Dora

by Bernhard Lang
opera in five acts
libretto by Frank Witzel
Commissioned by Staatsoper Stuttgart
in german with german and english surtitles
Dora is in her mid-twenties and stuck in the sheltered surroundings of her family. Though she still has her whole life ahead of her, she suspects that the future has only the same old worn and well-known ideas to offer than before. Dora, the 21st century’s new heroine of opera, meets her present with total rejection and finds herself in aimless search for something different. Bernhard Lang's rhythm-driven music becomes Dora’s accomplice. In his opera about a longing for something radically new, Lang and librettist Frank Witzel playfully mix varying sounds from different musical epochs whilst laying tracks to centuries old characters, myths and stories. In her relentless search for direction however, Dora resorts to a time-honoured trick by calling upon the devil himself.
With kind support of Stefan von Holtzbrinck
Location
Opernhaus
Duration
approx. 1 h 45 min (no interval)
World prmiere
March 3, 2024 in Stuttgart

Recommended age
from grade 10
There will be an introduction 45 minutes before the performance at foyer I. floor.

Tickets for the entire 2024/25 season can be booked from July 8, 2024, no advance bookings possible.

Mar 2024
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Sun
3
18:00 – 19:45
Opernhaus
Premiere
Cast
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Fri
8
19:30 – 21:15
Opernhaus
Stuzubis 10 € already on presale!
Cast
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Fri
15
19:30 – 21:15
Opernhaus
Stuzubis 10 € already on presale!
Cast
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Fri
22
19:30 – 21:15
Opernhaus
Stuzubis 10 € already on presale!
Cast
Apr 2024
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Mon
1
17:00 – 18:45
Opernhaus
Stuzubis 10 € already on presale!
Cast
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Thu
4
19:00 – 20:45
Opernhaus
Stuzubis 10 € already on presale!
Cast
Mar 2025
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Sun
23
Opernhaus
First performance this season
8-115 € / G, tickets as of 8. July 2024
Cast
Musikalische Leitung N.N.
Regie Elisabeth Stöppler
Bühne und Kostüme Valentin Köhler
Video Vincent Stefan
Licht Elana Siberski
Ton (Klangregie) Matthias Schneider-Hollek
Dramaturgie Miron Hakenbeck
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Sat
29
Opernhaus
8-115 € / G, tickets as of 8. July 2024
Apr 2025
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Fri
4
Opernhaus
8-115 € / G, tickets as of 8. July 2024
https://www.staatsoperstuttgart.de Staatsoper Stuttgart Oberer Schloßgarten 6, 70173 Stuttgart

Tue
8
Opernhaus
8-115 € / G, tickets as of 8. July 2024
Synopsis
Act 1
Dora wanders through the former industrial area she calls home. The desolate landscape reinforces the despised monotony of her everyday life.

Back at the small house she shares with her father, mother, sister, and brother, Dora is haunted by the voices of an ancient chorus. They are curious to know whether people of the present still resort to the use of brute force to resolve their dilemmas. Dora dismisses these thoughts as outdated; her mundane present doesn’t provide any substance for such drama.

Faced with her parent’s repeated accusations of still living under their roof, with no job or ambitions, Dora confronts them with their own failed lives.

Only her younger sister shows solidarity with Dora and hands over the purchases she has made on her behalf: six eggs, two men’s undershirts, two bottles of cooking oil, adhesive tape, a bag of chicken hearts, candles and lamp oil. She would gladly support Dora during her planned ritual at midnight, or at least watch from a safe distance. Nonetheless, Dora embarks alone into the night.

Act 2
On a disused plot of land not far from the housing estate, Dora waits for the spell to work. The devil appears in the form of a bureaucrat and provides the startled chorus with arguments defending his existence. Dora does not recognise the devil despite his rambling and self-important allusions. Nor does she understand what the stranger wants from her and rebuffs him with his questions about her actions. Convinced of a reunion, the devil bids her farewell with an aphorism:

The paths of fate are confused,
and when hope is abused,
we yearn for what we refused.

Act 3
At the district administration office, the devil imposes himself on Berthold, the secretary, with dubious investment proposals for a disused pond. He skilfully evokes a memory of an encounter with Dora: while ice-skating last winter, she caught Berthold off guard with a fleeting kiss. The devil irritates Berthold with unambiguously raunchy allusions to Dora’s nocturnal activities. Then he offers commission payments for the approval of a building project. Berthold can only think of his hopeless love for Dora.

Act 4
Even weeks later, Dora’s situation hasn’t changed. The eternally repetitive and gruelling arguments with her parents are interrupted by her sister, who brings tragic news: Berthold has tried to drown himself in the pond –out of unrequited love for Dora, as he writes in a farewell letter. He was saved but suffered severe damage. Dora only vaguely remembers Berthold but suspects a connection between the accident and her nocturnal encounter with the obscure stranger months earlier. She decides to go and see Berthold in the hospital.

Act 5
Every evening, Dora takes Berthold in his wheelchair on her forays outsidethe housing estate. She hopes for a reunion with the devil, whom she accuses of not having helped her in her search for ways out of monotony. The devil does indeed appear. Once again, Dora cannot make sense of his verbose explanations of the world. The devil is not prepared to irretrievably lose his identity over attempting to jump in as Doras life counsellor. Instead, he tries to tempt Dora into a radically evil deed. When Dora also rejects this as pointless, the devil gives up and leaves Dora alone with her unresolved questions. The ancient chorus also finds itself unable to fulfil its former commentary function. Berthold, who lost his speech during his suicide attempt, stammeringly picks up on a thought that Dora had unconsciously stumbled upon during her confrontation with the devil. Dora turns to Berthold, and for the first time, the prospect of something new emerges.

Who the hell is Dora?

"Who the hell is Dora?" is the question currently being asked on posters and other media in Stuttgart. Yes, who is this Dora actually? Find out for yourself and get to know an excitingly ambivalent young woman who doesn't even shy away from making a pact with the devil - the world premiere of this new opera by composer Bernhard Lang and author Frank Witzel can be seen on March 3 on the stage of the Opera House!
„Eindeutig im Mittelpunkt steht Josefin Feiler als Titelfigur Dora, die einen guttural gefärbten einnehmend timbrierten ausdruckkräftigen Sopran wortwörtlich in die Waagschale werfen kann und damit zur empathischen Figur wird, mit der man mitleidet.“
Online Merker
Friedeon Rosen, 04.03.2024
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Badische Zeitung Freiburg
06.03.2024
„Der stark bejubelte Abend lebt von einem brillanten Ensemble...“
Badische Zeitung Freiburg
06.03.2024