Sébastien Rouland


The first concert-season as general-music-director

After pursuing a successful career at numerous leading opera-houses between Paris, Berlin Vienna, Stuttgart and Essen as well as Tel Aviv, Seoul and Mexico City throughout almost 20 years, it appeared to go without saying that Sébastien Rouland would be offered the position of a general-music-director in the foreseeable future. This offer was submitted to him by such prestigious company as the Saarland State Theatre in Saarbrucken and he obeyed the invitation promptly. This theatre does not only provide a – technically as artistically – high-class opera-company with an outstandingly competent staff to him. It also has a top-class orchestra (in Germany classified in category A) at its disposal which enables him to maintain and develop the symphonic repertoire in equal measure. The pure delight which our maestro is getting from this challenge becomes manifest in the subtle and highly inspirational programming of his first Saarbrucken concert-season. Please find below the list of the concerts under his personal direction within season 2018/19:

November 25 and 26, 2018:
Francis Poulenc: Sinfonietta
Francis Poulenc: Concert champêtre for Harpsichord and Orchestra
(Harpsichord: Jori Vinikour)
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony Nr. 6 „Pastorale“

New Year’s concerts on January 1st and 4, 2019:
„From Paris to Vienna“
Music by Jacques Offenbach and Johann Strauß (with ensemble-soloists of the Saarland State Theatre)

April 28 and 29, 2019:
Wolfgang A. Mozart: Concert for piano and orchestra Nr. 21 C-Major KV 467
(Piano: Sophie Pacini)
Anton Bruckner: Symphony Nr. 4 E-flat-Major WAB 104 „Romantic Symphony“

May 19 and 20, 2019:
Maurice Ravel: Ma mère l’Oye (orchestra-version)
Camille Saint-Saëns: Concert for piano and orchestra Nr. 2 g-minor op. 22
(Piano: Béatrice Berrut)
Ernest Chausson: Symphony B-flat-Major op. 20

June 16 and 17, 2019:
Isaac Albéniz: Iberia-Suite
Edouard Lalo: Symphonie Espagnole d-minor op. 21
Georges Bizet: Symphony Nr. 1 C-Major

All dates of performances

From one opening-night to the next!

The new general music-director of the Saarbrücken State Theatre just had outstanding success conducting the new-production of Cosi fan tutte at the Hamburg State Opera. Here are some press-cuts:

„Sébastien Rouland at the conductor’s desk of the well-disposed Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra provides an all in all lithe and vibrant performance. A good-mood season’s opening with a cheering and very long applause for everyone involved. (, 09.09.18)

„Sébastien Rouland conducting the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra showcases a stirringly vivid rendition of Mozart.“ (, 08.09.18)

„Sébastien Rouland conducting the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra grants to all facets the absolutely right touch concerning vocal-balance and tempo-variation“. (, 13.9.18)

„The internationally experienced French conductor Sébastien Rouland leading the orchestra at the opening-night intercedes from the very beginning for dense, however delicate unity. No racket-Mozart from the orchestra-pit, but a sturdy precision work without effusiveness, a sight-read rococo“. (, 10.09.18)

Immediately following Sébastien Rouland’s next premiere-production: Carmen at the Aalto Music Theatre in Essen! Stage director: Lotte de Beer. Opening-night on October 13, 2018. All dates of performances

New-production of Cosi fan tutte in Hamburg

The so far last Mozart-opera under Sébastien Rouland’s baton was The Magic Flute at the Berlin State Opera in 2017. Since then he caused a sensation with a new-production of Rossini’s Guillaume Tell in Saarbrücken and enthused the Copenhagen audience with the re-discovery of Lulu  by Friedrich Kuhlau, a lovely opera telling more or less the same story as Schikaneder’s and Mozart’s Magic Flute. He also made both his debut in Japan (Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the New National Opera in Tokyo) and with the Hamburg State Opera (conducting Almira, the very first opera of a then young and ambitious violin player of the Hamburg Gänsemarkt-Opera-Orchestra named George Frideric Handel).

