Young Friends

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    The APOLLOS - the YOUNG FRIENDS of Berlin’s Staatsoper – are a network of young opera fans under 35.

    Since 2002, they share their passion for opera, classical music and the cultural life of Berlin. As an APOLLO, you support the Staatsoper with an annual membership fee of 50,- Euro. You will be invited to many events – for example dress rehearsals at the Staatsoper – and have access to our exclusive ticket service.

    For many years now, we have been organizing international opera weekends, where we invite young opera fans from all over Europe to come to Berlin. Furthermore, we intensify this cooperation with other young friends by visits to Bayreuth, Salzburg or Milano. 

    Here you can become a member: › Application form 

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  • Chronicle

    30 September - 02 October 2016 | International Opera Weekend by the Young Friends
    From 30 September to 2 October 2016, the 11th International Opera Weekend of our Young Friends took place in Berlin. Young opera lovers from all over Europe (for example from Oslo, Paris, Genua, Venedig, Amsterdam, München and Bayreuth) came to Berlin to enjoy extraordinary performances and discover Berlin’s many cultural venues. Highlight of the weekend was the visit of the performance of Mozart’s »Don Giovanni« in Claus Guth’s exciting staging at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater, together with many other guests under 35 years within the frame of »Staatsoper at cinema pricing. Matthias Schulz, designated Artistic Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, cordially welcomed the participants of the Opera Weekend. Furthermore, »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg« at the Komische Oper and a concert by the Berliner Philharmoniker were on the program. The weekend was topped off by a visit of Berlin’s TV tower as well as a guided tour of the Barenboim-Said Akademie and the Pierre Boulez Saal.

    21 July 2016 | APOLLOS in Bayreuth: »Tristan und Isolde«
    Our yearly visit to the Green Hill belongs to the highlights of the Apollo-season. In 2016 we had the great opportunity to visit the general rehearsal of »Tristan und Isolde« after an invitation by the friends of Bayreuth – Katharina Wagner’s staging celebrated its premiere last year. Under the baton of Christian Thielemann we got to see Petra Lang in her role debut als Isolde, Stephen Gould – one of the outstanding singers of Tristan of our time –  and Georg Zeppenfeld as König Marke. At the barbecue after the performance, we had the chance to meet the members of the other Young opera friends that had travelled to Bayreuth.

    22 - 24 April 2016 | APOLLOS in Munich
    The Junge Opernfreunde München celebrated their 15th anniversary and the APOLLOS celebrated with them! We thus had the chance to get to see three great performances at Bayerische Staatsoper: Richard Strauss’ »Elektra« with Evelyn Herlitzius and René Pape, »Boris Godunov« by Modest Mussorgsky in the staging of Calixto Bieito and Donizetti’s »Lucrezia Borgia« with legendary Edita Gruberova. The weekend was completed by dinners and guided tours.

    04 December 2015 | APOLLOS in Milan: Anteprima »Giovanna dArco«
    It’s a highlight in every young European opera lover’s cultural agenda: Three days before the season opening on 7 December, the Scala Milano opens its doors for the young audience and invites them to the »Anteprima«. 2015, a very special opera was on the program: Verdi’s rarely played »Giovanna d'Arco« with Anna Netrebko as the eponymous hero – she also celebrated her role debut here. Under the baton of Riccardo Chailly, she enchanted the audience together with Francesco Meli, Carlos Álvarez and Dmitry Beloselskiy.

    13 October 2015 | Staatsoper for cinema pricing: »Tosca« for everyone under 35
    »Staatsoper for cinema pricing«: Under this slogan, the Friends and Supporters once more offered 300 young people under 35 to watch a performance at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater for just 8,- euros. On 13 October 2015, Puccini’s »Tosca« was on the program. A fantastic ensemble of singers around Anja Kampe and Michael Volle thrilled the young audience. With a glass of wine at the invitation of the Südliche Weinstraße, we had opened the evening in the Glassy Foyer of the Schiller Theater.

    09 - 11 October 2015 | International Opera Weekend by the Young Friends
    The International Opera Weekend by our Young Friends celebrated a jubilee! For the 10th time already, we invited young opera friends from all over Europe to Berlin for three days in order to get to know our outstanding opera and cultural scene. All places were assigned within no time. 50 opera fans under 35 years together visited the superb new production of »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg« with Maestro Daniel Barenboim at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater, a concert with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker in the Philharmonie where the audience enthusiastically celebrated the orchestra and »Die Hochzeit des Figaro« at the Deutsche Oper.

