“Podium for the world of artists”


Alte Oper Frankfurt presents program 2023/24

by Karl-Heinz Stier

(22.03.2023) The new program of the Alte Oper Frankfurt promises a concert life with performances by top international artists and top-class orchestras, with festivals and program focuses, with music education offers.

Explanations were given by the chairwoman of the supervisory board and head of the culture department, Dr. Ina Hartwig and artistic director and managing director Dr. Markus Fein
Photo: Karl-Heinz Stier


The highlights include guest performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (under Riccardo Muti) and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (under Fabio Luisi) for the first time in a long time US American top orchestras are guests in the Alte Oper (both guest performances in cooperation with Pro Arte Frankfurt) .

The top European orchestras include the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics, the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Dresden, the Orchester Philharmonique de Radio France and many more. Joshua Bell, Sol Gabetta, Igor Levit, Jörg Widmann, Sir András Schiff and Frank Peter Zimmermann are just a few of the top-class soloists who can be heard at the Alte Oper. In addition, Lang Lang and Anne Sophie Mutter accept the invitation to the house. In the field of jazz, Till Brönner (with his own jazz residency), Dianne Reeves and Gregory Porter set accents.

The Alte Oper marks both the beginning and the end of the 2023/24 season with prominently cast orchestral concerts: At the season opening (September 14, 2023), the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann accept the invitation to the Alte Oper – a “square music” before the concert will lead the audience into the house. The end of the season will be denied on June 7, 2024 by the Dallas Symphony with Anne-Sophie Mutter as the soloist. At the end, the audience is invited to a small drink.

Five days of free concerts are available at Fratopia – the Festival of Discovery. The third edition of the festival (September 26-30) has a new meaning. Because the festival at the beginning of the season is linked this time with an invitation to everyone to simply come to the house and experience one or more of the many concerts, some of which are taking place in parallel, some of which are taking place one after the other. All concerts can be attended without a ticket and without registration – this applies to an afternoon concert with drummer Alexej Gerassimez as well as an evening appointment with Michael Wollny and Pierre Laurent Aimard in the Great Hall, which has been transformed into an open space. The program includes Bach’s entire suites for cello solo with the young cellist Anastasia Kobekina, late-night electro sounds, “in the middle of concerts” in the Mozart Hall.

The focus that the Alte Oper is devoting to the clarinettist and composer Jörg Widmann is entering its second round in 2023/24. This time, Jörg Widmann can be experienced not only as a performer and composer for a concentrated weekend (April 19-21, 2024), but also very directly as a teacher and lets the audience participate in how he and his students give a performance of his string quartets No. 1-5 elaborated. (Cooperation with the Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts)

History becomes tangible in Salon Frankfurt, which the Alte Oper and the Historical Museum Frankfurt developed together. Three times during the season (November 24, 2023, February 19, 2024, June 2, 2024) a historical panorama unfolds in film and sound excerpts, texts and chamber music. The focus of the coming editions will be Frankfurt cuisine, a passion for butterflies and a puppet theatre.

Different context, different perception: This is the idea behind the Alte Oper’s away games, which take the audience and the performers to different venues twice a season. In this context, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (October 8, 2023) will be a concert stage for the first time, where the British musician Rakhi Singh will create new worlds of sound on the violin and with electronics. The second date (June 9, 2024) will be organized by cellist Abel Selaocoe and the Manchester Collective in the VGF depot with a course through genres and epochs.

You can experience a film classic in a new sound when the 100-year-old silent film Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari” in the new setting by Karl Bartos will be premiered (commissioned by the Alte Oper Frankfurt; February 17, 2024). The ex-Kraftwerk musician has been working on this first psychological thriller in film history for almost 20 years, to which he added a new sound and music level using electronic means.

The ZDF three-part series about a story of awakening in post-war Germany was followed by the stage version: “Ku’damm 56 – The Musical” had its celebrated premiere in Berlin at the Theater des Westens in 2021 – with music by Rosenstolz composers Peter Plate and Ulf Leo Sommer . In winter, the production goes on tour for the first time and comes straight to Frankfurt, where “Ku’damm 56” can be experienced at Christmas time (December 20, 2023 to January 7, 2024).

The successful Pegasus program with concerts and workshops for children and young people of all ages will be continued: The brochure with all the offers will be published on July 5, 2023, and advance sales will begin on July 12.

So far essential parts of the annual program 2023/24. Culture Director Dr. Ina Hartwig, chairwoman of the board of directors of the Alte Oper, appreciates the cultural participation in particular: “The program for the new season is combined with a warm invitation to everyone to rediscover music. The planning team at the Alte Oper brought all their expertise and passion to this.”

And managing director Dr. Markus Fein adds: “Culture is completely alive, something that has a lot to do with us humans, with our need for exchange. That’s why we let the audience get very close to the musicians in some formats. Our wide range of offers would not be possible without the support of the City of Frankfurt and the generous support of our patrons and sponsors.”

In a review of the 2022 financial year, which was still shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, Artistic Director Dr. Fine out that in the first
Half of the year some of the planned events could not be held: Compared to the planned 461 events, 403 events took place.

According to the preliminary annual financial statements, the total budget of the Alte Oper Frankfurt is around EUR 19 million in the 2022 financial year, which is around EUR 5.2 million more than the previous year’s budget, which was still influenced by Corona. The total budget is more than 2 million euros below that of last year without corona effects (2019).

The house itself took in around 12 million euros of this, in particular through ticket sales and rentals as well as subsidies from the Society of Friends of the Old Opera Frankfurt, donations and sponsorship. Taking into account the federal funds received in 2021, which are still subject to final determination, the proceeds are around EUR 5.3 million above the previous year’s figure. Compared to 2019, revenues fell by EUR 2.2 million or almost 16%.

The regular subsidy from the city of Frankfurt amounted to around EUR 7.402 million in 2022 – a decrease of EUR 0.1 million compared to the two previous years due to the end of the special funding for Pegasus from the city.