Sébastien Rouland is back to Hamburg right now for the season opening with a new-production of Cosi fan tutte. Staging: Herbert Fritsch. Opening-night on September 8, 2018. All dates of performances.

Generalmusikdirektor in Saarbrücken!

The new general music director of the Saarbrücken State Theatre is Sébastien Rouland!

Born in Argenteuil, our Maestro has already been busy on international stage since 2002, appearing frequently also in Germany where he performed in Wiesbaden, Freiburg, Leipzig, Aachen, Münster, Halle, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Essen, Mannheim, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg and Saarbrücken - by no means a small number of venues! He has now been appointed the sought-after title of a general music director at an outstanding cultural institution located right in the heart of Europe. A logical and well-deserved assignment!

Congratulations Maestro!


link to press release

Guillaume Tell as an opener of the new season

No prophet is accepted in his own country is an old biblical saying. Sébastien Rouland’s career seems to prove this as far as his past season is concerned: Germany beats France 3:2! Germany: Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, Die Zauberflöte (Berlin State Opera), Almira (Hamburg State Opera); France: Monsieur Beaucaire (Opéra Comique de Paris), The Land of Smiles (Opéra de Tours).

Right at the beginning of the new season Germany scores once again: The newly appointed managing-director of the Saarbrücken Theatre invited Sébastien Rouland to conduct a challenging masterpiece of the Grand Opéra for the opening of his first season: Guillaume Tell by Gioachino Rossini. Opening-night on September 10, 2017.

All dates of performances.

Debut in Hamburg

Sébastien Rouland continues to conquer Germany. Right after conducting a series of The Magic Flute at the Berlin Staatsoper, he is making his debut at the Hamburg Staatsoper with an exciting revival: Almira is not only Haendel’s first opera, but was premiered in Hamburg during the time in which the young composer from Halle was making his living as a violinist within the Hamburg opera-orchestra. He just turned 20 in 1705 and no less than 40 further operas set to music by Haendel should still follow.

At this occasion one needs to remember that the Hamburg Opera, founded already in 1678, was the first public and therefore open to everyone German opera-theatre, only a few decades after the first Italian public opera-house, the Teatro San Cassiano in Venice, which opened in 1637.

Almira-performances as from May 11, 2017. All dates of performances.

Les pécheurs de perles in Munich

After guest-appearances in Wiesbaden, Freiburg, Leipzig, Aachen, Münster, Halle, Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Essen, Mannheim and Berlin Sébastien Rouland continues to conquer Germany’s music hot-spots, in this case Munich where the artistic direction of the Theater am Gärtnerplatz had the brilliant idea to offer him the musical direction of a new production of Bizet’s Les pêcheurs de perles in concert version. Opening night on January 18, 2017. All dates of performances.

Triumph in Geneva

The Grand Théâtre de Genève had a great success when presenting the rarely performed opéra-comique Le médecin malgré lui by Charles Gounod in Laurent Pelly’s staging and under Sébastien Rouland’s congenial musical direction. The outcome was a triumph for the entire production as well as for Sébastien Rouland. Here some reviews regarding Sébastien Rouland:

„Clever man Gounod who managed to write the most sparkling of his opéra-comiques in short time. Clever man Sébastien Rouland too who utterly managed to cope with this small masterpiece .“ (, 5.04.16)

„As from the vivid overture, one hears an exciting Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under the fiery baton of Sébastien Rouland.“ (Bachtrack, 6.04.16)

„The conductor Sébastien Rouland provides freshness and dynamic to this production that will remain a landmark“. (, 5.04.16)

„Conductor and orchestra are playing out the typical elements of the genre with brio and delight.“ (Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 6.04.16)

„In the pit conductor Sébastien Rouland leads the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande with commitment and accuracy“. (Tribune de Genève, 6.04.16)

