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Season 2024/2025

Magic without sneaky tricks.

“It must be believed to be seen,” sings Willy Wonka in the musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Like the chocolate factory, we create dreams. But you’ll find no sneaky tricks with us. The magic is created by ingenuity, imagination and solid craftsmanship. We have a tacit agreement with you, the audience, that what happens here is real. When the performing arts convey feelings that can’t be put into words and transport us beyond the truth as we knew it, our inner world changes. And perhaps our outer world does too. This is the magic of performing arts; this is our chocolate factory.

In the 2024/2025 season, we look forward to seeing Carmen, Tosca, Otello, Butterfly, Peter Grimes and Iolanta come to life on the opera stage.

In Verdi’s Otello, based on Shakespeare’s play, the title character has his own perception of reality, based on the way those in his surroundings react to him. A vicious power game blurs the boundary between imagination and truth, making him his own worst enemy.

The villagers surrounding the title character in Britten’s Peter Grimes also perceive their suspicions as the truth. They have greater faith in own prejudices than in an independent court – and even we, as audience members, don’t know whether he is guilty or not.

Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta is about a woman who lives in a world of her own, blind to the outside world. What does she see? Iolanta is performed in a delightful double bill with Mozart’s chaotic comedy, Der Schauspieldirektor. Where is the line between parodic reality and real parody? Perhaps it doesn’t matter.

In this season’s big revivals, we meet the fiery Carmen who doesn’t correspond to the infatuated Don José’s image of a dream woman, the formidable Tosca with her ideals, and Butterfly, whose reality is shattered by an American man’s dream.

During the season, you can also experience the mini-musical eLove, which is about rediscovering love by looking beyond what the eyes can see. In the orchestral concerts Fairy Tale Concert, The Four Seasons and In memoriam, the music conjures up inner images, as do the wonderful voices in the Grandi voci series featuring stars such as Malin Byström.

Of course, children and young people also get to experience both dreams and reality this season. Hillary the Witch visits the Opera, a Saint Lucia procession stumbles upon an amazing factory, and our activities – both those we organise in the holidays and in collaboration with schools – are linked to the repertoire on our stages.

This season, we celebrate 30 years of fantastic experiences together. Art is an expression of free thought, and we encourage you to imagine – everything. Nothing is false. Everything and nothing is true. Where does our imagination begin?

Welcome to the dream factory by the river!

Henning Ruhe
Artistic Director Opera/Drama

Henning Ruhe