Opera, musicals and concerts
Freedom and power among heroes and liars
Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome! The opening number in the musical Cabaret welcomes the audience with an unusual directness. The first phrase and the words that follow it, “Happy to see you!”, couldn’t be more apt. We’re really looking forward to you seeing you join us to share the wonderful stories we’ve chosen for the 2020/2021 season.
Our programme is packed with musical dramas populated by heroic characters, large and small. Against the backdrop of our stage, they fight battles against their adversaries or the vicissitudes of life, aided by their strength or their wits. They save loved ones from danger of sacrifice their own lives for them. The defend their ideals or are destroyed by them. Through the music, they seduce us into a maelstrom of emotions. Common to all the operas we’ve chosen to perform this season is that they explore the characters’ complex relationships with freedom and power.
We continue Wagner’s epic Ring Cycle where you’ll meet Siegfried, perhaps the greatest hero in the history of opera. How free is Siegfried really, with his destiny predetermined and the weight of great expectations on his shoulders?
By contrast, in Don Giovanni we meet one of the opera world’s greatest antiheroes. What makes him so irresistibly attractive to women? The answer is in the music – this work by Mozart is one of opera’s greatest masterpieces.
The new opera Mytomania by Paula af Malmborg Ward and Kerstin Perski has another irresistible rogue as its central character: Francis, an unscrupulous surgeon who preys on his patients’ trust. An opera world premiere is always special, and Mytomania’s zeitgeist theme of manipulation and power abuse makes this production one the season’s high points.
The contrast between freedom and power is an important ingredient in Verdi’s hit opera Nabucco, in which religion is used as a tool in potentially deadly intrigues.
In Puccini’s opera La Bohème, a group of young friends are dedicated to freedom and following their dreams. This beautiful production now enjoys a long-awaited revival. Bellini’s Norma also returns to our stage, telling the story of a woman torn between her emotions and her public duties.
In Champagne Tears we meet another type of hero: the composer Jacques Offenbach. This touring production explores the composer’s life and his inspiration sources, accompanied by effervescent music from his operettas. After opening in Skövde, the show will go on a tour of the region’s community centres. The newly written musical Boye & Hörberg will be performed in Skövde and various locations in Västra Götaland. The Göteborg Opera Chorus will also take a concert programme on tour through the region.
During the season, The Göteborg Opera Skapa will create several new works for children and young people, and will organise relaxed performances, creative Skapa Days and more – with curiosity and participation as central themes. Among the new works is Filter, in which two people encounter an extreme situation, like in the characters in the great operas.
The season gets off to a spectacular start with concerts performed by The Göteborg Opera Orchestra: An Anniversary Concert at Stora Teatern and a magnificent Beethoven marathon in collaboration with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
We welcome you to a season packed with powerful stories and personalities – and, of course, wonderful music.
— Henning Ruhe, Artistic Director Opera/Drama