Giacomo Puccini | Tosca
Saturday 24. Mar. 2018, 7.30 pm - 10.20 pm
Pier Giorgio Morandi
Pier Giorgio Morandi played for ten years as principal oboist in Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala in Milan. He studied composition at Conservatorio G. Verdi in Milan, and orchestra conducting at Salzburg Mozarteum with M Ferdinand Leitner. During the years spent at La Scala, Morandi was assistant conductor of M Riccardo Muti and later of M Giuseppe Patanè, from whom he gained a lot of experience in refining the stylistic Italian repertoire and in learning all the secrets of the Italian operatic tradition.
In 1987 he studied in Tanglewood, USA, with M Leonard Bernstein and M Seiji Ozawa. In the same year, Morandi won the “Tanglewood Competition”, also known as “Bernstein Prize”. In 1989 he became Deputy Principal Conductor at Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, where he conducted “Ernani”, “Madama Butterfly” and several symphonic concerts. In 1990 he recorded his first opera with Roma opera house, Paisiello’s “Don Chisciotte”. From 1991 and for the following five years, he was Principal Guest Conductor at Budapest National Opera House.
Morandi has a wide Italian operatic repertoire and he has been working as regular guest conductor since 1990 in all the major opera houses in Italy, Europe and worldwide: Palermo, Trieste, Roma, Marseille, La Maestranza in Seville, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, Osaka, National Opera Theatre in Seoul, Colon in Buenos Aires, Stockholm Royal Opera House, Theatre Royal de La Monnaie in Brussels, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, Wiener Staatsoper, Macerata Opera Festival, Arena di Verona, Opernhaus Zürich, Goteborg, Teatro Regio di Parma, Napoli, Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, Bilbao, Maiorca, Las Palmas, Valencia, Copenhagen Royal Opera House, Seattle Opera, Royal Albert Hall in London.
An appreciated interpreter of symphonic repertoire, Morandi has worked, among others, with Budapest Radio Orchestra, Budapest Philharmonic Orchestra, Budapest State Orchestra, Flamish Radio Orchestra, Roma’s Santa Cecilia Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra del Filarmonico di Verona, Sanremo Symphony Orchestra, Reggio Calabria Symphony Orchestra, Fukuoka Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra.
A prolific recording artist, Morandi appeared in several releases, including the “Verdi Gala” DVD with tenor José Cura and the London Symphony Orchestra, and two Sony Classic CD’s of the European tour with tenor Vittorio Grigolo.
Recent seasons’ highlights include “La Fanciulla del West”, “Tosca” and “Un Ballo in Maschera” at Stockholm Royal Opera House (where he held the position of Principal Guest Conductor), “Aida” in Oslo and in Qatar, “L’Elisir d’Amore”, “La Bohème” and “Don Carlo” in Dresden, “Maria Stuarda” in Frankfurt, “Macbeth” at La Scala, “Attila” at the Palace of Arts in Budapest, “Rigoletto” in Naples, a symphonic concert at Musikverein in Graz. Furthermore, “Don Carlo”, “Aida” and “Lucia di Lammermoor” at La Scala, “Otello” in Copenhagen, “Madama Butterfly” in Oslo, “Manon Lescaut”, “Rigoletto”, “Turandot”, “Madama Butterfly”, “La Bohème” and “La Traviata” in Dresden, “La Fanciulla del West” in Frankfurt, “Otello” and “L’elisir d’amore” at the China National Center of Performing arts in Bejing, “Manon Lescaut” at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, “Rigoletto” at Opéra Bastille, “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” at the China National Center of Performing arts.
Most recently, “Rigoletto” at Metropolitan Opera, “Lucia di Lammermoor” at Hamburgische Staatsoper, “Turandot” at Sferisterio Opera Festival and “Aida” at Opera Australia.
