The Festival Premieres 2018/19
Our General Music Director Kirill Petrenko opens the Munich Opera Festival 2019 on 27 June with the new production of Richard Strauss's Salome. Krzysztof Warlikowski, who most recently staged Franz Schreker's Die Gezeichneten at our house, is responsible for the new production. Małgorzata Szczęśniak, who has already worked with Warlikowski numerous times, is designing the costumes and stage set. Oscar Wilde's French drama, arranged by the composer himself as opera text, was a fin de siècle stroke of genius, a scandal of course, but also an absolute hit, an artistic and financial success, which allowed Richard Strauss to acquire his villa in the Bavarian city of Garmisch.
The main roles are embodied by Marlis Petersen as Salome, Wolfgang Koch as Jochanaan and Pavol Breslik in the role of Narraboth. Alongside them Michaela Schuster (Herodias) and Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Herodes) also sing their roles.
The second 2019 festival premiere is Georg Friedrich Händel's Agrippina. In this breathtaking political thriller, Handel's second composition based on a Nero story: The Roman Emperor Claudius is said to have drowned while returning from his successful campaign against the Britons. His wife Agrippina therefore seizes the moment for Nero, her son from her first marriage, to ascend to the throne. Indeed the librettist Vincenzo Grimani, in ancillary professions also a cardinal and emperor's ambassador at the Vatican, among other positions, turned his experiences at the court of Pope Clemens XI and his precise knowledge of the Annals of Tacitus and Suetonius's De vita Caesarum into a libretto that is not only historically precise, but which also twists and turns with the most diverse watershed moments and chicanery surrounding the Vatican throne, so much that, at the end the question here is practically – are there winners, losers and a lieto fine, or happy end, here at all? Director Barrie Kosky sums up: "This opera shows what the best operas are made of – a combination of eroticism and power."
Ivor Bolton conducts. The title role of Agrippina is embodied by Alice Coote. At her side in further roles sing Gianluca Buratto (Claudius), Franco Fagioli (Nero) and Elsa Benoit (Poppaea). The premiere will be celebrated on 23 July 2019 in the Prinzregententheater.