niobe, regina di tebe

Schwetzingen, April 2008
Lisbon, March 2010
London (Covent Garden), October 2010
Luxemburg, November 2010


“Lukas Hemleb’s ingenious production matches the marvels of the music with one inspiration after another. It’s funny, sexy, magical and moving. If you have any feeling for Baroque opera whatsoever, I urge you to see this show.”
The Evening Standard

« If the audience had come for curiosity it was a clever decision, with the curtain calls wildly enthusiastic. Adapted for the Royal Opera from the Schwertzingen Festival, Lukas Hemleb directs a production that takes no prisoners. It is fabulously imaginative, from Anfione sung by Polish male soprano Jacek Laszczkowski ascending to the stars with a vast glitter ball, a set full of huge grey balloons floating around the stage and opulent costumes to Niobe, fabulously sung and acted by French soprano Véronique Gens, turning into a statue. »
Wales Online

« The plotting – a predictably potent brew of the historical and mythological, of gods, mortals, and devilish sorcery – is primed for spectacle and special effects and Lukas Hemleb’s newly adapted 2008 production wittily apes old stage conventions in a highly contemporary way. »
The Independent

« Sample for yourself the bizarre, no-time beauty of Lukas Hemleb’s staging, designed and lit by Raimund Bauer. A concoction of glitter balls, mirrors and gilded helium balloons add to the sense of magic and illusion. Should the Royal Opera House buy in a ready-made festival production? Maybe not. Isn’t the theatre too big? Possibly. But this is a one off. Try it. With arts cuts looming, we won’t see the likes of this sort of de luxe artistic adventure here for a long time, if ever. »
The Observer

« It’s hard to know whether this is a production that doesn’t take itself too seriously or one that takes itself so seriously it becomes all the more entertaining for it. Either way it doesn’t really matter (and I suspect the former is true) for what is on offer here is something that is entertaining – but also inventive and visually stunning, which lovingly recreates music which fully deserves to be rediscovered. And if that doesn’t convince you, it also boasts the biggest disco ball you’re ever likely to see in an opera house. »
The Pink Paper Magazine

« Director Lukas Hemleb’s focus, too, was on economy and clarity. But every now and again a fantasy took over. A glitter ball offered us a magical starry canopy all around; a Boschian, black Lycra sack of bodies spewed forth the dark arts of Polifermo and his charge Creonte; a huge, weightless room of balloons, bouncing languidly off the walls like a Warhol installation, carried us into the heavens. There wasn’t too much flapping. The story was told, the touches of surreal genius were delivered. One couldn’t ask for more. (…)I’ve never heard a Baroque orchestra roared on so loudly by a Covent Garden audience. They thoroughly deserved it. And they thoroughly deserve your custom. For this is without doubt the operatic revelation of the year. »
The Arts Desk

Agostino Steffani
« Niobe, Regina di Tebe »
conductor: Thomas Hengelbrock
director: Lukas Hemleb
stage and light designer: Raimund Bauer
costume designer: Andrea Schmidt-Futterer
choreographer: Thomas Stache
Schwetzinger Festspiele
Teatro São Carlo Lisboa
Royal Opera House London Covent Garden
Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg