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The Hamburg State Opera and the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra present their 2015/2016 season

Georges Delnon, the future Intendant of the Hamburg State Opera, John Neumeier, Director and Chief Choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet, Kent Nagano, future General Music Director of the Hamburg State Opera and Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and Detlef Meierjohann, Managing Director of the Hamburg State Opera, presented the 2015/2016 season in a press conference today. In keeping with the meaningful tradition of the three institutions, the new leadership team has set the goal of developing an individual and recognizable profile that spans the bridge between considered cultivation of traditional repertoire and a distinctive passion for new forms.

The Hamburg State Opera will open the season with Berlioz’s opera “Les Troyens”, with Michael Thalheimer giving his directorial debut and Kent Nagano raising his baton for the first time at the opera house. Alongside this production, the revitalized opera stabile will not only host Christoph Marthaler’s “Isoldes Abendbrot”, featuring the mezzosoprano Anne Sofie von Otter, but will also present the world premiere of “Weine night, singe” by Michael Wertmüller, directed by Jette Steckel.

Love and the experience of human agony are the overriding themes of both of the Hamburg Ballet’s premieres in the 2015/2016 season. John Neumeier will choreograph the story of the Italian actress Eleonore Duse and will also bring Messiaen’s symphony “Turangalîla” to the stage, conducted by Kent Nagano. Included in the season’s numerous repertoire productions is “A Cinderella Story” as well as the “Saint Matthew Passion”, set to J.S. Bach’s poignant music.

Hamburg’s new General Music Director Kent Nagano and the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra will start their first season together by paying homage to great composers of Hamburg. The 188th concert season will be characterised by classical composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Berlioz and Mahler together with works by contemporary artists such as Unsuk Chin, Toshio Hosokawa and Peter Ruzicka. Kent Nagano will conduct seven concert programmes, while guest conductors include Philippe Herreweghe and Lothar Zagrosek.

The sale of subscription packages begins immediately. Tickets for performances in September and October 2015 will go on sale on May 18th and tickets for all other performances will be on sale from August 31st (27th August for subscribers). Tickets for John Neumeier’s Workshops and the Nijinsky Gala are excluded from this policy – please see the season brochure for more details.

The season brochures for the three institutions can be viewed online under www.staatsoper-hamburg.de, www.hamburgballett.de and www.philharmoniker-hamburg.de

An overview of the 2015/2016 season of the Hamburg State Opera:

The start of the 2015/2016 opera season will mark an opening season featuring a profusion of performances. In order to make the opening premiere of Hector Berlioz’s “Les Troyens” on September 19th 2015 accessible to an as bigger audience as possible, the performance will be streamed with a broadcast-delay directly from the stage of the opera house to a cinema screen on the Jungfernstieg, in cooperation with Filmfest Hamburg, City Management Hamburg and the “Verein lebendiger Jungfernstieg”.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Opera “Le Nozze di Figaro” will be the second new opera production of the season and will premiere on November 15th 2015. The production will be directed by the Norwegian director Stefan Herheim and will be conducted by the Italian conductor Ottavio Dantone.

The New Year will bring the world premiere of the opera “Stilles Meer” by Toshio Hosokawa to the Hamburg State Opera. The Japanese composer’s new work explores the personal tragedy of a family caught up in the aftermath of the nuclear accident in Fukushima. The Japanese director Oriza Hirata will be responsible for both the libretto and the staging, while Kent Nagano will conduct the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra.

In the opera stabile, the production “Minibar” created by scholarship holders from the Academy Opera today will premiere on 19th February 2016, performed by ensemble members of the Hamburg State Opera and members of the International Opera Studio.

A further premiere on the opera house stage will be Gioachino Rossini’s opera “William Tell”, directed by the young Swiss director Roger Vontobel and conducted by the seasoned master Gabriele Ferro.

The last new production of the season in Hamburg will be Richard Strauss’s “Daphne” on the 5th of June 2016. The production, directed by Christof Loy, has already enjoyed considerable success at Theater Basel and will be conducted in Hamburg by Michael Boder.

Beyond the stages of the Hamburg State Opera, the project “La Passione” after Johann Sebastian Bach’s St Matthew Passion will mark a particular highlight. This ambitious production in the Deichtorhallen will bring together the Italian director Romeo Castellucci and Hamburg’s General Music Director Kent Nagano, and will premiere on April 21st 2016. “La Passione” will be created in collaboration with the Elbphilharmonie Concerts and will also mark the opening of the Hamburg International Music Festival 2016.

As well as continuing to present a wide range of productions from the company’s diverse repertoire, the Hamburg State Opera will also revive two extraordinary works: Peter Konwitschny’s production of Verdi’s opera “Don Carlos”, and Richard Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” in the legendary staging by Ruth Berghaus, conducted by Kent Nagano.

At the end of the 2015/2016 opera season, the singers of the International Opera Studio will present their own production of Georg Philipp Telemann’s “Orpheus” in the opera stabile.

An overview of the 2015/2016 season of the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier:

The 2015/2016 season of the Hamburg Ballet will present two new creations by the Ballet Director and Chief Choreographer John Neumeier:

in homage to the legendary Italian actress Eleonora Duse, the world premiere of the ballet “Duse” will take place on December 6th 2015. Set to music by Benjamin Britten and Arvo Pärt, Neumeier will not only choreograph the new work but will also design the sets and the costumes. Guest ballerina Alessandra Ferri will dance the title role.

On July 3rd 2016 John Neumeier will present “Turangalîla”, a choreographed interpretation of Olivier Messiaen’s seminal symphony. Kent Nagano will conduct, while the Akris designer Albert Kriemler will create the costumes and Heinrich Tröger will be responsible for the set design.

The world premiere of “Turangalîla” will also mark the opening of the 42nd Hamburg Ballet-Days. The two-week-long festival, which culminates with the internationally renowned Nijinsky Gala XLII on July 17th 2016, will present a cross-section of John Neumeier’s extensive oeuvre. This edition of the festival will include popular literature-based ballets such as “Peer Gynt” and “Othello”, Neumeier’s interpretation of the classic romantic ballet “Giselle” and “Winterreise”, one of his seminal musically-inspired works. John Neumeier will of course also once again invite a renowned guest company to perform (July 12th/13th 2016).

As part of the opening weekend together with the Hamburg State Opera, John Neumeier will present a revival of his ballet “A Cinderella Story”, which was premiered in 1992, on September 20th 2015. Set to music by Sergei Prokofiev and with sets and costumes by Jürgen Rose, the ballet tells a story of self-discovery and growing up based around Grimm’s fairytale. The production was last performed in Hamburg in 2008.

The return of John Neumeier’s ballet “Saint Matthew Passion” to the stage of the Hamburg State Opera will mark the second revival of the season. The piece, which was premiered in 1981 and is set to the synonymous musical masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach was last performed in St. Michael’s Church in Hamburg. Back in a theatrical setting, even without the immediate connection to a sacred space, the dance acts as an agent of spiritual-sacral activity.

John Neumeier’s popular Workshops will take place on four Sundays throughout the season. In these matinee performances, he expands on the historical background behind his ballets and offers unique insights into the creative process.
On June 14th and July 4th 2016, The School of the Hamburg Ballet will present their “First Steps”, their traditional biannual performance featuring students from every level of training in a variety of choreographies on the stage of the Hamburg State Opera. From February 29th to March 6th 2016 the graduate classes will once again present their own choreographies in the “Creativity Workshop VII” at the Ernst Deutsch Theater.

In the spring, the “Young Choreographers” of the Hamburg Ballet will return to the opera stabile with their own creations, building on the success of the last edition of the series, which began in 1974.

The 2015/2016 season will also see the Hamburg Ballet embark on both national and international tours. With a total of nine different ballets, a Workshop and a gala programme, the company will appear on the stages of the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Chicago, the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo and the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.

An overview of the 2015/2016 season of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra:

Hamburg’s new General Music Director Kent Nagano and the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra will begin their first season together on September 27th/28th 2015 by paying homage to great Hamburg composers. Focal points throughout the season will include works by Bach, Beethoven, Mahler and Berlioz, and these classical masters will be set in contrast to works by contemporary artists such as Unsuk Chin, Toshio Hosokawa and Peter Ruzicka.

Before the season has even opened, Kent Nagano will conduct a chamber orchestra of musicians from the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra in two academy concerts in St. Michael’s Church in Hamburg on September 13th/14th 2015. The programme will not only feature J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos but will also include works for chamber orchestra by Schönberg and Brahms as well as Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major with pianist Menahem Pressler.

One of the highlights in May 2016 will certainly be two performances of Brahms’s A German Requiem in St. Michael’s Church, given as part of the Hamburg International Music Festival. Kent Nagano will deliver a contrast to the oratorio with baroque canzones by Giovanni Gabrieli and with “Répons”, a key work by the current holder of the Hamburg Bach Prize Pierre Boulez.

Kent Nagano will continue the philharmonic tradition of the New Year’s Day matinee concert with a programme featuring music from Mozart to B.A. Zimmermann that will aim to encourage reflection and appeal to the power of music as an instrument of peace and freedom.

The Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra’s chamber music series will feature a wide variety of concerts, for example Bernstein’s “West Side Story” arranged for two pianos and percussion, a programme exploring the theme of The Kreutzer Sonata or Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” arranged for a woodwind quintet. There will also be a special family chamber concert with a story by the children’s author Janosch in the autumn of 2015.

The interdisciplinary series “Music and Science”, a new project combining both chamber music and a symphonic concert under Kent Nagano, will begin in February 2016. Over four events, and in cooperation with the Max Planck Society, lectures and concerts will be combined in order to explore scientific questions.

Guests of the 2015/2016 season will include conductors such as Philippe Herreweghe, Lothar Zagrosek, Markus Stenz, Paolo Carignani and Michael Sanderling and soloists such as Nikolai Lugansky, Piotr Anderszewski, Rudolf Buchbinder, Andreas Staier, Carolin Widmann, Baiba Skride, Vilde Frang, Nils Mönkemeyer, Alban Gerhardt, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Dorothea Röschmann, Genia Kühmeier and Dietrich Henschel.

Aside from the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra, ensembles such as the Experimentalstudio of the SWR Freiburg, the chorus of the Hamburg State Opera, the Carl-Philipp-Emanuel-Bach-Chor and the Chor St. Michaelis will feature in the 2015/2016 season.