MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

Lear from Bayerische Staatsoper

Bayerische Staatsoper is making the stream of Christoph Marthaler’s new production of Lear by Aribert Reimann available until 1 July here.


King Lear intends to distribute his kingdom among his three daughters. Those that love him the most will receive the most. As Cordelia only describes her love in plain, simple words, she disappoints her father and leaves empty-handed. The kingdom is divided between the other two, and discord and scheming set in immediately. Lear is broken by it, becomes a powerless beggar and loses his sanity.
Aribert Reimann composed his opera Lear based on William Shakespeare’s tragedy, King Lear, with a libretto by Claus H. Henneberg. It celebrated its world premiere at the Nationaltheater in the 1978 as a work commissioned by the Bayerische Staatsoper. Reimann’s composition illustrates a dramaturgy that moves the game of power obsession along at breakneck speed. Lear’s vocal line, characterised by exorbitant virtuosity, illustrates the broken King with his manner of speaking only appearing confused on the surface. The instrumental cluster structures of this monumental work create a breath-taking atmosphere, and are the reason why, as an opera classic of the 20th century, this metamorphosis is an indispensable mirror image of our age.


König Lear Christian Gerhaher 

König von Frankreich Edwin Crossley-Mercer 

Herzog von Albany Ivan Ludlow 

Herzog von Cornwall Jamez McCorkle 

Graf von KentBrenden Gunnell 

Graf von Gloster Georg Nigl 

Edgar Andrew Watts

Edmund Matthias Klink 

Goneril, Tochter König Lears Angela Denoke 

Regan, Tochter König Lears Ausrine Stundyte

Cordelia, Tochter König Lears Hanna-Elisabeth Müller (

Narr Graham Valentine

Bedienter Dean Power 

Ritter Marc Bodnar 

Bayerisches Staatsorchester

Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper

Creative Team:

Conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste

Production Christoph Marthaler

Production Assistant Joachim Rathke

Set Design Anna Viebrock

Costume Design Dorothee Curio

Lighting Michael Bauer

Choruses Stellario Fagone

Dramaturgy Benedikt Stamp

Filed under: Bayerische Staatsoper


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