Young Operas Rhein-Ruhr

Opera for young audience in Düsseldorf-Duisburg, Dortmund & Bonn

Jens-Daniel Herzog (Intendant der Oper, Theater Dortmund), Prof. Christoph Meyer (Generalintendant der Deutschen Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg), Dr. Bernhard Helmich (Generalintendant des Theaters Bonn) | (c) Paul Esser
In season 2013/14 the region of Nordrhein-Westfalen sees the start of a project unique in all Germany: “Young Operas Rhein-Ruhr” is the name of the collaboration initiated between Deutsche Oper am Rhein and the theatres of Dortmund and Bonn, with the common aim of a notable increase in activity in opera for children and the younger generation.

The choice of operas intended by the theatres for children and the younger generation is limited, and has comprised hitherto mainly compositions for chamber ensembles and for small stages. In view of this, the project “Young Operas Rhein-Ruhr” has set itself the ambitious goal of producing operas for the young with full-scale forces on its four large stages.

Encouraging results in this sector have been achieved for some years in Düsseldorf, Duisburg and Dortmund. More than thirty thousand seats a year speak for the established success of the productions of “Robin Hood”, “Der gestiefelte Kater”, “Die Nachtigall” and “Die Prinzessin auf der Erbse” in Düsseldorf and Duisburg, while in Dortmund an excellent response was accorded to the family piece “Peter Pan” and to the “Der gestiefelte Kater” production borrowed from Deutsche Oper am Rhein. At the Bonn Theater the young of all ages have been treated to a family opera “Die Abenteuer von Pinocchio” and concerts with the Beethoven Orchestra for children and families. By pooling their resources, the partners in this project gain a double advantage: Their budget is better used by sharing expenses, and each production reaches a considerably larger public through having four venues.

The joint opera venture already commissioned two new compositions: “Vom Mädchen, das nicht schlafen wollte” had its world première on 14 February 2014 in Theater Duisburg. After the Düsseldorf première on 25 June 2014, the production will be shown from May 2015 in Theater Dortmund, it will reach Theater Bonn during the 2015/16 season. The world première of “Ronja Räubertochter” after Astrid Lindgren will continue the series in February 2015 - a very special event: The publishers and the heirs of the late authoress were as a first step convinced to permit the opera project, and have licensed the libretto by Holger Potocki and agreed to Jörn Arnecke as composer. This world première will also be given by all three companies in their venues in four cities.

In all of the three theatres, the operas for young audience are accompanied by an extensive pedagogic theatre programme. This is to include patronage classes, in which the public will be involved in the development of the performances by the pedagogic staff, and workshops in schools to familiarize the young people in advance with the stories and the music of the works. In the last four years Deutsche Oper am Rhein has mounted a total of 758 workshops of this sort. The framework of the pedagogic theatre programme in the four cities is to make a major contribution to increasing interest in children’s opera and arousing enthusiasm for the operatic art with a new public.

"Junge Opern Rhein-Ruhr“ is a co-operation of Deutsche Oper am Rhein with Theater Dortmund and Theater Bonn under the patronage of Ute Schäfer, minister of Family Affairs, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia


Theater Dortmund

Theater Bonn


In season 2015/16:

We | 17.06.15 | 11.00 Ronja Räubertochter Opernhaus Düsseldorf
Th | 18.06.15 | 11.00 Ronja Räubertochter Opernhaus Düsseldorf
Fr | 19.06.15 | 18.00 Ronja Räubertochter Opernhaus Düsseldorf
Su | 21.06.15 | 11.00 Ronja Räubertochter Opernhaus Düsseldorf


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