Poster art campaign on Theaterplatz
The Semperoper Dresden is participating in the citywide poster art campaign with two large-format photos of trailblazing productions. The first image shows a scene from Arnold Schoenberg’s opera »Moses und Aron« in the staging by Calixto Bieito, which premiered at the Semperoper at the beginning of Peter Theiler’s tenure in September 2018. The second image is a scene from Giacomo Meyerbeer’s opera »Les Huguenots« in the production by Peter Konwitschny with which Peter Theiler closed his first year as managing director in June 2019. Both scenes are accompanied by quotations from the respective operas, which serve to reinforce the visual message.
Born into Jewish families, both composers were the victims of virulent anti-Semitism. Arnold Schoenberg was forced into exile in 1933, while Giacomo Meyerbeer’s trailblazing compositions prompted Richard Wagner to write his diatribe »Judaism in Music«. Both composers were vilified by the Nazis – and in the post-war years their music only slowly returned to the programmes of Germany’s opera houses.
By remembering and performing these works today, we can spotlight the mistakes of the past – and create a foundation for the art of tomorrow ...
Arnold Schönberg worked on his only opera, »Moses und Aron«, from 1930 to 1932. Just one year later he was forced to emigrate to escape the repressive measures of the Nazi regime. In its unfinished state, this opera is unique in representing a journey into the new and unknown, the question of God’s existence and the Absolute, as well as mankind’s downfall.
In his »Les Huguenots« from 1836, Giacomo Meyerbeer reimagined for the operatic stage a traumatic episode of European history: the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1572, when French Catholics murdered their Protestant compatriots. The opera shows how religious conflict can drive a wedge through society, eventually escalating in savage bloodshed that no one person is able to avert.