12th SemperOperaball on 3rd February 2017

“With the 12th Semper Opera Ball, we want to send out a special message: Dresden is a place of joy, of celebration; a cosmopolitan city. This is summed up perfectly by our motto: Dresden – a beacon to the world”, says the artistic director and chairman of the ball, Hans-Joachim Frey. “An opera ball celebrated by thousands of people both indoors and outdoors, in front of the opera house as well as inside it; a unique event worldwide and something very special,” says the vice-chair of the Semper Opera Ball society and former Mayor of Dresden, Helma Orosz. The new motto connects this claim with the objective of using the opera ball to build bridges and to show Dresden’s friendly, open nature. The Semper Opera Ball has become a cultural highlight not only for Dresden and Saxony, but also for all of Germany.


Programme Overview

6:00 pm SemperOpenairball
7:00 pm Doors Open / Red Carpet
9:00 pm Grand Opening Gala
11:00 pm Ball Opens: Ballroom Music and Dancing
23:45 pm Live Midnight Performance
00:45 am Charity Introduction with Tombola
1:00 am Ballroom Music and Dancing
1:40 am Join-in activity for the SemperOpenairball
1:50 am Ballroom Music und Dancing
5:00 am SemperOperaball ends


The team of hosts for the 12th SemperOperaball

Guido Maria Kretschmer and Linda Zervakis


He is of course the face of VOX TV’s „Shopping Queen“. Yet Guido Maria Kretschmer is not only a well-liked host and competent panellist, in 2017 he will be taking to the floor at the 12th SemperOperaball when presenting the program as the host on 3rd February 2017.

Guido Maria Kretschmer started his career with self-made creations on the Balearic island of Ibiza. Having founded his first company “GMK by pepper” the young designer and his team made work wear under the label “Guido Maria Kretschmer Corporate Fashion”. 2004 saw the beginning of “Guido Maria Kretschmer Couture” offering cocktail and evening dresses as well as accessories. Catwalk shows in Shanghai, Tokyo and Berlin were next. In 2005 Guido Maria Kretschmer began extending his creative repertoire and designed costumes both for theatre as well as for feature film productions. Since 2012 Kretschmer has been a household name as reviewer on the program “Shopping Queen”. He has also been a panellist on “Das Supertalent (Germany’s got Talent)” as well as on programs such as “Hotter than my Daughter” or “Germany’s Most Beautiful Woman”. He can currently be seen on “Clever needles – who sews best?”

Linda Zervakis, the popular host will present the program together with Guido Maria Kretschmer at the SemperOperaball on 3rd February 2017.



The Midnight Act 2017 – André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra

He is a Dutch violinist and conductor best known for creating the waltz-playing Johann Strauss Orchestra. Together they have turned classical and waltz music into a worldwide concert touring act, as successful as some of the biggest global pop and rock music acts. For at least the last twenty years, his personal life has been so bound up with his work that the story of his personal life would sound pretty much the same as the story of his career.

André is born as his parents’ third child. His parents and their two young daughters had moved from Amsterdam to Maastricht shortly before (André later got two brothers and another sister). To the present day, André Rieu has been at home in the beautiful capital of the Dutch Province of Limburg, namely in Maastricht. Rieu began studying violin at the age of five. He created his Johann Strauss Orchestra in 1987. Following six months of rehearsals, they gave their first concert on January 1, 1988. The orchestra began with only twelve members, but now there are 50, sometimes even 60 on very large stages.


Kristjan Järvi and the MDR Symphony Orchestra

Kristjan Järvi stands for artistic diversity and for his remarkable talent for tapping into traditional repertoires with a convincing passion for modern programmes. He has recorded more than 30 albums, is responsible for more than 100 commissioned works and has collaborated with artists such as John Adams, Benny Andersson and Esa-Pekka Salonen. Conducting assignments have taken Järvi to the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He was the chief conductor and musical director of the opera and symphony orchestra in Norrland, Sweden (2000-2004) and the Austrian Tonkünstler Orchestra in Vienna (2004-2009). Since September 2012, Kristjan Järvi has been the chief conductor of the MDR Symphony Orchestra, which he is also bringing with him to the 12th Semper Opera Ball in Dresden. For the first time in history, the Dresden State Choir will not be leading the programme – a one-off exception for 2017, the reason being a long-planned tour by the ensemble.


Aida Garifullina

The enchanting soprano, Aida Garifullina, comes from a family in which music and opera have always played an important role, but she was not actually named after Verdi’s opera role. In Arabic, “Aida” means “gift” and that is exactly what the young Russian embodies when she is on stage. Following numerous appearances in Moscow, it was clear to her at the age of eleven that singing would be her profession. She has been delighting audiences for years in the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera; the internationally successful prodigy is now appearing at Semper Opera Ball in Dresden for the second time.


Margarita Gritskova

The young artist, Margarita Gritskova, was born in 1987 in St Petersburg and had already discovered her love of music in early childhood. At the age of five, she started with violin and then piano lessons. She sang in a children’s choir as a soloist, coming into contact with various musical expressions as a result. In the meantime, the multiple international singing competition winner is shining forth with her extraordinary repertoire, having excelled as a new shooting star of the Vienna State Opera since 2012. In 2017, the Russian mezzo-soprano will be performing at the Semper Opera Ball in Dresden for the first time.


