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The Munich Opera Festival(Münchner Opernfestspiele) takes place yearly in the Bavarian capital from late June to late July. Preceding on the calendar the two nearby festivals of Bayreuth and Salzburg, which both start in late July, the festival summarizes the concluding main season's work of the Bavarian State Opera, which administers it, and offers premieres of new stage productions by the company, Germany's largest.
Bavaria, officially the Free State of Bavaria, is a landlocked federal state of Germany, occupying its southeastern corner. With an area of 70,550.19 square kilometres, Bavaria is the largest German state by land area comprising roughly a fifth of the total land area of Germany. With 13 million inhabitants, it is Germany's second-most-populous state after North Rhine-Westphalia. Bavaria's main cities are Munich and Nuremberg.
The Bayreuth Festival is a music festival held annually in Bayreuth, Germany, at which performances of operas by the 19th-century German composer Richard Wagner are presented. Wagner himself conceived and promoted the idea of a special festival to showcase his own works, in particular his monumental cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen and Parsifal.
The Salzburg Festival is a prominent festival of music and drama established in 1920. It is held each summer in the Austrian town of Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. One highlight is the annual performance of the play Jedermann (Everyman) by Hugo von Hofmannsthal.
Venues used include the Nationaltheater, the Prinzregententheater, the Cuvilliés-Theater and the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche. Besides opera, concerts of chamber music are given to showcase the work of members of the Bavarian State Orchestra, which serves in the pit for all opera performances. The festival is formally opened each year with a choral concert performed as part of a full Roman Catholic church service at Michaelskirche; this is led by the Archbishop of Munich and Freising, with the opera company's music director overseeing the work of the musicians in the organ loft. A festival highlight is Opera for All, the live transmission of a full-length production from the theater to an outdoor audience seated in Max-Joseph-Platz.
The National Theatre on Max-Joseph-Platz in Munich, Germany, is a historic opera house, home of the Bavarian State Opera, Bavarian State Orchestra and the Bavarian State Ballet.
The Prinzregententheater, or, as it was called in its first decades, the Prinz-Regenten-Theater, in English the Prince Regent Theatre, is a concert hall and opera house on Prinzregentenplatz in the Bavarian capital of Munich, Germany.
The Allerheiligen-Hofkirche is a church in the Munich Residenz designed by Leo von Klenze and built between 1826 and 1837. The church was badly damaged from bombing during World War II and for decades remained a ruin before undergoing partial restoration and secularization. It is now used for concerts and events.
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Bruno Walter was a German-born conductor, pianist and composer. Born in Berlin, he left Germany in 1933 to escape the Third Reich, was naturalized as a French citizen in 1938, and settled in the United States in 1939. He worked closely with Gustav Mahler, whose music he helped to establish in the repertory, held major positions with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Salzburg Festival, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Staatsoper Unter den Linden and Deutsche Oper Berlin, among others, made recordings of historical and artistic significance, and is widely considered to be one of the great conductors of the 20th century.
Brigitte Fassbaender, is a German mezzo-soprano opera singer and a stage director. From 1999 to 2012 she was intendant of the Tyrolean State Theatre in Innsbruck, Austria. She holds the title Kammersängerin from the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Vienna Staatsoper.
Cheryl Studer is an American dramatic soprano who has sung at many of the world's foremost opera houses. Studer has performed more than eighty roles ranging from the dramatic repertoire to roles more commonly associated with lyric sopranos and coloratura sopranos, and, in her late stage, mezzo-sopranos. She is particularly known for her interpretations of the works of Richard Strauss and Richard Wagner.
The Bavarian State Orchestra is the orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Germany. It has given its own series of concerts, the Akademiekonzerte, since 1811.
Herbert Wernicke was a German opera director and a set and costume designer. He was born in Auggen, Baden-Württemberg. He studied piano, flute, and directing at the conservatory in Braunschweig and set design at the academy in Munich. After starting out as set and costume designer in Landshut and Wuppertal, and directing his first play in Darmstadt, he directed his first opera, Handel's Belshazzar, in 1978 in Darmstadt. The majority of Wernicke's artistic work was at the theater in Basel, where he lived since 1990.
