Home to the Zurich Opera for pushing on 50 years now, Opernhaus Zurich is known and respected the world over as an elite institution that serves as a springboard for first rate opera, ballet, recitals and concerts. It is also the central performance venue for the annual Zurich Festival, which, since 1996, has been a dependable celebration of the best ballet, classical music, and opera that Switzerland has to offer.
The upcoming program (as of November 1, 2011) includes Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker (now through the end of December), Gaetano Donizetti’s Don Pasquale (through November 20), Mozart’s Don Giovanni (through November 11), Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (November 10 only), as well as works by Puccini and Wagner – which is fitting, considering that it is the very spot where the first performance of the latter’s Parsifal was exhibited outside of Bayreuth.
Opernhaus Zurich was also the setting for numerous world premieres, including works by Alban Berg, Paul Hindemith, and Arnold Schönberg.
Among the opera house’s offerings are its workshops and performances for children, which involve kids in the action with costumes, instruments, acting and dancing. There are also interesting talks and lectures given by staff and visiting academics and experts in an attempt to render the rarefied art of opera accessible to the widest possible audience.
With the return of the Zurich Festival in June of 2012, works by Strauss, Verdi, Mozart and others will be presented along with various ballets accompanied by the Zurich Opera House Orchestra, conducted by James Tuggle.