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LocationSemperoper_header_cell_0_0_0 Dresden, GermanySemperoper_cell_0_0_1
CoordinatesSemperoper_header_cell_0_1_0 Semperoper_cell_0_1_1
TypeSemperoper_header_cell_0_2_0 Opera house, concert hallSemperoper_cell_0_2_1
BuiltSemperoper_header_cell_0_4_0 1841 (original)

1878 (first reconstruction) 1985 (second reconstruction)Semperoper_cell_0_4_1

ArchitectSemperoper_header_cell_0_5_0 Gottfried SemperSemperoper_cell_0_5_1

The Semperoper is the opera house of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (Saxon State Opera) and the concert hall of the Staatskapelle Dresden (Saxon State Orchestra). Semperoper_sentence_0

It is also home to the Semperoper Ballett. Semperoper_sentence_1

The building is located near the Elbe River in the historic centre of Dresden, Germany. Semperoper_sentence_2

The opera house was originally built by the architect Gottfried Semper in 1841. Semperoper_sentence_3

After a devastating fire in 1869, the opera house was rebuilt, partly again by Semper, and completed in 1878. Semperoper_sentence_4

The opera house has a long history of premieres, including major works by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. Semperoper_sentence_5

History Semperoper_section_0

The first opera house at the location of today's Semperoper was built by the architect Gottfried Semper. Semperoper_sentence_6

It opened on 13 April 1841 with an opera by Carl Maria von Weber. Semperoper_sentence_7

The building style itself is debated among many, as it has features that appear in three styles: early Renaissance and Baroque, with Corinthian style pillars typical of Greek classical revival. Semperoper_sentence_8

Perhaps the most suitable label for this style would be eclecticism, where influences from many styles are used, a practice most common during this period. Semperoper_sentence_9

Nevertheless, the opera building, Semper's first, was regarded as one of the most beautiful European opera houses. Semperoper_sentence_10

Following a devastating fire in 1869, the citizens of Dresden immediately set about rebuilding their opera house. Semperoper_sentence_11

They demanded that Gottfried Semper do the reconstruction, even though he was then in exile because of his involvement in the May 1849 uprising in Dresden. Semperoper_sentence_12

The architect had his son, Manfred Semper, build the second opera house using his plans. Semperoper_sentence_13

Completed in 1878, it was built in Neo-Renaissance style. Semperoper_sentence_14

During the construction period, performances were held at the Gewerbehaussaal, which opened in 1870. Semperoper_sentence_15

The building is considered to be a prime example of "Dresden Baroque" architecture. Semperoper_sentence_16

It is situated on the Theatre Square in central Dresden on the bank of the Elbe River. Semperoper_sentence_17

On top of the portal there is a Panther quadriga with a statue of Dionysos. Semperoper_sentence_18

The interior was created by architects of the time, such as Johannes Schilling. Semperoper_sentence_19

Monuments on the portal depict artists, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, William Shakespeare, Sophocles, Molière and Euripides. Semperoper_sentence_20

The building also features work by Ernst Rietschel and Ernst Julius Hähnel. Semperoper_sentence_21

In the pre-war years, the Semperoper premiered many of the works of Richard Strauss. Semperoper_sentence_22

In 1945, during the last months of World War II, the building was largely destroyed again, this time by the bombing of Dresden and subsequent firestorm, leaving only the exterior shell standing. Semperoper_sentence_23

Exactly 40 years later, on 13 February 1985, the opera's reconstruction was completed. Semperoper_sentence_24

It was rebuilt to be almost identical to its appearance before the war, but with the benefit of new stage machinery and an accompanying modern rear service building. Semperoper_sentence_25

The Semperoper reopened with the opera that was performed just before the building's destruction in 1945, Carl Maria von Weber's Der Freischütz. Semperoper_sentence_26

When the Elbe flooded in 2002, the building suffered heavy water damage. Semperoper_sentence_27

With substantial help from around the world, it reopened in December of that year. Semperoper_sentence_28

Present-day administration and operations Semperoper_section_1

Today, the orchestra for most operas is the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. Semperoper_sentence_29

The Generalmusikdirektor (GMD) of the Semperoper is normally a different person from that of the Staatskapelle when it presents concerts. Semperoper_sentence_30

Exceptions have been Karl Böhm, Hans Vonk, and Fabio Luisi who have held both positions. Semperoper_sentence_31

Whilst the Semperoper does not have a GMD as of 2015, the current chief conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden is Christian Thielemann, as of the 2012/13 season. Semperoper_sentence_32

The current Intendant (General Manager) of the company is Wolfgang Rothe. Semperoper_sentence_33

Since the 2018/19 season, Omer Meir Wellber is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden. Semperoper_sentence_34

Artists associated with the Semperoper Semperoper_section_2

Conductors Semperoper_section_3

Singers Semperoper_section_4

Operas premiered Semperoper_section_5

See also Semperoper_section_6


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