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Young artists

Girl with a Pearl EarringWorld premiere

OpernhausFalkenstrasse 1, Zürich, 8008, Switzerland
Dates/times in Zurich time zone
Sunday 03 April 202219:00
Thursday 07 April 202219:00
Saturday 09 April 202219:00
Saturday 16 April 202219:00
Sunday 24 April 202214:00
Friday 29 April 202219:00
Friday 06 May 202219:00
Sunday 08 May 202220:00
Zurich Opera
Peter RundelConductor
Ted HuffmanDirector
Andrew LiebermanSet Designer
Annemarie WoodsCostume Designer
Franck EvinLighting Designer
Lauren SnoufferSopranoGriet
Thomas HampsonBaritoneJan Vermeer
Laura AikinSopranoCatharina Vermeer
Dame Felicity PalmerMezzo-sopranoMaria Thins
Yannick DebusBass-baritonePieter
Irène FriedliSopranoTanneke
Iain MilneTenorVan Ruijven
Sarah CastleMezzo-sopranoGriet‘s Mother
Lisa TatinSopranoChild engine
Philharmonia Zürich

Her gaze is gentle yet penetrating. She is the girl with the pearl earring, and it seems as if she has just turned to gaze in surprise at her portraitist – the painter Jan Vermeer. The Girl with a Pearl Earring, the Dutch master’s famous portrait study, is a snapshot of mysterious beauty. In her novel of the same name, bestselling author Tracy Chevalier from the US brings the painting to life, inventing a thrilling narrative about the artist and his muse. Her name is Griet, and she’s the daughter of an impoverished family in Delft. She is hired as a maid in Jan Vermeer’s home. Her days are filled with hard work, and Vermeer’s children tease her. But while cleaning his studio, she is treated to the painter’s mysterious use of color, light, and perspective. When Pieter van Ruijven (Vermeer’s patron and a philanderer) commissions a portrait of the girl, Griet starts spending more time alone with the artist in his studio. Until Vermeer’s wife catches sight of the painting, and of one of her pearls on the girl’s ear…

The Opernhaus Zürich commissioned Swiss composer Stefan Wirth to create a musical work for the stage based on the story, which had already been successfully adapted for the screen. Wirth lives in Zurich and is one of the most exciting composers of his generation. He is no stranger to the theater, and his writing belies his commitment to a modern musical theater that is simultaneously reflective and sensual. In addition to his compositional output, Wirth has made a name for himself as a pianist and virtuosic interpreter of contemporary works. He has already worked with such luminaries as Christoph Marthaler and Frank Castorf. And the cast of soloists is just as radiant: Thomas Hampson returns to the Opernhaus Zürich for the role of Vermeer, and the young American singer Lauren Snouffer sings Griet. Laura Aiken appears as Catharina Vermeer, and the grande dame of opera herself, Felicity Lott, is her mother. Ted Huffman, whose Madama Butterfly thrilled audiences in Zurich, will stage direct.

Girl with a Pearl Earring
April 2022
May 2022
Evening performance
Matinee performance
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