In December 2023, the Deutsche Oper will celebrate the premiere of Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” – a musical highlight conducted by Enrique Mazzola and directed by David Alden.
Image above: © Toni Suter/Opernhaus Zürich
Gaetano Donizetti opened a new chapter in opera history with the world premiere of “Anna Bolena” on 26 December 1830: While opera had previously paid little attention to the historical truth of its subject matter, Donizetti and his librettist Felice Romani brought the tragic story of Henry VIII’s second wife to the operatic stage largely true to the facts as they had been handed down. Donizetti’s 35th opera thus marks the beginning of historical drama in music theatre – a genre that has fascinated composers from Meyerbeer to Verdi and John Adams time and again. At the same time, Anna Bolena is also one of the first masterpieces of Romantic opera: with this work, Donizetti finally emancipated himself from the virtuoso-instrumental bel canto in the wake of Rossini and created music that is entirely in the service of dramatic effect. Despite all the vocal demands placed on the four main roles in particular, the dramatic consistency with which Donizetti and Romani develop the tragedy of the judicial murder of the young queen scene by scene is still captivating in Anna Bolena to this day.
Deutsche Oper Berlin invites music lovers to the premiere of Gaetano Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena” on 15 December 2023. The musical director will be the renowned Enrique Mazzola, while the director will be David Alden. The main role of Anna Bolena will be interpreted by the celebrated Italian soprano Federica Lombardi, who has already impressed audiences at La Scala in Milan. The performance will also be shown on 19, 22 and 26 December 2023.
The opera “Anna Bolena” enjoys great popularity and is part of Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy, which also includes “Maria Stuarda” and “Roberto Devereux”. Federica Lombardi, a former scholarship holder at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, now embodies the young queen, continuing a tradition that has already been cultivated by greats such as Joan Sutherland and Montserrat Caballé. The roles of Henry VIII and Giovanna Seymour will be performed by the outstanding bel canto interpreters Riccardo Fassi and Vasilisa Berzhanskaya.
The production of “Anna Bolena” comes from the Zurich Opera House and is the result of a collaboration between two artists who are closely associated with the Deutsche Oper Berlin: Director David Alden and conductor Enrique Mazzola. Alden, a sought-after musical theatre director from New York, has already successfully staged works such as “Peter Grimes” and “Billy Budd” at Bismarckstrasse. Mazzola, chief conductor of the Chicago Lyric Opera and first guest conductor of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, has gained worldwide recognition with his interpretations of 19th century Italian and French opera.
Visitors to the Deutsche Oper Berlin can also look forward to further highlights in December, including performances of “Lucia di Lammermoor”, “Rigoletto” and “La Traviata”. The exceptional young Russian colouratura soprano Aigul Khismatullina can be experienced in two prominent roles in December: On 1 and 16 December 2023, she will perform the title role in “Lucia di Lammermoor” alongside Ioan Hotea (Edgardo) and Michael Bachtadze (Enrico). Carlo Montanaro will be the musical director.
Aigul Khismatullina will be on stage as Gilda in the Rigoletto performances on 8, 10 and 18 December 2023 with Roman Burdenko in the title role and Andrei Danilov as the Duke of Mantua.
The internationally acclaimed tenor Pene Pati, who has already triumphed at the Berlin State Opera as Mozart’s Mitridate, will make his house debut at the Deutsche Oper as Alfredo in Verdi’s La Traviata on 21 December 2023. Nina Minasyan interprets the role of Violetta Valéry and Thomas Lehman Giorgio Germont. Further performances with the same cast on 27 and 29 December 2023, conducted by Ivan Repušić.