Season 2018-19

New season 2018-19

Danish National Opera presents the season 2018-19:
The season opens in August 2018 with the already-announced The Passenger, directed by Danish National Opera’s new General Manager and Artistic Director Philipp Kochheim himself. After Weinberg’s holocaust opera The Passenger at Musikhuset Aarhus, the season’s touring productions will take the public to Ancient Egypt in August Enna’s Cleopatra, a seedy tango club in Astor Piazzolla’s María de Buenos Aires and a bullring in Seville in Georges Bizet’s Carmen. The very smallest operagoers will be introduced to the opera genre with a poetic baby opera, HeartBeat, by Sam Glazer.

Read the programme book (mainly in Danish) online


"Please allow yourself to be seduced by what Alexander Kluge called the “powerhouse of emotions” and discover that opera is not a dusty museum, but a contemporary art-form that has many surprises in stall and relevant stories to tell!

I am looking forward to welcome you in one of our venues all around Denmark! Let us celebrate together the immortal beauty of opera.”

Philipp Kochheim, operachef Den Jyske Opera

The Passenger

The Passenger (Mieczyslaw Weinberg)
Premiere: August 22.-28. 2018 Musikhuset Aarhus. 

In 1960 a middle-aged couple is crossing the Atlantic on board an ocean steamer. Walter is a diplomat heading for a new position in South America. Suddenly his wife Lisa encounters a mysterious passenger who reminds her of somebody she once
knew. Overwhelmed, she confesses to her husband that she had once been a prison guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp and that she believes the woman to be one of the inmates, called Marta. Lisa is thrown back into carefully hidden parts of her biography and forced to confront the truth
– her horrible past penetrates the present and reveals the lies of her life: Auschwitz returns. Walter has to learn that his wife had kept Marta as a kind of slave and allowed her boyfriend Tadeusz to be killed before her very eyes. The deeper Lisa digs into her past, the more she gets entangled in contradictions, until she finally confronts the mysterious passenger directly…


Carmen (Georges Bizet)
Premiere: October 5. in Alsion, Sønderborg.
Tour October-December 2018.
Musikhuset Aarhus November-December 2018.

Carmen, a ravishingly attractive gypsy, works in a cigarette factory. When she spots a soldier, Don José, who seems to be the only man around who is not interested in her, she attempts to seduce him. She succeeds easilyand Don José falls madly in love with her. Giving up his former fiancée Micaëla, he follows Carmen to the smugglers’ camp where she lives. But soon the free-spirited Carmen meets and falls for another man, the famous
torero Escamillo. His jealousy drives Don José crazy and finally he kills Carmen outside the bull ring of Seville as thousands cheer the triumphant Escamillo...


Cleopatra (August Enna)
First opera i The Danish Series
Premiere: March 1 2019 in Musikhuset Aarhus.
Tour March 1 - April 13 2019

Disguised as an interpreter of dreams, Prince Harmaki is introduced into Queen Cleopatra’s palace to kill her, regain power over Egypt and free his country of any Roman influence. One of Cleopatra’s chambermaids, Charmion, is deeply in love with him and helps to plan the plot. But as soon as Harmaki sees Cleopatra, he is struck by her beauty and is unable to go on with the assassination. When Charmion recognizes she is losing Harmaki, she reveals the plot to Cleopatra. Harmaki is killed, the conspirators are caught – and Charmion has to face the terrible consequences of her jealousy…


HeartBeat (Sam Glazer)
Opera for babies 0-2.5 years old
Premiere: January 11 2019.
Tour January 11 - February 3  2019

The earliest sensory experiences in mother's  womb - the sound of the beating heart, the song of the blood and muted sounds from the outer world transform into music in the most beautiful way. In  HeartBeat babies, toddlers and their families are invited into a special and magical physical space full of sensations, and impressions of a gentle, poetic and deeply human nature. An experience reaching from heart to heart.

María de Buenos Aires

María de Buenos Aires (Astor Piazzolla). 
Premiere: March 23 2019 in Pumpehuset, Copenhagen
Tour March 23 - April 13 2019.

A lonely night in Buenos Aires. An old man calls up the spirits of his past and in particular the love of his life, María, who has died a long time ago. She appears and remembers her childhood in the favelas, her dreams as a young girl, her life in the underworld and in cheap brothels. They remember their first shy encounter and the hours they spent together, dancing in a café on the Avenida Independencia a few days before María was murdered. Afterwards the man has withdrawn into a world of memories, which have dominated the rest of his life. He recognizes that his love will end only with his own death.

About season 2018-19

One of the new initiatives is The Danish Series, a succession of older and almost forgotten Danish operas. Philipp Kochheim says: “Our society and civilization should not stand still, but always
develop. And for that it seems essential to dig into the past to understand, where we are coming from, to connect ourselves to our heritage and to reflect and define our beliefs and principles to be able to secure the survival of our human values in the future. And with our “Danish Series” we aim to unfold and celebrate the wealth of Danish culture and enable our audiences to broaden their understanding of their own national legacy.”

In the 2018-19 season the public can also meet Danish National Opera’s new ensemble. Five young singers selected from hundreds of applicants from all over the world are moving to Aarhus to sing major roles in Danish National Opera’s productions. Audiences will also be able to see and hear them in solo concerts, symphonic concerts and other artistic events all over the country.