Press Release 02/10/2022

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch

Press Release 10.02.2022

Marking Bettina Wagner-Bergelt’s final season as director of the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the premiere of the restaging of Pina Bausch’s 1975 piece Orpheus und Eurydike concludes the cycle of important works from the 1970s that she initiated during her directorship. The dance opera with music by Christoph W. Gluck and set design by Rolf Borzik was last seen in Wuppertal in 1993 and then became part of the Paris Opera Ballet’s repertoire for many years. From 9 April it will be danced by the ensemble of the Tanztheater again, featuring an entirely new cast. In a decade in which Pina Bausch departed from traditions and conventions to search for her own artistic form, the genre of the danced opera stands alongside other highly significant and experimental works such as Macbeth, Bluebeard and Kontakthof.

Pina Bausch’s Orpheus und Eurydike also represents a new and contemporary reading of the musical score. Wagner-Bergelt says: “I see a great affinity between Bausch and Gluck in this work. Gluck drew on material from classical mythology but introduced the idea of psychological characterisation, reforming baroque opera and causing a paradigm shift away from typification and towards individualisation. It is likely that Pina Bausch felt particularly drawn to this composer. Both had no interest at all in the representational formality of baroque opera or classical ballet. Instead, they focused on truthful, authentic feelings.”

In her staging of both Gluck operas – Iphigenia in Tauris (1974) and Orpheus und Eurydike (1975) – Pina Bausch took an unusual, daring approach: She cast the leading roles with a singer and a dancer each, combining the singing voice and dancing body as two different forms of artistic expression. For the restaging in 2022, the role of Orpheus will be sung by a countertenor for the first time.

The Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal and Opernchor of the Wuppertaler Bühnen will be led by Michael Hofstetter. From the end of April to the beginning of May, the production will tour to the GLUCK FESTSPIELE in Fürth, accompanied by the Händel-Festspielorchester and the Lauschwerk / AUDI Chorakademie.

Performances in Wuppertal: 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18 April 2022

Booking opens on 11 February 2022 at 10:00 am; Ticket hotline 0202 563 7666;

Dancers: Pau Aran Gimeno, Naomi Brito / Emma Barrowman, Daria Pavlenko, Luiza Braz Batista,

and also Dean Biosca, Emily Castelli, Maria Giovanna Delle Donne, Taylor Drury, Yosuke Kusano, Reginald Lefebvre, Alexander López Guerra, Nicholas Losada, Blanca Noguerol Ramírez, Claudia Ortíz Arraiza, Eva Pageix, Darko Radosavljev, Pierandrea Rosato, Reika Shirasaka, Ekaterina Shushakova, Oleg Stepanov, Christopher Tandy, Tsai-Wei Tien, Sara Valenti, Tsai-Chin Yu

Singers: Naroa Intxausti, Maxi Sophie Mäder, Vero Miller, Ralitsa Ralinova (Wuppertaler Bühnen), Valer Sabadus, Anna Christin Sayn

Josephine Ann Endicott is the rehearsal director responsible for the restaging, assisted by Çağdaş Ermiş. Dominique Mercy, who created the role of Orpheus, is responsible for coaching the two new soloists in the role. Bénédicte Billiet is working with the singers and Barbara Kaufmann, Julie Shanahan, Julie Anne Stanzak and Rainer Behr are also leading rehearsals and guiding the transmission of roles.

Michael Hofstetter has been a guest conductor for more than 30 years, working at numerous opera houses and festivals including Houston, London, Copenhagen, Oslo, Toronto, Hamburg, Hannover, Stuttgart, Munich and Paris, the Salzburger Festspiele, Händelfestspielen Karlsruhe, WRD-Tage für Alte Musik, the Händelfestspielen Halle and Styriarte Graz. His most recent position as GMD was in Gießen. Previously he had been at the helm of the Orchestre du Chambre de Genève, the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele and the Styriarte Festival Orchestra. He has released more than 30 award-winning CDs and DVDs on major labels including Sony, Deutsche Grammophon and Oehms-Classics. He is a professor at the Johannes-Gutenberg-University in Mainz.

In January 2020, Michael Hofstetter was appointed artistic and executive director of the GLUCK FESTSPIELE. At the beginning of the 2021/22 season, he also became the artistic director of the Tölzer Knabenchor.