His future plans include: “Aida” at the Kungliga Operan Stockholm and at the Opera Australia, “Simon Boccanegra” at Teatro Comunale Alighieri di Ravenna, “Tosca” at the Hamburgische Staatsoper and “Otello” at the Royal Danish Opera.
Christian Günther stammt aus Freiburg im Breisgau und schloss sein Dirigierstudium 2000 an der Hochschule für Musik und Theater in München ab. Er besuchte Dirigierkurse bei Neeme Järvi, Jorma Panula und Gianluigi Gelmetti. Anschließend war er als Gastrepetitor und Assistent am Württembergischen Staatstheater in Stuttgart, am Theater am Gärtnerplatz in München und bei der Münchner Biennale engagiert.
Von 1996 bis 2007 war Christian Günther Dirigent des Ensembles für Neue Musik „piano possibile“ München und dirigierte zahlreiche Ur- und Erstaufführungen. Als Stellvertretender Chordirektor und Leiter des Kinderchores am Bremer Theater wirkte er von 2002 bis 2007, ab 2005 auch als 2. Kapellmeister.
Christian Günther leitete das Ensemble „Atelier Neue Musik“ an der Hochschule für Künste Bremen und hat dort seit 2007 einen Lehrauftrag für Dirigieren inne.
Gastengagements umfassen Tätigkeiten beim Bremer Musikfest, beim Festival der Projektgruppe Neue Musik Bremen und beim Oh Ton-Ensemble Oldenburg.
Seit 2008 ist er Assistent des Chordirektors an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper und wirkte unter anderem bei Premieren von „Die lustige Witwe“, „Faust“, „Don Giovanni“, „Fürst Igor“ und „Madama Butterfly“ mit. Außerdem war er unter anderem verantwortlich für die Chorpartien in den Repertoire-Vorstellungen von „Don Carlos“, „Chowanschtschina“, „Tannhäuser“, „La Fille du Régiment“ und „Die Fledermaus“.
Superstar Angela Gheorghiu, the most glamorous and gifted opera singer of our time, was born in the small Romanian town Adjud. From early childhood it was obvious that she will become a singer, her destiny was music. She attended the Music School in Bucharest and graduated the National University of Music Bucharest, where she studied with the remarkable music teacher Mia Barbu. Ms. Gheorghiu’s magnificent voice and dazzling stage presence have established her as a unique international opera superstar.
She made her international debut in 1992 at Covent Garden as Mimì and in the same year made debuts at the Metropolitan Opera and at Vienna State Opera. In 1994 she appeared at Covent Garden as Violetta (La Traviata) in a celebrated performance that was subsequently broadcast on BBC. Since her Royal Opera debut she has appeared at the world’s leading opera houses, her repertory including Mimì, Violetta, Charlotte, Juliette, Nedda, Adina, Tosca, Magda in “La rondine”, Marguerite and Adriana Lecouvreur.
Engagements of the last years include Mimì (La Scala, Milan, Royal Opera, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opéra, Metropolitan Opera, New York, Hamburg), Tosca (Royal Opera, Berlin State Opera, San Francisco, Vienna, Metropolitan Opera), Magda (Royal Opera), Marguerite (Royal Opera, Vienna State Opera), Adriana Lecouvreur (Royal Opera, Vienna State Opera, Paris Opéra) and Charlotte (Vienna, Salzburg Festival), and concerts in Los Angeles, Paris, Dublin, Vienna, Salzburg. Future engagements include various concerts in Europe and North America, as well as opera performances in London (Tosca) and Vienna (Tosca).
She has recorded widely for EMI Classics/Warner Classics and Decca and has received numerous international artistic honours, including La Médaille Vermeille de la Ville de Paris and the awards of Chevalier and Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. She played the title role in Benoît Jacquot’s film “Tosca” and sang Juliette in a film for Online Classics.
