Opera House of Staatstheater Stuttgart
|Former names||Königliche Hofoper Stuttgart|
Staatsoper Stuttgart (Stuttgart State Opera) is a German opera company based in Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. The Staatsorchester Stuttgart serves in its pit.
Performances of operas, ballet and plays in Stuttgart took place from the 17th century at the hall of Neues Lusthaus. The probably first opera production was in 1660 the singspiel Der Raub der Proserpina by Hofkapellmeister Samuel Capricornus. Four years later, a permanent stage was established. In 1750, the building was remodeled as Stuttgart's opera house, named Königliches Hoftheater (Roayal Court Theatre) in 1811. It burnt down in 1902, and opera was performed in a provisional Interimstheater.
Today's opera house was built from 1909 to 1912 by architect Max Littmann from Munich, with two halls, Großes Haus and Kleines Haus. After the end of the monarchy in 1918, the theatres were named Württembergische Landestheater. The Kleines Haus, site of the world premiere of the first version of Ariadne auf Naxos by Richard Strauss, was destroyed in World War II.
Staatsoper Stuttgart forms part of the Staatstheater Stuttgart, a three-branch theatre organisation for opera, play and Stuttgart Ballet. The house, which has been a listed building since 1924, currently has 1,404 seats and a per-season audience of approximately 250,000. An important centre for opera since the 17th century, Stuttgart has again become an important and influential centre since the war, particularly for contemporary works. Three operas by Carl Orff received their premieres there and the company has been associated with figures such as Wieland Wagner, Günther Rennert, Hans Werner Henze and Philip Glass.
During the era of Opera Intendant Klaus Zehelein, the company has won the Opera House of the Year award by the German magazine Opernwelt more often than any other company: in 1994 (the inaugural award), 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and in 2006. Pamela Rosenberg was co-opera Intendant between 1991 and 2000, with Eytan Pessen acting as casting director from 2001 to 2006. Klaus Zehelein brought in directors Ruth Berghaus, Christof Nel, Hans Neuenfels, Peter Konwitschny and Jossi Wieler. He created the Junge Oper, dedicated to performing music theatre works for young audiences. Numerous CD and DVD productions document Zehelein's interest in modern works and new staging concepts. Under Zehelein's direction the Stuttgart Opera was an ensemble-based opera company, with Catherine Naglestad, Tichina Vaughn, Eva-Maria Westbroek were members of his ensemble, Jonas Kaufmann a frequent guest artist. Music directors were Gabriele Ferro and Lothar Zagrosek, Nicola Luisotti conducted frequently during Zehelein's era. Zehelein was succeeded by Albrecht Puhlmann.
Jossi Wieler became Intendant (artistic director) of the company in 2011, succeeding Albrecht Puhlmann. Manfred Honeck was Generalmusikdirektor from 2007 to 2011. In April 2010, Wieler appointed Sylvain Cambreling the next music director of the company, effective with the 2012/13 season.
Stuttgart CD productions:
Philip Glass: Akhnaten (1987), Luigi Nono: Intolleranza 1960 (1995) and Al gran sole carico d'amore (2001), Helmut Lachenmann: Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern (2003)
Stuttgart productions on DVD:
Philip Glass: Satyagraha (1983), Handel: Alcina (1999), Karl Amadeus Hartmann: Simplicius Simplicissimus (2005), Mozart: La finta giardiniera [2006), Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen (2003), Bernd Alois Zimmermann: Die Soldaten (1989)