Thomas Adès

The Tempest

Sunday 12. May 2024 19:00 – 21:45 One intermission Main Stage
30 Minuten vor der Vorstellung
im Gustav Mahler-Saal
Subscription 24

Ticket information

Season 2023/2024

Choose a day of the week and your favorite seats and enjoy five performances in one season.

The following performances are included in this subscription:

10. September 2023: LA CLEMENZA DI TITO
08. October 2023: TOSCA
07. April 2024: DIE KAMELIENDAME
12. May 2024: THE TEMPEST


Season 2024/2025

Choose a day of the week and your favorite seats and enjoy five performances in one season.

The following performances are included in this subscription:

20. October 2024: COSÌ FAN TUTTE
17. November 2024: MANON
26. January 2025: LA BOHÈME
23. Febuary 2025: FIDELIO

Cast at
12. May 2024

King of Naples

Toby Spence


Jack Lee

Musikalische Leitung

Thomas Adès


Robert Lepage


Jasmine Catudal


Kym Barrett


Michel Beaulieu


David Leclerc


Crystal Pite

About the Production

Short Summary

The former Milanese Prospero lives with his daughter Miranda on an unknown island and seeks revenge: his brother Antonio had once overthrown him and driven him out to sea in a boat with the help of the King of Naples. One day, a storm capsizes a passing ship containing all of Prospero's enemies. Ariel, Prospero's air spirit, brings the shipwrecked men to the island. Ferdinand, the son of the King of Naples, and Miranda fall in love. This love makes Prospero's desire for revenge fade and he forgives his adversaries.

The Tempest


After Antonio had overthrown his brother Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, he drove him and his three-year-old daughter Miranda out to sea in a boat with the help of the King of Naples.

It was thanks to Gonzalo, the king's advisor, that Prospero and the girl escaped with their lives at all. Out of compassion for the exiles, Gonzalo had provided the boat with sufficient food and Prospero's books. Presumed dead by everyone, Prospero and Miranda finally found refuge on an unknown island, which Prospero subjugated with the help of magic.

About 12 years later: off the island of Prospero, a ship is caught in a sudden heavy storm and capsizes - but the crew and passengers, including Antonio, the King of Naples, and Gonzalo, miraculously make it to shore safely.

Miranda suspects that her father has ignited the storm with magical powers and shows great concern and compassion for the ship's occupants. Prospero reassures her that none of the shipwrecked people will be harmed. At the same time, he speaks to her, who can no longer remember her early childhood, for the first time about Milan, her origins and the machinations of his enemies.

Deeply saddened by what she has heard, Miranda falls asleep. Prospero summons his servant air spirit Ariel and orders him to look after the lives and well-being of the castaways. Now Caliban, the son of the witch Sycorax, the former owner of the island, approaches Prospero: he accuses Prospero of ingratitude and also makes it clear that he would be interested in Miranda as the wife and future mother of his own offspring. Full of disgust and threats, Caliban is rejected by Prospero.

In the meantime, the king's son, Ferdinand, who has also found refuge on the island, separated from his family, meets Miranda. Against Prospero's wishes, the two young people fall in love. As Prospero, driven by a thirst for revenge, only sees Ferdinand as the son of his enemy, Miranda turns against her father for the first time in her life.

The castaways wonder about the island and their rescue, while the king worries about his son Ferdinand, who cannot be found.

Attempts to comfort the king fail, especially as the invisible Ariel skillfully instigates a quarrel between Antonio and Sebastian, or between Antonio and the courtiers.

When Caliban comes to the castaways to incite them against Prospero, he is ridiculed and made drunk with alcohol - they decide to go in search of Ferdinand and only Stefano and Trinculo follow Caliban.

Prospero himself must realize that the mutual love between Ferdinand and Miranda cannot be destroyed and that he has lost power over his own daughter.

Caliban, Stefano and Trinculo - all three drunk - go in search of Prospero to kill him, while Stefano and Caliban each dream of ruling the island and a future together with Miranda.

Meanwhile, the desperate king, convinced of Ferdinand's death, appoints his advisor Gonzalo as his successor in place of his brother Sebastian. When the king and his court fall into a deep sleep shortly afterwards, Antonio and Sebastian decide to assassinate the king and Gonzalo, but the plan is foiled by Ariel, who wakes the sleeping men in time. At the same time, Ariel reminds the king and Antonio of their guilt for having sent Prospero and Miranda to their seemingly certain deaths twelve years ago.

Meanwhile, Prospero accepts Ferdinand and Miranda's love and even asks Miranda for forgiveness - but Miranda once again declares her aversion to the murderous Caliban. When Ariel, deeply moved, points out the grief of the King of Naples and Gonzalo, who are still mourning Ferdinand, Prospero decides to forgive his enemies and put the past behind him:

When those wandering around the island appear before him, he returns Ferdinand to his father, abandons his magic and sets the spirits free. In anticipation of Ferdinand and Miranda's wedding, they all leave the island together on the restored ship - only Caliban stays behind alone.

Act 1 & 2 90 min
Intermission 30 min
Act 3 45 min

Canadian director Robert Lepage has been working successfully for many years with Ex Machina, an innovative multidisciplinary company. In this production developed jointly by Lepage and Ex Machina, Prospero recreates La Scala in Milan on his island, where he intends to take revenge on his enemies as a theatrical magician. Each of the opera's three acts is shown from a different angle: from the stage to the auditorium, from the auditorium to the stage and finally a kind of cross-section of stage and auditorium. Lepage thus deliberately blurred the levels - characters are both victims of Prospero's vengeful rage and spectators of the magical world of the theater.

As a composer, Thomas Adès is less interested in theories and schools than in the question: »How do I get to people's feelings?« In Tempest, fascinated by the court music of the 17th and 18th centuries, he wanted to create something that is related to the Baroque tradition and yet does not deny the world of the 21st century. The famous American music writer and critic sums up his impression of this music as follows: »It is a masterpiece of graceful beauty and eerie power.«

The opera is based on William Shakespeare's play of the same name. The composer Thomas Adès, who already rehearsed and conducted the first Staatsoper performance in 2015, is also conducting the current revival himself.


Tickets for our standing room can be purchased online or at the Bundestheater box office from 10 am on the day of the performance. BundestheaterCard holders can book standing room tickets online the day before the performance.

In addition, a fixed contingent of standing room tickets is available for regular evening performances from 80 minutes before the start of the performance at our standing room box office (Operngasse entrance).

Our operas are sung in the original languages - these vary depending on the work.

At each seat, subtitles in different languages can be switched on or off via a separate subtitle screen. In addition to the original language of the opera, you can choose from up to eight languages: German, English, Italian, French, Russian, Japanese, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin).

In the event of a change of performance, you can of course return or exchange your tickets.

As changes to the cast cannot be ruled out due to illnesses or other hindrances of artists, there is no entitlement to a refund of the ticket price or exchange in this case.

Tickets cannot be returned or exchanged if you are not admitted to the auditorium due to being late (even after the interval).

About Your Visit


The cloakrooms are located next the the entrances at the Operngasse. You can find additional cloakrooms on the left and right side of the balcony and the gallery and in the boxes. All cloakrooms are free of charge.

Be on Time

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Entry to the auditorium is not allowed after the performance has started. This also applied after the break.

Food and Drink

Our gastronomy opens at the same time entry is permitted. You can enjoy some snacks and drinks before the performance starts or you can book a table for the break.

Practical Information

You can find more practical information regarding your visit (e.g. Dresscode, barrier-free-access, …) here.


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