Oper Leipzig

Entertainment & Arts

Europe, Germany, Leipzig

Oper Leipzig is an opera house and opera company in Leipzig, Germany. The Leipzig Opera traces its establishment to the year 1693, making it the third oldest opera venue in Europe after La Fenice (Venice, Italy) and the Hamburg State Opera (Hamburg, Germany). The Leipzig Opera does not have its own opera orchestra, and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra performs as the orchestra for the opera. This relationship dates back to 1766, with performances of the Singspiel Die verwandelten Weiber, oder Der Teufel ist los by Johann Adam Hiller. The previous theater (the "Neues Theater") was inaugurated on January 28, 1868, with Jubilee Overture by Carl Maria von Weber and the overture for Iphigénie en Aulide by Gluck and Goethe's play Iphigenia in Tauris. From 1886 to 1888, Gustav Mahler was the second conductor; Arthur Nikisch was his superior. During an air raid in the night of December 3, 1943, the theater was destroyed, as were all Leipzig's theatres. Construction of the modern opera house began in 1956. The theatre was inaugurated on October 8, 1960, with a performance of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. In May 2008, the appointments of Alexander von Maravic as Artistic Director (Intendant) and Peter Konwitschny as principal director of productions at Leipzig Opera were announced. The current Generalmusikdirektor (General Music Director, or GMD) of Oper Leipzig is Ulf Schirmer, effective with the 2009-2010 season.