„Under the lively baton of the young and talented Sébastien Rouland, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande succeeds to render all the verve and spontaneity of Gounod’s work which is not the smallest among the many delights of this evening“. (, 10.04.16)

„The Geneva production reasserts the qualities of the work exemplarily. Staging and musical direction merge playful ease with witty accuracy. Sébastien Rouland and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande are lively and brilliant. One gets the feeling that the orchestra never stops rushing and even busting the characters“.  (, 8.04.16) 

For those who had no chance to attend a performance in Geneva, a video-recording is currently available on Culturebox (link).


A rare opera by Gounod in Geneva

After conducting a triumphal Faust at the Aalto-Theater in Essen, Sébastien Rouland takes the musical lead of a rare opera, Le médecin malgré lui, for his debut at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva (stage director: Laurent Pelly). Although there is no direct correlation between these two productions (except the conductor!), it is interesting to say that Le médecin malgré lui opened in 1858 in the same theatre, the Théâtre lyrique in Paris as Gounod’s Faust which had its world premiere there the following year.

Opening night of Le Médecin malgré lui in Geneva on April 4, 2016.


Gounod in Essen and Gounod in Geneva

Early 2016 meets Sébastien Rouland busy with music by Charles Gounod twice. First he will conduct Faust for his return to the Aalto-Theater in Essen where he conducted Werther highly acclaimed in 2013. And then will take the lead of a rare opera, Le médecin malgré lui, for his debut with the Grand Théâtre in Geneva (stage director: Laurent Pelly). Although there is no direct correlation between these two new productions (except the conductor!), it is interesting to say that Le médecin malgré lui opened in 1858 in the same theatre, the Théâtre lyrique in Paris as Gounod’s Faust which had its world premiere there the following year.

Opening night of Faust in Essen on January 31, 2016.

Opening night of Le Médecin malgré lui in Geneva on April 4, 2016.

All dates of performances


Debut with the Staatskapelle Berlin

After celebrating his debut at the Opéra de Paris a few months ago (Gluck’s Alceste), Sébastien Rouland is making his debut with the Staatskapelle Berlin conducting the revival of the outstanding production of Handel's Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (staging: Jürgen Flimm) at the Staatsoper im Schillertheater.

Performances on November 14, 17 and 23, 2015.

Sébastien Rouland will subsequently be conducting two new productions: Faust at the Aalto-Theater in Essen (opening night on 30 January 2016) and Le Médecin malgré lui at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva (opening night on 4 April 2016).

All dates of performances


Debut at the Opéra national de Paris

Since the start of his career in 1995, Sébastian Rouland has established himself on the international stage. Whether in Vienna, Paris, Lyon, Paris, Berlin, Essen, Stuttgart, Luzern, St. Gallen, Bern, Wiesbaden, Bergen, Tel Aviv or Mexico City, he has proved time and again to be an enthusiastic and genuine champion of the French repertoire, from Rameau to Poulenc through Händel, Offenbach, Massenet and, of course, Mozart.

Parisian Life in Vienna

In 2007 Sébastien Rouland conducted Offenbach’s Paris Life at the Opéra national de Lyon staged by Laurent Pelly. This production was acclaimed and a DVD of it is still available (Virgin Classics). Video excerpts here.

A trio for Idomeneo in Montpellier

After his sensational debut in Berlin with Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno at the Staatsoper im Schillertheater and before conducting La vie parisienne in Vienna, Alceste in Paris and Faust in Essen, Sébastien Rouland gets back to one of his favourite operas, Idomeneo by Mozart which he will present at the Opéra national de Montpellier together with the stage director Jean-Yves Courrègelongue. 

Acclaimed Werther in Essen

Sébastien Rouland is being acclaimed at the Aalto Theatre in Essen conducting the new production of Massenet's Werther (stage director: Carlos Wagner). Here are some extracts of the first reviews.