Riccardo Massi is rapidly gaining international recognition as an exciting Italian spinto tenor, having been heard in such theaters as the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden, Berlin State Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Rome Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Zürich Opera House, Norwegian Opera in Oslo, Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Teatro Regio in Turin, and Opera Australia. Engagements for the 2017/18 season include his debut at the Los Angeles Opera as Don José in “Carmen”, his debut at the Hamburg State Opera as Cavaradossi in “Tosca”, and his role and house debut as Foresto in “Attila” at the Lyon Opera. He will also sing Cavaradossi at Covent Garden and with the KBS Symphony in Seoul, South Korea, and Radamès in “Aida” at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Opera Australia and Opera Hong Kong.
Massi’s engagements for the 2016/17 season included his role debut as Des Grieux in a new production of “Manon Lescaut” at the Bolshoi Theatre and at the Berlin State Opera, his debut at the New National Theatre Tokyo as Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly”, his return to the Metropolitan Opera as Radamès in “Aida”, and Calaf in “Turandot” at the Cologne Opera. In the 2015/16 season, Massi sang Radamès at the Teatro Regio in Turin, Cavaradossi in Tosca at the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden and Semperoper Dresden, Calaf at the Zürich Opera House, Opera Australia and Bregenz Festival, and Rodolfo in “Luisa Miller” with Opera Australia. He began the 2014/15 season with his debut at the Norwegian Opera as Pinkerton. Massi then sang Enzo in “La Gioconda” for his debut with the Opera de Marseille, Cavaradossi with Opera Australia, Riccardo in “Un ballo in maschera” at the Theatre Royale de la Monnaie, Don José in “Carmen” at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Verdi’s “Requiem” at the Grand-Théâtre de Genève, and Calaf for his debut at the Bregenz Festival. His engagements for the 2013/14 season included his debut at the Houston Grand Opera as Radamès, his debut at the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden as Cavaradossi, and his debut as the title role in “Andrea Chenier” in Stockholm.
At the start of the 2012/13 season, Massi sang his first Manrico in “Il Trovatore” for the Canadian Opera Company. He then sang Riccardo at Theater Basel in Switzerland, Calaf in a new production of “Turandot” at the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm, Radamès for his debut at the Michigan Opera Theater, and Don Alvaro in “La forza del destino” with Opera Australia. In the 2011/12 season, Massi sang Cavaradossi at the Bavarian State Opera, Teatro Regio in Turin, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Berlin State Opera, Opéra Grand Avignon, and in Rio de Janeiro for his South American debut. He also sang Pollione and Arrigo in “La battaglia di Legnano” at the Rome Opera, Don Alvaro at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, and Enzo in a concert performance of “La Gioconda” at the Concertgebeouw in Amsterdam, opposite Eva Maria Westbroek.
Riccardo Massi developed his vocal technique in Rome with David Holst, who has since been his sole mentor. After receiving an invitation to join the Accademia Teatro alla Scala, Massi made his operatic debut in December of 2009 as Radamès in Salerno under Daniel Oren. He subsequently sang his first Cavaradossi with the Landestheater Salzburg and then added Pollione to his repertoire in Lima, Peru. In the summer of 2010, Massi made his Glyndebourne Festival debut as Malcolm in “Macbeth”, making his German operatic debut in October of 2010 as Cavaradossi at the Berlin State Opera. He later debuted at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste as Jacopo Foscari in “I due Foscari” and at the Rome Opera as Arrigo in “La Battaglia di Legnano”. In the spring of 2011, Massi made his North American debut in “Tosca” with the Palm Beach Opera, later performing the same work in concert at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland under Gianandrea Noseda.
Other roles in Massi’s developing repertoire include the title roles in “Ernani” and “Don Carlos”, Gabriele Adorno in “Simone Boccanegra”, Arrigo in “I Vespri Siciliani”, and Maurizio in “Adriana Lecouvreur”.