The State Opera Choir of Saxony and the Semper Opera Ballet of Dresden

Striking the right note is a tradition: founded almost 200 years ago in 1817, the State Opera Choir of Saxony is today considered to be one of the finest choirs in Europe. Every year, the singers accomplish a stunning performance, presenting a first-class programme and providing the Semper Opera Ball with the richest of sounds, evoking enthusiasm right up into the rafters.

The Semper Opera Ballet will be presenting yet another spectacular balancing act between the classic and the modern. Year after year, choreographer Raphael Coumes-Marquet blends traditional and contemporary dance at the Semper Opera Ball. He combines the highlights of ballet history with energetic new productions.


Conchita Wurst

Without question, Conchita Wurst, lives up to the motto of this year’s Semper Opera Ball: “Dresden – a beacon to the world”. Called into being by her alter ego, the Austrian singer and drag Artist, Tom Neuwirth, the bearded Diva first appeared in 2011 in the ORF casting show “Die große Chance” (‘Austria’s Got Talent’). In 2012, Conchita Wurst took part in the Austrian qualifying round for the Eurovision Song Contest and finished in second place. Then, in 2014, came the breakthrough: Conchita won the 59th Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen for Austria and with the victory words “We Are Unstoppable”, became a global figurehead overnight. Since then there has been a début album, numerous awards, appearances in more than 20 countries, including selling out the Sydney Opera House. She will perform at the Semper Opera Ball 2017, accompanied by the MDR Symphony Orchestra with conductor Kristjan Järvi.


Wincent Weiss

Born in northern Germany and now living in Munich, the young musician, Wincent Weiss, first attracted attention in 2013 as a participant in the talent show “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” (‘Germany’s Got Talent’). After that, he was the featured artist and voice in the Elif song “Unter meiner Haut” (‘Under my Skin’) in the version by the DJ/producer duo “Gestört aber GeiL” (“Disturbed but Up for it’). The song achieved millions of hits on YouTube and was listed in the top 10 of the German single charts for several weeks. Since then Wincent has been appearing solo and since December 2016, has been touring with a band throughout Germany for the first time.


Theatre Baikal

Graceful, gentle and powerful all at the same time: this is the scene set by the ensemble of Theatre Baikal. The dancers bring the breath-taking beauty of Russian’s vastness onto the stage with vitality, expression and poetry, and carry the culture and art of the residents of the famous Siberian lake across the world.


Speed skating acrobatics

The two artists Sven and Jan promise spectacular choreography. The duo have already inspired millions on international television, now they are coming to the 12th Semper Opera Ball in Dresden. The pair create new worlds with a small platform on the big stage, leaving the audience breathless.


Programme in the main hall

  • André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra
    • starting at midnight as the midnight act
  • Semper Strings
    • 23:00 to midnight
    • 01:00 to 02:00

Semper Strings brings together musicians from the best orchestras in the world with one of the most renowned German dance orchestras in an amazing ensemble. Strings from the Dresden State Choir, together with Götz Bergmann & his Gentlemen, will be bringing world hits to life. The much acclaimed violin sounds of the orchestra turn the melodies into an unforgettable musical experience, surpassing musical boundaries. The Semper Strings led by concertmaster, Thomas Meining, will also be presenting a special treat at the 12th Opera Ball to mark the 100th birthday of Dean Martin: “That’s Amoré!”


Programme in the adjoining rooms

  • Danceable Fledermaus
    • 19:30 to 17:00 Chris Gentleman Group
    • 23:00 23:45 Ty Tender
  • Hall of Mirrors
    • 19:15 to 05:00 Smart Evidence
    • 01:00 to 01:45 Ty Tender
  • Cigars Spirits Lounge
    • Anthony live & The Pearletts

A look back at the 11th SemperOperaball on 29th January 2016

The 11th SemperOperaball was hosted by Mareile Höppner and Guido Maria Kretschmer who introduced a spectacular show with numerous highlights. The colourful, one-of-a-kind world composition featured artists from Germany, France, Russia, Poland, Taiwan, Argentina and the USA. World famous mezzo-soprano, Joyce DiDonato, dancers from the LIDO Revue Theatre in Paris, exceptional trapeze artists from Taiwan’s Formosa Circus Art as well as a colourful costume extravaganza from the Warsaw School of Art created an evening rich in variety and packed with brilliant entertainment. Furthermore the Choir of the Saxon State Opera, world famous Dresdner Kreuzchor and of course Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Anton Lubchenko added their tonal riches. The ballet of the Semper Opera even created a new choreography especially for the evening. In keeping with the dazzling evening a number of outstanding internationally renowned people were expected at the festive presentation of the SemperOperaball’s Dresden Medal of St. George. The great finale of the opening gala saw 100 debutante couples dance a colourful choreography doing a waltz Anton Lubchenko had especially composed for the evening. It was, as always followed by Saxon Prime Minister Stanislaw Tillich dancing the opening dance.