Anna Bolena

Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848)

19:00 - 22:20
C-Prices: € 100,00 / € 82,00 / € 58,00 / € 34,00 / € 24,00
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Information about the work

Tragedia lirica in two acts
Libretto by Felice Romani after "Henri VIII" (1791) by Marie-Joseph de Chénier and "Anna Bolena" (1788) by Alessandro Pèpoli.
First performed on 26 December 1830 at the Teatro Carcano in Milan.
Premiere at Zurich Opera House on 5 December 2021
Premiere at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 15 December 2023

3 hrs 20 mins / 1 interval

In Italian with German and English surtitles

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance

recommended from 15 years on
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A production of Zurich Opera House

19:00 - 22:20
C-Prices: € 100,00 / € 82,00 / € 58,00 / € 34,00 / € 24,00
Buy tickets
the content

About the work
The world premiere of ANNA BOLENA in 1830 was a seminal moment in Italian opera. The work placed the 33-year-old Gaetano Donizetti on a par with Rossini and asserted a new and more expressive style alongside the latter’s vocal brilliance. As their material Donizetti and Felice Romani, the best-known librettist of the age, chose one of most tragic, albeit gripping, stories in the history of Britain: the trial for alleged adultery of Anne Boleyn, the second wife of King Henry VIII, proceedings that were designed to provide Henry with his second divorce and which ended in Anne’s execution. On the one hand, Donizetti and Romani were responding to increasing public demand for “authentic” storylines that had really happened; on the other hand, they were following a fad, triggered by the novels of Walter Scott, for seeing England and Scotland as a cradle of tragic and blood-thirsty drama. It was a path that Donizetti was also to tread in his later works MARIA STUARDA and ROBERTO DEVEREUX, which have joined ANNA BOLENA to form a Tudor trilogy. Since the revival of the piece in the 1950s/60s, it has given Joan Sutherland, Montserrat Caballé, Leyla Gencer and Edita Gruberová an opportunity to expand the art of dramatic bel canto. ANNA BOLENA calls not only for a charismatic heroine; the cast of characters is bulging with roles – from the unscrupulous king and his new paramour Giovanna Seymour to Anna’s confidant and alleged lover, Percy, – that combine exquisite voices, technical virtuosity and heightened powers of expression.

About the production
For the last three decades New Yorker David Alden has been establishing himself internationally as one of the most successful directors in the musical-theatre genre. Over recent years the Deutsche Oper Berlin has seen him bring his talent to the staging of Britten’s PETER GRIMES and BILLY BUDD and to a particularly triumphant run with Meyerbeer’s LES HUGUENOTS. Alden’s approach to ANNA BOLENA is informed by the same balance of tragedy and wry humour that formed his attitude towards the period operas of the 19th century. The costumes are true to their time, but Alden toys brilliantly with time periods, incorporating stylistic elements reminiscent of Thatcher’s Britain and poking fun at certain British foibles. Our heroine’s tragedy, rendered simply and shatteringly right up to the gory ending, remains at the core of the work.

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Der Adventskalender 2023

Just like cinnamon and biscuits, the musical Advent calendar is an integral part of the pre-Christmas period. In keeping with the motto "brevity is the spice of life", we will once again be presenting a varied programme in December from Monday to Friday from 5.00 p.m. in the foyers or in the Tischlerei to sweeten the wait for the big festive season. From the presentation of the new scholarship holders, who enrich the vocal ensemble, to readings, piano music and Christmas brass, to a visit from St Nicholas, there's something for everyone. Come along and experience our artists up close!

Our Advent Foyer Programme
Visit our chamber concerts and readings from Monday to Friday, from 5.00 p.m. to approx. 5.25 p.m., in the Rank foyer on the right, in the Parquet Foyer or in the Tischlerei. Admission is free.

1 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"An American Christmas" - Favourite songs from North and South America
with Julie Wyma, Valeria Delmé and Jamison Livsey

4 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
African American Spirituals
with Christian Simmons and John Parr

5 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet foyer
César Franck: Sonata in A major for violin and piano
with Elisabeth Heise-Glass and Elda Laro

6 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
St Nicholas comes to visit
with Gerard Farreras, Jens Holzkamp and the Junge Deutsche Oper

7 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet foyer
"Christmas is here again"
with the small chorus of the children's chorus, Rosemarie Arzt and Jitsu Park

8 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet foyer
Excerpts from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Christmas Oratorio"
with soloists from the children's and youth chorus and the chorus

11 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
"Ding Dong! Merrily on High"
with the VoiceChangers and Rosemarie Arzt

12 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
Our scholarship holders introduce themselves
with Hye-Young Moon, Lilit Davtyan, Youngkwang Oh and Pauli Jämsä

13 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Jewish music for Hanukkah
with Daniel Draganov, Natalie Buck and Maxime Perrin

14 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"Roses et papillons" - songs by César Franck
with Andrea Schwarzbach and Christian Zacker

15 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Maurice Ravel: "Chansons madécasses"
with Arianna Manganello, Elda Laro, Arne-Christian Pelz, Ruth Pereira-Medina

18 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
"Four tubas for a Merry Christmas"
with Vikentios Gionanidis, Péter Kánya, Thomas Leyendecker and Thomas Richter

19 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Tischlerei
Karol Szymanowksi: Sonata for violin and piano, op. 9
with Magdalena Heinze and Elda Laro

20 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
The golden era of bel canto
with Arianna Manganello and Elda Laro

21 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Rank foyer on the right
Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" - A reading
with Dietmar Schwarz and Fanny Frohnmeyer

22 December 2023 | 5.00 p.m. | Parquet foyer
Christmas singing together
with the brass players of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

All further information in the respective daily door on our homepage

Raffles at the weekends
Because an Advent calendar is of course also filled at weekends and on Christmas Eve, you will find online prize draws on our homepage on Saturdays and Sundays as well as on 24 December. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our co-operation partners such as NAXOS and Sauerländer Audio.