Bayerische Staatsoper


by Alice Lechner
July 14, 2020


National Theatre in Munich is a historic opera house, home of the Bavarian State Opera, Bavarian State Orchestra and the Bavarian State Ballet.
In 1806, the Elector Max I Joseph became King of Bavaria, and Karl von Fischer was his leading architect. The King was so impressed by a visit to the Theatre de l’Odeon in Paris that he ordered a test to be carried out to see whether the “Paris Model“ could work in Munich. Construction began on October 26th, 1811, but was interrupted in 1813 because of financing problems. In 1817 a fire occurred in the unfinished building. Finally, on October 12th 1818, the theatre was opened with a performance of “Die Weihe“ by Ferdinand Franzi but was soon destroyed by another fire on January 14th 1823. The theatre was burnt down to its foundations. Coincidentally, the Paris Odeon itself burnt down in 1818.

Under the direction of Leo von Klenze, the theatre was reconstructed in just two years. The second theatre incorporated Neo-Greek features. In 1925 it was modified to create an enlarged stage area with updated equipment.

During the Second World War, the theatre was destroyed. On the night of October 3rd 1943, explosives and firebombs struck the theatre. In 1951, the rebuilding had already exceeded the budget, so the Landtag (State Parliament) opposed its rebuilding. Moreover, the city planners wanted to remove the ruins to make more room for transport services in the city centre.

So, a citizen’s group (called “Friends of the National Theatre “) collected additional funds and won over public support for the theatre’s reconstruction.
The third and present theatre recreates Karl von Fischer’s original neo-classical design on a slightly larger, 2000-seat scale.
The new stage covers 2,500 square meters and is thus the world’s third largest, after the Opera Bastille in Paris and the Grand Theatre in Warsaw.
During its early years, the National Theatre saw the premiers of many operas, including German composers. These included Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde (1865), Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg (1968), Das Rheingold (1869) and Die Walkure (1870).
During the 19th century, Richard Strauss became the main conductor of the theatre. His Friedenstag (1938) and Capriccio premiered in Munich in the pre-War period.

The Cuvilles Theatre (The Residence Theatre)

What is now called the Cuvillies Theatre, after its architect, consists of the auditorium of a theatre that Elector Maximilian Joseph III built as his “new opera house“.
The Residence Theatre was built from 1751 to 1753 by Francois de Cuvillies in a rococo style.
Due to limited space, the National Theatre Munich was built next to the Residence Theatre. The interior decoration was removed under King Ludwig I when the building became a depot for the National Theatre.

After World War II, the theatre was meticulously rebuilt and re-opened in 1958 with a Le Nozze di Figaro performance by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. After 1958, the Residence Theatre is known as Cuvilles Theatre.

The theatre was inaugurated on October 12th 1973, with Catone in Utica by Giovanni Battista Ferrandini.
Many operas were staged there by the Bavarian State Opera, including the premiers of Mozart’s Idomeneo in 1781 and Carl Maria von Weber’s Abu Hassan in 1811.


Sir Colin Davis
Colin Rex Davis was born on September 25th, 1927, in Weybridge, Surrey, England, and was known for his exceptional interpretations of a wide range of classical and contemporary repertoire. His early exposure to music was through the clarinet, which he started playing at a young age. His interest in conducting developed during his time at...
November 2023
Alice Lechner
Teatro Massimo
We continue our Theaters around the World column, and in this issue, we arrive in Sicily, more precisely in Palermo. It is known that Teatro Massimo di Palermo was, for a long time, the third largest opera house in Europe, after Palais Garnier and Wiener Staatsoper. The construction of the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Sicily,...
November 2023
Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner

Alice Lechner comes from a music-loving family. Her first encounter with the opera universe was at the tender age of six. The grandeur of the stage productions and costumes, the backstage chatter, and last, but definitely not least, the music left her in awe, beginning with Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The overall feeling that opera awakens in anyone who gets a glimpse into this part of artistic eternity, that each and every day passes the test of time, was what drew her to stay and be a part of this world. The Opera House of Brașov became her second home, and the people who worked there were her second family.

