Hofoper, Court Opera Dresden, now the Semperoper, Dresden.

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). It is also home to the Semperoper ballet. The building is located near the Elbe River in the historic centre of Dresden, Germany.

The opera house was originally built by the architect Gottfried Semper in 1841. After a devastating fire in 1869, the opera house was rebuilt, partly again by Semper, and completed in 1878. The opera house has a long history of premieres, including major works by Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss.


The building is considered to be a prime example of “Dresden Baroque” architecture. It is situated on the Theatre Square in central Dresden on the bank of the Elbe River. On top of the portal there is a Panther quadriga with a statue of Dionysos. The interior was created by architects of the time, such as Johannes Schilling.

Monuments on the portal depict artists, such as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, William Shakespeare, Sophocles, Molière and Euripides. The building also features work by Ernst Rietschel and Ernst Julius Hähnel. In the pre-war years, the Semperoper premiered many of the works of Richard Strauss.


Operas given their premiere performances at the Semperoper

1842: Wagner – Rienzi, 20 October
1843: Wagner – The Flying Dutchman, 2 January
1845: Wagner – Tannhäuser, 19 October
1895: Eugen d’Albert: Ghismonda, 28. November
1901: Richard Strauss – Feuersnot, 22 November
1905: Richard Strauss – Salome, 9 December
1909: Richard Strauss – Elektra, 25 January
1911: Richard Strauss – Der Rosenkavalier, 26 January

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