Opera in five acts and 7 tableaux

Composer Sergej Prokofjew · Libretto by the composer after the correspondent novel by Waleri J. Brjussow
In Russian with German surtitles | New Production

Wednesday, 09. December 2015
07:00 pm – 09:10 pm

Duration est. 2 hours 10 minutes

Introductory Event: 06:00 PM

Prices K

Premiere at 29. November 2015

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Musikalische Leitung
Vladimir Jurowski
Barrie Kosky
Rebecca Ringst
Klaus Bruns
Joachim Klein
Otto Pichler
Bettina Auer, Miron Hakenbeck
Stellario Fagone

Evgeny Nikitin
Mlada Khudoley
Heike Grötzinger
Elena Manistina
Agrippa von Nettesheim
Vladimir Galouzine
Kevin Conners
Okka von der Damerau
Igor Tsarkov
Goran Jurić
Jakob Glock
Yury Alekseev
Mathias Wissmann
Tim Kuypers
Matthew Grills
Christian Rieger
Andrea Borghini
Junge Nonne 1
Iris van Wijnen
Junge Nonne 2
Deniz Uzun
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester
  • Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper
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A couple and their hallucinatory journey to the dark side of passion. Renata is driven by a longing for the consummate sexual encounter. Since her youth she has had a vision of an ecstatic conjugation with a shining angel. Ruprecht falls for Renata and follows her unreservedly on her obsessive quest to fulfil this fantasy. The couple cross the boundaries of perception, leaving behind all traces of morality or reason, until their willingness to devote body and soul completely to one another threatens to pull their previous existence apart. 

In 1907, the Russian Symbolist Valery Bryusov wrote a historic novel as a means to get an overdependent relationship out of his system: Against a backdrop of the transition from the medieval to the modern age, he recounts the knight Ruprecht's memories of his fateful encounter with Renata: plagued by hallucinations, driven by desire and denounced as a heretic - in a world caught between the fanaticism of the Inquisition and the spirit of humanism; occultism and empirical science; mystical ecstasy and demonized sexuality. Sergei Prokofiev stumbled across this novel in 1919. During his nomadic years spent wandering between America, France and the Bavarian region of Pfaffenwinkel, he composed his dark and enigmatic opera, which was not performed until after his death.


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Act One

Ruprecht, a well-travelled man experienced in the ways of the world, has only just entered his hotel room when a desperate woman appears out of nowhere. She is distraught and convinced that she is being attacked and in her panic tells Ruprecht, whose name she knows, a mysterious story: when she was just a child a fiery angel by the name of Madiel had appeared to her and was closer to her than anybody else. But when Renata, now grown into a young woman, desired more of a carnal relationship than the sort they had enjoyed so far he disappeared in fury. She had later met Count Heinrich, whom she believed to be a reincarnation of Madiel, but he had left Renata after only a year. Ever since then she has been searching for her lost lover. It is completely clear to Ruprecht just what this woman really needs but when he brutally tries to seduce Renata something inside him is suddenly touched. A game with no rules begins.


Act Two

Renata tries, like one possessed, to find a trace of Count Heinrich with the help of black magic. Initially it seems as if the magic has proved successful in conjuring up the count, but the signs prove to be deceptive. When Ruprecht declares his love for her and promises to be patient Renata rewards him with humiliation.

In his endeavours to understand Renata, Ruprecht suddenly has a vision of the famous philosopher and magician Agrippa von Nettesheim. But Ruprecht’s struggle for knowledge ends in a nightmare.


Act Three

Things spiral out of control. Renata entangles Ruprecht in an erotic role-play in the course of which they both swap identities again and again so that it is no longer clear who is submitting to whom: Renata thinks she has found Count Heinrich again, who has rejected her harshly and scolded her. So Heinrich cannot possibly be her Madiel. Renata orders Ruprecht: kill Heinrich! In a sudden change of heart she then forbids him to even touch a hair on Heinrich’s head. In the ecstasy of the game Ruprecht is suddenly wounded. Renata declares that she loves Ruprecht because he is prepared to go beyond the bounds for her. Can Ruprecht really believe his ears?


Act Four

Renata planst to leave Ruprecht as she finds his desire for her abhorrent. Ruprecht again asks her to marry him but Renata turns him down with a show of contempt.

They are then overwhelmed by a crude nightmare: Mephisto appears and plays a nasty game while Faust muses about human existence. Ruprecht is forced to watch helplessly.


Act Five

Renata is completely lost in religious ecstasy. She hears threatening voices all around her, feels as if she is under attack and haunted, she is plagued by visions of suffering and martyrdom until she is completely overwhelmed by the whirlpool of her panic, into which Ruprecht is also dragged.

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Designierter Generalmusikdirektor der Bayerischen Staatsoper (ab Herbst 2021)

Vladimir Jurowski, geboren in Moskau, begann seine musikalische Ausbildung am dortigen Konservatorium und setzte sie an den Musikhochschulen von Berlin und Dresden fort. Sein internationales Debüt gab er 1995 beim Wexford Festival. Seitdem dirigierte er u. a. an der Metropolitan Opera in New York, am Teatro alla Scala in Mailand, an der Opéra national de Paris, am Bolschoi-Theater in Moskau, an der Semperoper in Dresden sowie bei den Salzburger Festspielen. Von 2001 bis 2013 war er musikalischer Leiter des Glyndebourne Festivals, seit 2007 ist er Chefdirigent des London Philharmonic Orchestra. Außerdem ist er seit 2017 Chefdirigent und Künstlerischer Leiter des Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchesters Berlin (RSB). Darüber hinaus ist er Principal Artist des Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment und Künstlerischer Leiter des Staatlichen Akademischen Symphonieorchesters Russlands. Er gastierte u. a. bei den Berliner und den Wiener Philharmonikern und beim Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam. Ab Herbst 2021 ist er Generalmusikdirektor der Bayerischen Staatsoper. (Stand: 2021)

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