Since then, Alice has devoted her spare time to maximising her musical knowledge through instrumental studies, studying both piano and violin for a short time. In the following years, her number one passion stepped out of the limelight and graciously gave way to Law Studies.
Since 2018 she has been studying Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Her passion for opera, even if it is no longer her top professional priority in terms of career, it has most definitely become her priority during her free time. Wanting to experience the best of both worlds and extend her musical horizons, she regularly attends opera performances throughout Romania and abroad.
With OPERA Charm Magazine, Alice aims to nurture her creative side to help it flourish and bloom and to discover, alongside the magazine’s readers, the fascinatingly complex world of opera.

Currently, she is an LL.M. in Business Law at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University in Iași.

Oana Zamfir

Oana Zamfir is a second year MA student at the “George Enescu” National University of Arts, at the Department of Musicology.

She studied violin for 12 years at the “Stefan Luchian” High School of Art in Botosani, later focusing on the theoretical aspects of music. In 2019 she completed her bachelor studies in Musicology as a student of the National Academy of Music “Gheorghe Dima” in Cluj-Napoca. Her research during 2018-2019 brought to the forefront elements of the archaic ritual within works of composers who activated during the communist period, giving her the opportunity to start a research internship at the “Carl von Ossietzky” University in Germany. In this context, she recorded conversations with members of the Sophie Drinker Institute in Bremen, and had access to documents directly from the Myriam Marbé archive.

Since 2019 she has been a teacher of Music Education and Theoretical Music Studies, making full use of interactive methods in the musical training of students and working, at the same time, with the children’s choir founded in the first year of her activity.

Her interests include pursuing a degree in interior design in 2020.

Alexandru Suciu

Alexandru Suciu inherited his passion for art growing up in a family of several generations of musicians. He began his musical studies at the “Augustin Bena” School of Music in Cluj, where he studied piano and guitar. Even though his main study direction was philological, his passion for music prevailed. He began his academical journey at the Faculty of Letters of the “Babeș-Bolyai” University, studying Comparative literature and English. He continued by studying Opera Singing at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy. He also graduated the Musical Education section, followed by Artistic Directing at the Musical Performing Arts department.

His multidisciplinary education opened the doors towards research, which is seen both through his participation in national and international conferences and symposia, such as the Salzburg Easter School PhD-forum, organized by the Salzburg Universität or the Silesian Meeting of Young Scholars, organized by the Institute of English at the University of Silesia, as well as the collaboration with Opera Charm Magazine.

During his student years, he won several prizes, including the Grand Prize at the “Paul Constantinescu” National Musical Interpretation Competition, the Romanian Composers and Musicologists’ Union Prize at the same competition, the First Prize and the Schubert Prize at the “Ada Ulubeanu” Competition.

He further developed his artistic skills by specializing in courses and masterclasses held by personalities such as Vittorio Terranova, Giuseppe Sabbatini, Marian Pop, Ines Salazar, Riccardo Zanellato, Paolo Bosisio, Valentina Farcaș and Manuel Lange in contexts such as the Internationale Sommerakademie für Operngesang Deutschlandsberg, Corso Internazionale di Canto Lirico I.M.C. Licata or the Europäische Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Montepulciano. Besides his activity on-stage, he currently teaches Opera Singing Didactics, and Pedagogical Practice within the Department for Teacher Education and Training at the “Gheorghe Dima” National Music Academy.

Cristina Fieraru

Cristina is a 24 year-old Romanian soprano & a student at the National University of Music Bucharest, where she pursues the MA program in Vocal Performance.

She made her debut in Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at only 19 years old at the Bucharest National Opera House, as a member of the Ludovic Spiess Experimental Opera Studio. Over the years she made her debut in roles such as Contessa d’Almaviva (Le nozze di Figaro), Mimì & Musetta (La Bohème), Alice Ford (Falstaff), Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte) in her university’s opera productions.
Her passion and experience extends in the field of choral music, too.

She has been part of our dream team since the fall of 2021. For a good period of time she took care of OPERA Charm’s social media and took you on the monthly journey through the history of opera through our Legends rubric – and a few times through the Theaters around the World rubric.

Her little soul rubric – from 2021 to present – is definitely the Conductors of the Future, where, every month, she gives you the chance to meet a young star of the world of conducting and, of course, to find out what’s the most charming feature of opera in these artists’ views.


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