Cologne Opera sees itself as a guarantor of performances that offer top musical and staging quality.
The opera house on Offenbachplatz, which was constructed by architect Wilhelm Riphahn, offers over 1300 seats and its purist elegance has provided a worthy setting for opera evenings in the cathedral city on the Rhine since 1957.
Big-name singers and conductors align themselves with the history of this building, the artistic validity of which has not least been expressed in major premieres such as “The Dead City” by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, “The Miraculous Mandarin” by Béla Bartók, “Blood Wedding” by Wolfgang Fortner, “The Soldiers” by Bernd Alois Zimmermann and “SUNDAY” from “LIGHT” by Karlheinz Stockhausen.
The continuously outstanding quality is ensured not least by Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, which will be led by General Musical Director François-Xavier Roth from the 2015/2016 season. Since the start of the 2012/2013 season, Dr Birgit Meyer has been the Director General of Cologne Opera, where she worked as Opera Director from 2009. For the reopening of the opera house on Offenbachplatz in autumn 2015, a new production of the opera “Benvenuto Cellini” by Hector Berlioz is planned under the musical direction of François-Xavier Roth and under the stage direction of Carlus Padrissa (La Fura dels Baus). Oper am Dom (the opera house by the Cathedral), which is directly adjacent to Cologne central railway station, will serve as the main venue of Cologne Opera until autumn 2015.
At present, the stages of Cologne on Offenbachplatz are still undergoing radical refurbishment. The motto of Cologne Opera for the interim phase can be described as follows: “Opera is possible anywhere, Cologne is lively everywhere, Cologne becomes the opera!” Time and again, the audience can enjoy the special situation of experiencing the respective musical work in a setting that has been congenially selected specifically for the performance.
Cologne Opera Children’s Opera, which enjoys an excellent reputation and – effectively from an historic perspective – can be regarded as the pioneer of all children’s divisions of this nature in large opera houses, has Altes Pfandhaus in the Südstadt district in the south of Cologne as its venue for all performances at present. From autumn 2015, Cologne Opera will have its own new venue on Offenbachplatz for the Children’s opera division.
Whether in the stylish building on Offenbachplatz or “on the road”, Cologne Opera promises not only excellence but also to break fresh ground.
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