Season 2021-22

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AIDA

In the war between Egypt and Ethiopia, Aida is held captive as a slave of the Egyptian princess Amneris. No one knows, however, that she is actually the daughter of the Ethiopian king, Amonasro. Aida has fallen in love with Radamès, who returns her affection, to the great chagrin of Amneris, who wants Radamès for herself. Radamès is made commander of the Egyptian army, putting Aida in a terrible position: a victory for Radamès could mean marriage and freedom for her, but defeat for her father and homeland. When Radamès returns victorious, he is unaware he has captured Aida’s father. Amonasro forces Aida to coax Radamès into revealing military secrets, for which he is sentenced to death for high treason. Amneris offers to lift the sentence if Radames forswears Aida and agrees to marry her instead. He refuses, and is condemned to be buried alive. Aida secretly joins him in the tomb, and they face death together.

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THE COUNT OF LUXEMBOURG

Famous opera singer Angèle would not be eligible to marry Prince Basilowitsch, as she is devoid of a title. To solve this problem, the Prince arranges for the impoverished Count René to marry a lady (Angèle) whose face he is not allowed to see - and to agree to a divorce in three months’ time. As a reward, the Count will get half a million francs. At the wedding ceremony, the two are separated by a canvas and exchange rings without seeing each other. Months later, Angèle meets the Count by chance. They are immediately attracted to each other. Prince Basilowitsch realizes their mutual interest and becomes nervous, especially as his former fiancée Kokozow is on her way. But it is too late: Kokozow arrives, claims her right to marriage, and the Prince must give in. Angèle and the Count confess their love - and are able to stay married…

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INKOGNITO ROYAL

Hamburg, 1912. King Frederik VIII of Denmark leaves his hotel inkognito and forty-five minutes later is found dying on the street. Meanwhile, the Royal family is getting nervous, because the King is missing...

Legends rank around Frederik‘s mysterious death. Rumours spread that he had suffered a heart attack in the arms of a whore. Nonsense? Of course. But… if not?

In an attempt to combine all genres of theatre – music, dance, singing, acting – Den Jyske Opera invites you to have a closer look onto a forgotten chapter of Danish history in the world premiere of acclaimed composer Karsten Fundals’s new opera!

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EN TONE I LIVET / A SONG A LIFE

Memories, words and tones from citizens of all ages in Aarhus, Aalborg and Manchester have been collected by author Cecilie Eken and composer Søren Møller in this musical and citizen-involving work about childhood, the world, grief and being together. A song a life tells a moving story about what singing can mean in a life.

A song a life is the fruit of an extensive collaboration between NGOs, municipalities and cultural institutions, and is performed by Den Jyske Opera's Family Choir, Hjortshøj Girls' Choir, TalentU, the vocal ensemble EVE, JuniorEVE and musicians from the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra.

A song a life marks the start of the music-dramatic festival GrowOP! 2021, which focuses on experiences that can be shared by the whole family. The festival is a collaboration between Den Jyske Opera and Børnekulturhuset.

Season 2022-23

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SUNSET BOULEVARD

Synopsis
Hollywood at the beginning of the 1950s. Debt-ridden screenwriter Joe Gillis is fleeing his creditors and happens to hide in the driveway of an old, dilapidated Hollywood mansion on Sunset Boulevard. There he gains access to a surrealistic world inhabited by a former star of the silent movies Norma Desmond and her butler Max von Mayerling. Norma is briefly irritated, but then grows excited to find that Joe is a screenwriter. She hires him to edit a script she has written, which is to be her triumphant comeback. Reluctantly Joe begins working on it, but doubts that it will ever reach a movie screen. At the same time he falls in love with the aspiring script writer Betty Schaefer. He conceals his infatuation from Norma, who has herself fallen in love with Joe. Norma urges the young man to move in with her and pampers him with money and gifts. Finally she takes him with her to Paramount Studios, where Joe realises that the film studio is only interested in renting Norma’s vintage car. Joe hides this fact from Norma as the truth would destroy her. Max reveals to Joe that he is Norma’s ex-husband and her first film director, and that he writes all her fan letters himself to keep up the illusion that she is still admired all over the world. When Norma discovers Joe’s affair with Betty, she shoots him. When the police arrive, Max stages a grand finale for Norma.