Find further information about Riccardo Massi here.
photo: Benjamin Ealovega
Franco Vassallo is one of Italy’s leading baritones and has there been acclaimed at Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Regio di Torino, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Teatro Comunale di Firenze, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Regio di Parma and at the Arena di Verona.
He has also made several significant international debuts at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, Bavarian State Opera in Munich, Vienna State Opera, Deutsche Oper and Staatsoper in Berlin, Opernhaus Zürich, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Baden-Baden Festival, Hamburg State Opera, Semperoper Dresden, Teatro Real de Madrid, Teatro de São Carlos in Lisbon as well as in Bilbao, Amsterdam, Paris, Washington, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
Highlights of the last seasons included a new production of “Rigoletto” at the Bavarian State Opera and a new production of “Macbeth” at the Teatro alla Scala in Milano under the baton of Valery Gergiev. In 2013 Vassallo returned to the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Ford in Falstaff (conducted by James Levine). At the opera in Zurich he sang in the rarely performed oper “La Straniera” together with Edita Gruberivá and returned to the Arena di Verona as Amonasro (Aida). He sang the Conte di Luna (Il Trovatore) at La Scala and Rigoletto in Munich and Hamburg. At the Teatro Real Madrid he made his debut as Monforte in a concert performance of “ I Vespri Siciliani” and he opened the 2014/15 season as Rigoletto in Geneve. In “La Straniera” he gave his debut at the Theater an der Wien an das Germont (La Traviata) he returned to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. As Amonasro (Aida) he had success in Vienna and in Munich he sang the role of the Duke of Nottingham in “Roberto Devereux”.
In addition to his performances as Amonasro (Aida) and Rigoletto he also sang Macbeth, Ford (Falstaff) and Renato (Un Ballo in Maschera) at the Bavarian State Oper. At the Teatro Felice Genua he gave his role debut in “Simon Boccanegra” and returned there as Rodrigo (Don Carlos). In a concert performance of “La Forza del Destino” he sang Don Carlo di Vargas in Geneve and also sang the title role in “Falstaff”. As Rigoletto he gave his house debut at the opera Bastille in Paris.
The season 2017/18 brings Vassallo to Amsterdam as Don Carlo (La Forza del Destino) and to Paris as Ford (Falstaff). In Hamburg he will make his debut as Scarpia (Tosca) and will also perform Iago (Otello). He will also sing Rigoletto in Frankfurt and return to Munich as Don Alfonso (Lucrezia Borgia).
Find further information about Franco Vassallo here.
Alin Anca wurde 1986 in Rumänien geboren. Er studierte Gesang an der Gheorge Dima-Musikhochschule in Klausenburg, wo er 2010 mit einem Diplom abschloss. Schon während seines Studiums war er an der Opera Nationala Romana in Klausenburg engagiert. Dort interpretierte er unter anderem folgende Partien: die Titelrolle in „Don Giovanni“, den Großinquisitor in Verdis „Don Carlo“, Fiorillo in „Il Barbiere di Siviglia“, Dulcamara in „L’Elisir d’Amore“ und Colline in „La Bohème“. Weitere Engagements führten ihn an die Opera Nationala in Bukarest. Neben den Rollen im Bereich des Musiktheaters sang Alin Anca auch in Puccinis „Messa di Gloria“, Dvoráks „Stabat Mater“ und im Verdi-Requiem. Von 2011 bis 2013 war er Stipendiat der Liz Mohn Kultur- und Musikstiftung sowie Mitglied im Opernstudio der Staatsoper Berlin.
Seit September 2013 gehört er zum Ensemble der Staatsoper Hamburg und war bisher u.a. als Leporello (Don Giovanni), Pietro (Simon Boccanegra), Panthée (Les Troyens), Walther Fürst (Guillaume Tell) und als Figaro (Le nozze di Figaro) zu erleben.
Alexander Roslavets graduated from the vocal department of the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory in 2014 where he studied under Professor Nikolai Okhotnikov.
