FROM LIFE – THROUGH LOVE

2024-2025 SEASON

Excerpt from the season essay by Serge Dorny published in the annual preview

Amor, ch’a nullo amato amar perdona,
Mi prese del costui piacer sì forte,
Che, come vedi, ancor non m’abbandona.
Amor condusse noi ad una morte. 

 

Love, that allows no loved one to be excused from loving, seized me so fiercely with desire for him, it still will not leave me, as you can see. Love led us to one death.

Dante Alighieri: La divina commedia (L’inferno, Canto V, v. 103–106) (translated by BSO)

For as long as there have been literature, theatre and opera, they have shown us how love can be
heaven, purgatory and hell – the three realms of the Divine Comedy, which the poet Dante Alighieri
wanders through after finding himself in the selva oscura, or dark forest. This wandering will now be thematised at the Bayerische Staatsoper in the 2024-2025 season. The great stages of love are traversed, just as Dante says: My every moment fluctuates incessantly from fear to confidence, from confidence to rage. The nature of love consists precisely herein – in a dizziness-arousing changing from grace to damnation, happiness to unhappiness, ecstasy to agony.

Our new productions reflect the various facets of love:

Who could live without love? Surely no one, unless they're swayed by the allure of absolute power like Alberich in Das Rheingold, which depicts the renunciation of love, with the entire Ring des Nibelungen saga revolving around its reclamation.

In contrast, one of Gaetano Donizetti's few light-hearted operas, La Fille du régiment, shines with sun-drenched love. It's almost a musical comedy, filled with wonderfully virtuosic arias – a feast of music and voice.

Love is also a crucial element of mythology: the love between gods and mortals. A prime example is Jupiter's love for Danae, the love in the golden rain, as celebrated by Richard Strauss in Die Liebe der Danae.

Love as an unreachable yearning, always elusive, like a horizon never to be touched: This is the love Kát’a Kabanová feels, love as the only place for self-discovery. This love eventually transforms into a nightmare, leading to the protagonist's death in the Volga's currents.

In the third edition of the Yes, May Festival, we will present two operas that explore the vibrations, depths, and secrets of the human heart, emphasising the female perspective: Matsukaze by Toshio Hosokawa and Das Jagdgewehr by Thomas Larcher. We approach these contemporary works through Claudio Monteverdi's madrigals – a bridge showing music's timelessness.

Love is unthinkable without its dark counterpart, jealousy. It consumes and kills, devouring itself and its object – depicted in the double bill Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci.

In Don Giovanni, that encompassing masterpiece, love plays a central role: The protagonist takes love as he pleases – if it can indeed be called love. His conquest is mirrored in his thirst for freedom – a will leading to his downfall.

Love as the epitome of patient fidelity is explored in Gabriel Fauré's Pénélope. It celebrates the love of a couple, full of calm and strength, yet also tragedy, as loving Odysseus – the "much-travelled man" – means loving someone who constantly escapes.

The ballet company's first premiere, Pierre Lacotte's La Sylphide, tells of a love unattainable in this world. The protagonist James falls for a winged forest fairy, losing touch with reality and experiencing his own downfall.

During the Ballet Festival Week, the Bayerisches Staatsballett presents a triple bill titled Wings of Memory. This production combines Jiří Kylián's Bella Figura, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui's Faun, and Pina Bausch's epoch-making version of Le Sacre du printemps. Reflecting Dante's concept of love, paradise in these works is found solely in unconditional honesty.

Sol León and Paul Lightfoot curate the third edition of the Spheres series for the Munich Opera Festival, dedicated entirely to contemporary dance. Paradise, purgatory, and hell are ever-present in our existence for the choreographer duo, manageable solely through a love for life.

The Bayerisches Staatsorchester continues to guarantee the programmatic diversity and artistic excellence it is renowned for in Munich and globally. Great symphonies, excellent soloists, and exciting newcomers in the academy concerts promise thrilling evenings with famous and rare works, shedding new light on seemingly familiar compositions in sometimes unusual combinations.

Discover all new performances

Premieres of the Bayerisches Staatsballett

Concerts 2024–25

Song recitals 2024–25

Repertoire 2024-25