    19 July 2015 | APOLLOS in Bayreuth: »Der fliegende Holländer«
    Once again in 2015, our Young Friends travelled to the Green Hill after an invitation by the friends of Bayreuth! At the beginning of the festival season, on 19 July 2015, we got to see the general rehearsal of Richard Wagner’s »Der fliegende Holländer« under the baton of Axel Kober. Great singers such as Samuel Youn, Kwangchul Youn, Ricarda Merbeth and Tomislav Mužek provided a fantastic performance.

    09 - 11 April 2015 | APOLLOS in Amsterdam
    In April 2015, the Young Friends of Dutch National Opera invited us to an opera weekend in Amsterdam. Not only the wonderful city with its canals and tulips in April awaited us, but also a rich musical programme: At the Dutch National Opera, we saw Verdi’s »Macbeth« staged by Andrea Breth as well as »La Dame aux Camélias« by the Dutch National Ballet. In the world-famous Concertgebouw, we heard a concert of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra together with baritone Matthias Goerne with works by Thomas Larcher and Franz Schubert.

    21.09.2014 | Staatsoper for cinema pricing: »Candide« for everyone under 35
    In the evening of the Staatsoper’s season opening festivity, about 300 young visitors under 35 could watch Leonard Bernstein’s opera »Candide« back on stage of the Schiller Theater. With the project »Staatsoper for cinema pricing«, our association gave them the wonderful chance to see this opera for just 8,- euros.
    With a glass of wine at the invitation of the Südliche Weinstraße the participants opened the evening in the Glass Foyer of the Schiller Theater. Afterwards they enjoyed Berstein’s opalescent »Comic Operetta in Two Acts« after Voltaire’s philosophic-satiric novel »Candide«. A great ensemble of singers around Leonardo Capalbo as the eponymous hero, the charming and humorous staging by Vincent Boussard and opulent rococo costumes by designer Christian Lacroix ensured a wonderful evening.

    21.07.2014 | APOLLOS in Bayreuth: »Siegfried«
    2014, the APOLLOS once more travelled to the Bayreuth festival. Invited by the friends of Bayreuth, we had the great opportunity to see the dress rehearsal of Richard Wagner’s »Siegfried« and thus get an insight into Frank Castorf’s staging of the »Ring«. Under the musical direction of Kirill Petrenko, Lance Ryan (Siegfried), Catherine Foster (Brünnhilde), Burkhard Ulrich (Mime), Wolfgang Koch (Der Wanderer), Martin Winkler (Alberich) and others enchanted us.

    07.11.2013 | Guided tour through the Staatsoper’s ateliers
    Where are the sceneries and costumes produced so that we can admire them on stage of the Schiller Theaters? On an area of 25.000 square metres, 200 artisans create the world of the stage in the central ateliers of the Stiftung Oper in Berlin. We got to know them during a guided tour.

    11. - 13.10.2013 | International Opera Weekend by the Young Friends
    From 11 to 13 October 2013, the Young Friends of the Staatsoper held the 8th International Opera Weekend in Berlin. Young opera friends from all over Europe were invited to see three operas in Berlin’s three opera houses. The participants were thrilled by the variety of the performances: »Wozzeck« at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater, »Ball im Savoy« at the Komische Oper and »Nabucco« at the Deutsche Oper. Furthermore, a guided tour through the construction site of the opera house Unter den Linden, a reception in the Schiller Theater and a guided tour through Kreuzberg were on the program for the Young Friends and their visitors who came from Italy, Norway and France to Berlin.

    19 September + 04 October 2013 | Staatsoper for cinema pricing
    With the project »Staatsoper for cinema pricing«, our association gives young people (under 35 years) the opportunity to visit an opera for 8,- €. Thus, on 19 September 2013 round about 240 young opera fans could watch Giuseppe Verdi‘s »Un ballo in maschera« with Massimo Zanetti as conductor. The atmosphere in the Schiller Theater where all seats were taken was fantastic.

    On 4 October 2013, 180 young visitors saw Alban Berg’s »Wozzeck«, staged by Andrea Breth, with such fantastic singers as Waltraud Meier and Roman Trekel and with the Staatskapelle Berlin under the direction of Maestro Daniel Barenboim.

    28 August 2013 | APOLLOS in Bayreuth: »Tannhäuser«
    In march 2013 we welcomed the Young Friends of Bayreuth to the »Götterdämmerung« at the Staatsoper, on 28 August 2013 we watched at a return visit the sold-out dernière of »Tannhäuser« at the Bayreuth festival.