While studying at the Conservatory he was a soloist of the Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory theatre where he appeared on stage as Malyuta Skuratov in “The Tsar's Bride” by Rimsky-Korsakov and sang at the numerous festivals and concerts. In July 2013/14 he took part at the open-air opera festivals in Saint Petersburg where he sang the parts of Mephistopheles in the opera “Faust” by Ch. Gounod and King Dodon in the opera “The Golden Cockerel” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov conducted by Fabio Mastrangelo. In April 2014 he made his debut on the stage of the Mikhailovsky Theatre as Tom in “Un ballo in maschera” by Verdi.
In the seasons 2014/15-2015/16 he was an artist of the Young Artist Program of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia. In 2015 he made his debut on the stage of the Bolshoi performing the part of Marchese d'Obigny in “La Traviata” by Verdi under the baton of Tugan Sokhiev.
In November 2015, he debuted on the stage of the Bolshoi theatre of Belarus singing Don Basilio in “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” by Rossini.
In June 2016 he performed the part of Duke of Cornwall in the World Premier of S. Slonimsky`s King Lear on the stage of the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall conducted by Vladimir Jurowsky.
In July 2016 he covered the part of Mephistopheles in the new production of “La damnation de Faust” staged by Peter Stein in the Bolshoi. He sung the part of Brander in the premiere conducted by Tugan Sokhiev.
In October 2016 he joined the ensemble of the Hamburg State Opera.
Alexander took part in several international competitions among which in 2014 the 42nd Russian National Vocal Graduates Competition in St. Petersburg where he won the Grand Prix and the 1st International Christmas Vocal Competition in Minsk where he was awarded a special prize. In 2015 he took part in the 10th International competition of E. Obraztsova in St. Petersburg where he was awarded a diploma and he won the first prize in the 7th International Competition of Opera Singers «Saint-Petersburg». In 2016 he won the second prize in the 6th Galina Vishnevskaya International Opera Singers Competition in Moscow and the Grand Prix and the Audience Prize in the II International Eva Marton Competition in Budapest. He is the laureate of the Special Foundation of the President of Belarus, which supports young talents.
photo: Jörn Kipping
Im Sommer 2015 debütierte der junge Tenor beim Festival Schloss Britz in Berlin. Hier sang er die Hauptpartien in „Il barbiere di Siviglia“ (Paisiello) sowie im Folgejahr „Orlando paladino“(Haydn). Mit dem Barockwerk Hamburg konzertierte er in historischer Aufführungspraxis, wie zum Beispiel Telemanns „Bürgercapitainsmusik“. Diese Wiederentdeckungen wurden als CDs veröffentlicht. Weitere Engagements führten ihn an das Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin sowie in die Laeiszshalle in Hamburg. Regelmäßig tritt er als Oratorien- und Konzertsänger auf. Rundfunk- und CD-Aufnahmen ergänzen seine Arbeit. Er trat u.a. mit den Hamburger Symphonikern, der Rheinischen Philharmonie und den Hamburg Philharmonic Soloists (Mitglieder des Philharmonischen Staatsorchesters Hamburg) auf.
Mit bereits vier Jahren sammelte Julian Rohde erste Bühnenerfahrungen am Theater Lübeck. Noch als Knabensopran wurde er dann für Solopartien verpflichtet. Sein Gesangsstudium absolvierte er von 2010 bis 2014 an der Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg bei Prof. Yvi Jänicke und vervollständigte sein Studium danach bei Valentina Aleksandrova/ Kozhanova. Zeitgleich studiert er Italienisch und Russisch. Er nahm an Meisterkursen u.a. bei Simone Kermes, Margreet Honig und Robert Gambill teil.
photo: Alex B. Adler
The Bulgarian bass-baritone Denis Velev was born in 1992 in Plovdiv and moved to Russia with his family in 1996, where he started playing piano at the age of 6. He then started singing in a children choir and took over his first solos with 12 years and won several prizes in singing contests for children.