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LA VENDETTA / I PAGLIACCI

In front of the curtain, an actor called Tonio announces the performance. He introduces the Danish National Opera and emphasises our aim to portray life as realistically as possible. Humbly, he asks for a mild reception. The curtain opens and the ensemble performs La Vendetta by Asger Hamerik.

[La Vendetta]
Estrella has fallen in love with Orso – to the dismay of her brother Vitollo, as Orso’s father killed their own father many years ago in an ongoing family feud. Vitollo has therefore sworn eternal hate and tries to convince Estrella to separate from her lover. When she declines to let go, Vitollo tries to shoot Orso, but Estrella throws herself in front of her beloved fiancée and dies. Vitollo, realizing that he has killed his sister, takes his own life.

INTERMISSION

[I Pagliacci]
We see the company now in their daily work life and backstage. They arrive at a new venue, set up the stage and prepare for rehearsals. We sense that the opera’s manager and principal singer, Canio, is very jealous, and angrily guards his young wife Nedda. The technicians tease him that singer Tonio might plan an affair with Nedda. Canio angrily warns everybody not to underestimate him. Nedda is frightened by her husband’s behaviour. Tonio approaches her and confesses his love, but she rejects him. Her lover Silvio, who has played Orso in La Vendetta, arranges a secret rendezvous. Tonio, who has been eavesdropping, fetches Canio to catch Silvio and Nedda together, but Silvio is able to escape unrecognized. Canio demands the name of the fugitive, but Nedda refuses. He attacks her, but Beppe disarms him. Canio is left alone to put on his costume and mourn how hard it is to play a clown whilst being heartbroken...
At an open dress rehearsal, the whole company eagerly awaits the performance:

[The commedia]
Colombina (Nedda) awaits her lover Arlecchino (Beppe), while her husband Pagliaccio (Canio) is elsewhere. Taddeo (Tonio) confesses his love, but she mocks him. Arlecchino and Colombina dine, and he hands her sleeping pills to get rid of her husband. Pagliaccio arrives, but Arlecchino is able to escape.
Canio tries to continue the play, but loses control and his jealousy takes over. The
crew is impressed by Canio’s emotional performance, without realizing that theatre
has been replaced by reality.
Bit by bit it becomes obvious that no one is acting anymore. Silvio fights his way towards the stage to save Nedda from Canio’s rage, but Canio kills Nedda and her lover.

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THE MAGIC FLUTE

The Magic Flute takes you to a faraway land of fairy tales, princes, princesses, mysterious sorcerers, and an evil queen. It tells a story of good versus evil, and of light versus darkness. But most of all, it is the story of Prince Tamino, and how he falls in love with Pamina, who has been abducted by the sorcerer Sarastro. Pamina’s mother – the Queen of the Night – is heartbroken, so when Tamino promises to do everything in his power to bring Pamina back, the grateful Queen gives him a magic flute and a helper – Papageno – armed with magical chimes and a big heart. The two set out to save Pamina, but they must pass through many dangers before the story can reach its happy ending. Along the way, Tamino learns that it is sometimes hard to tell who is good, and who is evil.

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DRACULA

His name was Prince Vlad, but the world knows him as Count Dracula. Deriving from the dark and mysterious Transylvania of the late Middle Ages, the vampire Dracula (meaning ‘son of the Devil’) grows up in a time of constant war. Unable to die he has to travel through time and space to find new blood and after moving to England in pursuit of his latest love-and-death interest, Mina Harker, he is attacked by a courageous group of men led by Professor Van Helsing...