L’Africaine – Vasco da Gama

Frankfurt Opera

Giacomo Meyerbeer's Vasco da Gama opera "L'Africaine" is a rarity on the schedules of German opera houses. Tobias Kratzer staged the Grand Opéra at the Frankfurt Opera as an opulent science fiction spectacle and allusion-rich trip through space.

Premiered in 1864, the opera tells the story of the Portuguese navigator and explorer Vasco da Gama, who stands between two women, but is primarily interested in his personal fame.

Composer Giacomo Meyerbeer was working on this opera for almost thirty years - but it remained unfinished. One year after his death, in 1864, the opera was first performed in a version by François-Joseph Fétis. Almost 150 years later, the Chemnitz Theatre reconstructed Meyerbeer's complete manuscript for the first time under the title Vasco da Gama.

The Frankfurt premiere is based on this version. However, director Tobias Kratzer transports the place and time of the original story (Portugal of the 15th century) into the world of the future with opulent costumes and futuristic images.

330 LED tiles L20 in 6500K from Schnick-Schnack-Systems were used in the stage design.


Shortfacts L’Africaine


Illumination and backlighting of stage elements


Lighting design

Jan Hartmann

Stage design and costumes

Rainer Sellmaier


Monika Rittershaus