In 2012 he entered the Russian University of Theatre Art (GITIS) in Moscow, where he studied with Tamara Siniavskaya and was starring in several theatre and opera productions. He moreover debuted in Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theatre in Moscow with „Die Zauberflöte“ (Mozart), „The Secret Mariage“ (Cimarosa) and „Orfeo and Euridice“ (Gluck).
In 2015 he graduated from the Russian University of Theatre Art and entered Galina Vishnevskaya's Opera Center, where he debuted especially in parts of Russian operas such as “Iolanta” (Tchaikovsky), “The Tsar's Bride“ (Rimsky-Korsakov), “Onegin” (Tchaikovsky) and “Rigoletto” (Verdi).
Since 2016/17 Denis Velev is part of the International Opera Studio at the Hamburg State Opera.
photo: Kartal Karagedik
Rainer Böddeker hat an der Hochschule für Theater und Musik in Hamburg studiert. 1985 erstes Engagement im Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper. 1989 Wechsel als Solist an die Bühnen der Landeshauptstadt Kiel. Engagement an diversen Bühnen. Er sang u.a. Sarastro, Leporello, Osmin, Bartolo, Don Pasquale, Sparafucile.
Seit 1997 ist er wieder Mitglied des Hamburger Staatsopernchores.
Die aus Moskau stammende Mezzosopranistin Ruzana Grigorian begann ihr Gesangsstudium im Alter von 16 Jahren an der Russischen Akademie für Theaterkunst (GITIS). Im Rahmen des dortigen Opernstudios wirkte sie in Purcells „Dido and Aeneas“ mit und sang die Rolle des Orpheus in Glucks „Orfeo ed Euridice“.
Von 2007 bis 2015 war sie Solistin im Orfey Theater in Russland und nahm an der Sommerakademie der GITIS unter der Leitung von A. Kalyagina teil. Im Rahmen eines Projekts übernahm sie die Titelpartie der Carmen in der gleichnamigen Oper. 2011 war sie am Moskauer Musiktheater als Maddalena in Verdis „Rigoletto“ zu hören, bevor sie im Jahr 2012 die Partie der Olga in Tschaikowskys „Eugen Onegin“ im Orfey Theater sang.
Seit Oktober 2015 studiert Ruzana Grigorian Gesang am Mozarteum in Salzburg, zunächst bei Prof. Barbara Bonny, aktuell bei Prof. Mario Diaz. Im Jahr 2016 debütierte sie in der Rolle der Bianca in Brittens „The Rape of Lucretia“ in einer Opernproduktion der Universität und 2017 als Filipjewna in Tschaikowskys „Eugen Onegin“ am Mozarteum Salzburg.
Ruzana Grigorian gehört ab der Spielzeit 2017/2018 zum Internationalen Opernstudio der Staatsoper Hamburg.
photo: Kartal Karagedik
Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg
The Philharmonic State Orchestra is Hamburg’s largest and oldest orchestra, looking back on many years of musical history. When the “Philharmonic Orchestra” and the “Orchestra of the Hamburg Municipal Theatre” merged in 1934, two tradition-steeped orchestras combined. Philharmonic concerts have been performed in Hamburg since 1828, artists such as Clara Schumann, Franz Liszt and Johannes Brahms being regular guests of the Philharmonic Society. The history of the opera company goes back even further: Hamburg has been home to musical theatre since 1678, even if a regular opera or theatre orchestra was only formed later. To this day, the Philharmonic State Orchestra has embodied the sound of the Hansa City, a concert and opera orchestra in one.
