The theatre partnership

Deutsche Oper
am Rhein

Düsseldorf Duisburg
The Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg gGmbH is a theatre partnership between the cities of Düsseldorf and Duisburg which can look back on a long tradition of collaboration between the two cities. Since it was founded in 1956, it has consistently been one of Germany’s largest opera houses. With its ensemble of top-quality soloists, its chorus and the nationally and internationally acclaimed company of the Ballett am Rhein, it has established itself as a leading European venue for opera and dance.

Theater Duisburg / Opernhaus Düsseldorf
It is located in one of the most extensive and densely-populated cultural regions in Germany. The cities of Düsseldorf and Duisburg alone possess almost 1.1 million inhabitants and both the adjacent regions and a large number of guests from further afield benefit from the artistic excellence offered by the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.

At its two venues, Opernhaus Düsseldorf and Theater Duisburg, whose combined audience capacity is around 2,400 people, it presents more than 280 events each year. These include opera and operetta, ballet, contemporary music theatre productions and a programme for young audiences, as well as gala concerts and numerous special events together with a contextual programme
The Deutsche Oper am Rhein has been programmed by its General Director Prof. Christoph Meyer since 2009 together with Music Director Axel Kober and – since the 2020/21 season – Ballet Director and Principal Choreographer Demis Volpi. In 2014 Managing Director Alexandra Stampler-Brown joined this Leading Team, whose aims are to consistently further the theatre’s artistic standards and continue its musical tradition while at the same time opening itself up to new artistic perspectives and contemporary readings.
General Director Prof. Christoph Meyer, Managing Director Alexandra Stampler-Brown, Ballet Director & Principal Choreographer Demis Volpi, Music Director Axel Kober

Oper am Rhein – for everyone

Scene from „Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci“
As a consequence, the great classics of the operatic canon – the works of Mozart, Verdi, Puccini and Strauss – are as much part of the repertoire on stage in Düsseldorf and Duisburg as rare pieces of baroque opera, significant works of the modern age and commissions from composers of our own time such as Helmut Oehring, Anno Schreier, Marius Felix Lange, Jörn Arnecke and Lucia Ronchetti.
A sense of the variety of staging vocabulary represented in recent years is evident from names such as Lotte de Beer, Johannes Erath, Tatjana Gürbaca, Claus Guth, Stefan Herheim, David Herman, Dietrich W. Hilsdorf, Immo Karaman, Barrie Kosky, Ilaria Lanzino, Lydia Steier, Elisabeth Stöppler, Michael Thalheimer and Rolando Villazón.
Scene from „Das Rheingold“
Scene from „Vissi d’arte“
Scene from „Als wir nicht wussten wer wir waren“
When it became clear in April of the 2019/20 season that lavishly cast new productions would not be possible immediately after lockdown, a focus was placed on the 20th century’s range of sonic riches with works by Ullmann, Blacher, de Falla, Weinberg and the Comedian Harmonists, an intimate orchestral adaptation of Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde’ with multiple layers of sound was specially commissioned for the DOR from Eberhard Kloke, Jacques Offenbach was presented in semi-staged form, the opera stage was reopened with ‘Vissi d’arte’, a musical and theatrical declaration of love to opera itself, and new and agile formats such as our musical blind date ‘Rendezvous um halb Acht’ (Rendezvous at Seven Thirty) were created for after-work audiences. Many of these ideas, inventions and innovations, both as live experiences and on our digital stage and as part of the project ‘The Digital Foyer’ in co-operation with the FFT, will continue to inform our artistic work in future, helping to shape and reflect lasting change. For the 2021/22 season, productions on both stages range from A for ‘Andrea Chenier’ to Z for ‘Die Zauberflöte’ and include the opportunity to experience 11 new opera productions and 7 ballet premieres as well as the revival of a comprehensive repertoire after the enforced hiatus of the pandemic. There will also be world premieres of works for children in our new mobile venue the UFO, the foyer of Opernhaus Düsseldorf and touring to classrooms and nurseries.

The largest ensemble of soloists in the world

This many-sided repertoire is sustained by the artistic ensembles that the Deutsche Oper am Rhein is able to bring together. The largest ensemble of soloists in the world includes both experienced and internationally acclaimed singers in addition to many young artists launching their careers from Düsseldorf and Duisburg. The current full-time ensemble consists of 47 soloists and six members of the Opera Studio. This is supplemented by a series of guest artists, many of whom enjoy a close and long-standing association with the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.

Deutsche Oper am Rhein Chorus

While the respective orchestras of both cities – the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker and the Duisburger Philharmoniker – contribute to the artistic success of the opera and ballet productions in Düsseldorf und Duisburg, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Chorus appears on stage in almost all opera productions and selected ballet productions and is appreciated by the audience as a significant element of the theatre partnership.

The emotional generator that is opera rarely reaches full power without a dynamic chorus! What luck that the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Chorus is at home on both stages in Düsseldorf and Duisburg. Created by the Düsseldorf-Duisburg theatre partnership, since it was re-founded in 1956, it has proven night after night that its balanced vocal power and exuberant performance have provided the finishing touch for opera stories in the most varies musical styles, genres and languages.

Under the committed leadership of its Choral Directors Hans Frank (1957–1967), Rudolf Staude (1967–1996), Volkmar Olbrich (1996–1999), Deputy Choral Director Wolfgang Dünwald (1969–2001) and, since 2000, Gerhard Michalski with his deputy Patrick Francis Chestnut, the chorus has earned itself an excellent reputation. Whether with Schönberg’s ‘Moses und Aron’, the choral operas of Benjamin Britten, Wagner’s ‘Lohengrin’, with the British baroque works of Georg Friedrich Handel or successful operetta productions, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Chorus has consistently demonstrated its charisma and vocal power. It can also boast numerous original collaborations with the Ballett am Rhein including Brahms’s ‘Ein Deutsches Requiem’, Stravinsky’s ‘Symphony of Psalms’ and Rossini’s ‘Petite Messe solennelle’.