    Together with the FRITZEN, participants of a series of events for young people by the Friends of the »Preußische Schlösser und Gärten«, the Apollos took part in a guided tour through the construction site of the opera house Unter den Linden.There we were provided with a lot of information about the refurbishment and the construction progress and were able visualize the enormous dimension of this construction project. Afterwards, the two young friends‘ associations were able to get to know each other while having a cup of coffee together.

    On December 4th, 2012, the Apollos visited the »Anteprima« (special pre-premiere for young people) of the worldwide known season opening of the Scala Milano. Daniel Barenboim conducted Wagner‘s »Lohengrin«, staged by Claus Guth. The Young Friends were thrilled by the fantastic singers of the eveing: Jonas Kaufmann, René Pape and Annette Dasch, who stood in for AnjaHarteros at short notice, satisfied their audience completely.

    The partnership between the Apollos and the Young Friends of the Bayreuth Festival sees its 3rd anniversary this year. Some days before the Staatsoper’sFesttage, we were happy to welcome a small group from Bayreuth in Berlin, with whom we saw the complicated relationship between »Tristan and Isolde«. How complicated was also noticeable on the playbill: Unfortunately neither Waltraud Meier, nor René Pape or Roman Trekel sang. But Linda Watson, KwangchulYoun and Martin Gantner perfectly replaced the roles.

    It is remarkable that there is a young audience for Wagner which is nationwide interested in performances. Even if the connection “Wagner-Barenboim” seems logical to us, it is not naturally that young people spare neither cost nor effort to fulfil their musical needs. The Apollo-membership contributes to support this and the exchange. This will happen again in summer, when a group of Apollos once more travels to the Green Hill. Then IréneTheorin and Robert Dean Smith will voice the love between Tristan and Isolde. They sure can count on the audience’s love of music.

    At an exclusive anteprima-performance, Daniel Barenboim conducted for the first time Rossini’s »Il Barbiere di Siviglia« – 600 young opera lovers and our members were thrilled!
    Following Daniel Barenboim's wish, the Friends and Sponsors made possible this special performance for the young audience, for which a generous contingent of tickets at the price of €7 could be offered to young opera fans under 35. Thus, they all could see Ruth Berghaus’ fascinating staging of 1968, the wonderful music and the fantastic young singers. The atmosphere in the audience was unparalleled. During the ardent final applause, AchimFreyer, who designed the terrific stage design in 1968, was brought on stage as an honoured guest by Daniel Barenboim.

    After the performance, Daniel Barenboim, Jürgen Flimm and the artists came to a meet & greet at the foyer, where they welcomed the many young guests. Mrs. Ludes of the Friends and Sponsor's board also showed her joy over the successful performance. At the reception, we celebrated together the special event with whine and lemonade. We thank the Baikal Getränke GmbH for the "Wostok"-lemonades.

    For one day, the Staatsoper returned to its home Unter den Linden: On June 26th, 2011, we celebrated for the fifth time “Staatsoper für alle” on the Bebelplatz. Daniel Barenboim, young pianist Yuja Wang and the Staatskapelle Berlin enchanted the audience with Beethoven’s piano concert no. 5 and his famous symphony no. 5. In the middle of 25.000 visitors, the Apollos made themselves comfortable and together enjoyed the fantastic music. The concert gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better and we really want to repeat that next year. The programme announced already heightens our excitement!

    Three days – three operas, and much more! From February 25th to February 27th, 2011, the Young Friends of the Staatsoper, together with the youth club of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, have arranged the 5th International Opera Weekend for young opera friends from all over Europe. To be the home of three opera houses of international reputation is a unique privilege of the city of Berlin, and so a rich cultural weekend was waiting for us. As a start, Patrick Lange, musical director of the KomischeOper, delivered us interesting insights into his work as well as an introduction the opera »Rigoletto«, which we could enjoy in the evening. On February 26th it was followed by »Otello« in the Deutsche Oper. Before, we were provided with exclusive insights behind the stage into the work of the opera house and the stage design. Furthermore, Donald Runnicles, musical director of the Deutsche Oper and one of the leading opera conductors of our time, graced us. Of course we didn’t want to miss Berlin’s nightlife, so we started the last day of the weekend a bit tired, but excited about what it had in store for us. After a city tour by bus, we could attend a workshop for »Die EntführungausdemSerail«, organized by the JungeStaatsoper. It was a special kind of introduction themed “Experience yourself”; and so we all chose a role of the opera, of whose actions, emotions and thoughts we were given an understanding by playing ourselves. The performance of this opera in the Staatsoperim Schiller Theater was also the parting event. To experience opera together is such a great fun, and so we all hope to see each other again in one year at the latest for the next International Opera Weekend!

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