During its long history, the orchestra encountered great artist personalities. Apart from composers of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, such as Georg Philipp Telemann, Piotr I. Tchaikovsky, Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler, Sergey Prokofiev and Igor Stravinsky, since the 20th century chief conductors such as Karl Muck, Eugen Jochum, Joseph Keilberth, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Horst Stein, Gerd Albrecht, Ingo Metzmacher and Simone Young have shaped the orchestra’s sound. Renowned conductors of the pre-war era such as Otto Klemperer, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Bruno Walter, Karl Böhm and Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt gave brilliant performances, as did outstanding conductors of our times: suffice it to mention Sir Neville Marriner, Christian Thielemann, Semyon Bychkov, Kirill Petrenko, Valery Gergiev and Sir Roger Norrington.
Starting with the 2015/2016 season, Kent Nagano has taken on the position of Hamburg’s General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Philharmonic State Orchestra and the Hamburg State Opera. In his first season Kent Nagano initiated a new project, the Philharmonic Academy at St. Michaelis, focusing on experimentation and chamber music. In 2016 Nagano and the Philharmonic undertook a successful three-week concert tour in South America. Since 2017 Kent Nagano and the Philharmonic State Orchestra have continued the traditional Philharmonic Concerts at the new Elbphilharmonie, for which they commissioned Jörg Widmann to compose the oratorio ARCHE, which was given its world premiere during the hall’s opening festivities.
The Philharmonic State Orchestra offers approximately 35 concerts per season and performs more than 240 performances per year at the Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Ballet – John Neumeier, making it Hamburg’s busiest orchestra. The stylistic bandwidth covered by the 134 musicians, ranging from historically informed performance practice to contemporary works and including concert, opera and ballet repertoire, is unique throughout Germany. Chamber Music has a long tradition at the Philharmonic State Orchestra: what began in 1929 with a concert series for chamber orchestra has been continued since 1968 by a series of chamber music only, which celebrates its 50-year anniversary in 2017/18.
In 2008 Simone Young and the Philharmonic State Orchestra won the Brahms Award of the Schleswig-Holstein Brahms Society. In 2012 Simone Young received a Helpmann Award for performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Wagner’s Rheingold with the Philharmonic in Brisbane, Australia. The orchestra has recorded the complete Ring by Wagner as well as the complete symphonies of Johannes Brahms and Anton Bruckner – the latter in the rarely-performed original versions – as well as works by Mahler, Hindemith and Berg, and has released DVDs of opera and ballet productions by Hosokawa, Offenbach, Reimann, Auerbach, J.S. Bach, Puccini, Poulenc and Weber.
The members of the Philharmonic State Orchestra feel equally beholden to the Hansa City’s musical tradition and responsible for the city’s artistic future. Since 1978 the musicians have been participating in education programmes in Hamburg’s schools. To this day, the TV format Musikkontakte initiated by Gerd Albrecht during his tenure as General Music Director is unforgotten. Today, the orchestra maintains a broad education programme, including school and kindergarten visits, patronage for music projects, introductory events for children and family concerts. The orchestra’s own academy prepares young musicians for their professional careers. The Philharmonic’s musicians thereby make an equally enjoyable and valuable contribution to tomorrow’s music education in the music metropolis of Hamburg.
photo: Foto: Felix Broede
Chor der Hamburgischen Staatsoper
The chorus members appear on stage at the Hamburg State Opera in a different role almost every night. From one day to the next, they might be sailors, gypsies, pilgrims or conspirators, then courtiers, hunters, the deranged or the imprisoned. In the role of crusaders in I Lombardi alla prima Crociata they travel to Jerusalem, other nights they are invited to Madama Butterfly's marriage or acclaim Prince Igor. The ladies and gentlemen of the opera chorus demonstrate their artistic prowess, their flexibility, and their love of the stage in every performance.
With a membership around 70, the chorus of the Hamburg State Opera has been one of the world’s best opera choruses for many years. The varied repertoire – almost always in the original language – is multifaceted and includes baroque operas and dramatic operas, major works by Verdi and Wagner as well as contemporary pieces. At the start of the 2013/14 season, Eberhard Friedrich took over the post of Chorus Master.