Waltraud Meier is a Grammy Award–winning German dramatic soprano and mezzo-soprano singer. She is particularly known for her Wagnerian roles as Kundry, Isolde, Ortrud, Venus, Fricka, and Sieglinde, but has also had success in the French and Italian repertoire appearing as Eboli, Amneris, Carmen, and Santuzza. She resides in Munich.
David Alden is a prolific theater and film director known for his post-modernist settings of opera. He is the twin brother of Christopher Alden, also an opera director in the revisionist mold. The two brothers have covered much of the same repertoire in their long careers, but whereas Christopher's operatic settings place greater emphasis on his characters' emotional range, David's protagonists are more broadly caricatured and his productions far more politically charged. Another distinguishing feature between them is that David has been more active in Europe throughout his career, having enjoyed a particularly close creative partnership with Sir Peter Jonas for more than two decades, at both the English National Opera and the Bavarian State Opera.
Robert Heger was a German conductor and composer from Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine.
Barrie Kosky is an Australian theatre and opera director.
Taras Konoshchenko is a Ukrainian operatic bass. The winner of numerous vocal competitions, Konoshchenko has performed in concerts in Europe, the United States, Canada, and South America.
Axel Köhler is a German countertenor and opera director. In 1994, he won the Handel Music Prize. Since 2009, he has been Artistic Director of the Halle Opera House.
Hertha Töpper is an Austrian contralto opera singer.
Imre Palló is a Hungarian-born conductor. His father, Imre Palló, was the leading baritone of the Budapest State Opera for 50 years, and also director of the company from 1956-1960. The composer Zoltán Kodály was an intimate friend of the Palló family, and was his godfather, playing a very influential role in his early musical training and education. He studied with Hans Swarowsky at the Vienna Academy of Music, and privately with Ferenc Fricsay. He served as Fricsay's personal assistant at the Salzburg Summer Festival, and also as the assistant to Herbert von Karajan and Karl Böhm at the Salzburg and Vienna Festivals from 1961-1964. He was also the assistant to Antal Dorati for the Haydn recordings with the Philharmonica Hungarica for the Decca label.
Carmen Reppel is a German soprano active in both opera and concert. A member of the Staatstheater Hannover, she had a major international career, appearing in leading roles in over 60 operas. She also explored lesser-known repertoire such as Siegfried Wagner's Schwarzschwanenreich and appeared in contemporary operas, singing in world premieres of operas by Aribert Reimann and Flavio Testi. She is known for her parts in the Jahrhundertring, the centenary production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival, including the filmed version of 1980.
Hanna-Elisabeth Müller is a German soprano in opera, concert and recitals.
The Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding at the Prinzregententheater in Munich, was founded by August Everding in 1993. Since September 2014, the Academy has been directed by Hans-Jürgen Drescher. The academy offers theatrical students nine different programs and through the cooperation of three professionally equipped theaters, it is the largest training center for stage professions in Germany.
Das Gesicht im Spiegel is an opera in 16 scenes by Jörg Widmann, with a libretto in German by Roland Schimmelpfennig. The opera is about the emotional consequences and ethical issues of human cloning. The opera was premiered at the Cuvilliés Theatre in Munich on 17 July 2003, conducted by Peter Rundel.
Michael Hofstetter is a German conductor and academic. He was chief conductor of the festival Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele from 2005 to 2012, and has been Generalmusikdirektor of Gießen since. He has worked internationally at notable opera houses and festivals. He is regarded as an expert of historically informed performance, who has rediscovered and recorded rarely performed operas.
Rosl Schwaiger was an Austrian operatic coloratura soprano. She was a member of the Vienna State Opera and the Bayerische Staatsoper, known for singing Mozart roles such as Blonde, Susanna and Zerlina. She appeared at European opera houses and festivals and was especially popular at the Salzburg Festival, where she appeared for decades in opera and sacred concerts.