Berlin-baseed Orchestras

Staatsoper Unter den Linden / Ensemble Modern

Past Dates

Further performances on 8, 9 and 10 September 2007.

Hans Werner Henze’s “concert opera” PHAEDRA, written for the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, will be premiered at this year’s musikfest berlin. The poet Christian Lehnert’s libretto reaches far beyond the Greek myth of Queen Phaedra, who falls in love with her stepson Hippolytus and unleashes a hopeless catastrophe. The first part of the opera follows the dramatic course of events which has been addressed by tragedians ranging from Euripides and Racine to Sarah Kane. The second part falls back on a mythological thread which can be found woven through Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The mortally wounded Hippolytus is literally put back together by the goddess Artemis on the island of Nemi so that he can live out a new existence as Virbius, who can only perceive his own consciousness in a kaleidoscope-like manner. He is beset by Phaedra, who has returned from the dead, and the goddesses Artemis and Aphrodite, and the relationships between man and the gods are reconstituted into new forms. Stage design is by Olafur Eliasson, and director Peter Mussbach opens his Staatsoper Unter den Linden to an excellent ensemble of exquisite soloists.


Concert opera in two acts [2006/07] World Premiere
Text Christian Lehnert
Music Hans Werner Henze [*1926]


Ensemble Modern
Conductor Michael Boder

Directed by Peter Mussbach
Stage Design Olafur Eliasson
Costume Design Bernd Skodzig
Lighting Design Olaf Freese
Dramaturgy Jens Schroth

Phaedra Maria Riccarda Wesseling (6, 8 + 10 September) / Natascha Petrinsky (9 September)
Aphrodite Marlis Petersen
Hippolyt John Mark Ainsley
Artemis Axel Köhler
Minotauros Lauri Vasar

Commissioned work and co-production of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie Bruxelles, Wiener Festwochen, Alte Oper Frankfurt and Berliner Festspiele.