very successfully Posa (»Don Carlo«) as well as Heerrufer (»Lohengrin«) and Lescaut in a new production of »Manon Lescaut«, both under the direction of Christian Thielemann. His first Germont (»La traviata«) followed in January 2014. His debut with Spielmann (»Königskinder«) and especially Eugene Onegin became an emotional highlight. 

In addition to his obligations in Dresden Christoph Pohl appeared in guest performances as Wolfram and Zurga at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as Ottokar at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, as Papageno at the Oper Leizpig, and several times at the Bayerische Staatsoper München, among others in the new production of Eötvös' »The tragedy of the devil«. 

The Austrian composer Georg Friedrich Haas wrote his new opera »Morgen und Abend« especially for Christoph Pohl, the world premiere in London Covent Garden in 2015 was highly acclaimed by both public and critics. The production moved to Berlin Deutsche Oper in 2016. 

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.