Kent Nagano presents updated season 2020/21 in Hamburg (August 2020)

Hamburg, August 7, 2020: Kent Nagano, Hamburg General Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and Georges Delnon, Director of the Hamburg State Opera, Prof. John Neumeier, Ballet Director and Chief Choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet, presented the updated 2020/21 season and concert season for the months of September, October and November 2020 at today’s press conference. Ralf Klöter, Managing Director of the Hamburg State Opera, informed about the general conditions of this special season opening.

On September 5, 2020 the 2020/21 season will begin for the State Opera, Hamburg Ballet and Philharmonic State Orchestra. After almost six months of a forced break, the curtain will rise again and the concerts of the Philharmonic State Orchestra in the Elbphilharmonie can finally take place again. However, there will be no “back to business as usual” for the time being. “We see it as our task to reflect this pandemic situation artistically. Art should relate to what will happen in 2020. And there must be no artistic cutbacks – provided that all applicable hygiene rules are observed. We have therefore decided to put together a new programme for the period from 5 September to 5 December”, say Georges Delnon, John Neumeier and Kent Nagano.

The Senate decree currently limits the number of people in the audience to a maximum of 650 seats. Since we also adhere to the specified distance requirements of 1.5 m, we cannot fully utilise this maximum number. “There will be a flexible seating plan which will enable us to fulfil wishes to sit next to each other for up to 10 people”, explained Ralf Klöter. “As already known from the catering and retail trade, there will also be compulsory masking inside the State Opera. Until they have taken their seats, visitors will be required to wear a mouth and nose cover at all times. We are currently coordinating offers adapted to the conditions with our catering partner.”

Advance ticket sales for the opera, ballet and concert seasons 2020/21 will start in sections until further notice. On Monday 24 August, telephone and online sales will begin for all events in September, on Monday 7 September for the period from 1 October to 5 December. Tickets are sold at the box office of the Staatsoper one day later on August 25 and September 8. The box office is closed on 24 August and 7 September. The advance booking dates for events starting on 6 December 2020 will be announced later. Monthly sales are planned in each case. Subscription is initially suspended until 5 December, but subscribers to the Staatsoper and the Philharmonic State Orchestra have a written right of advance booking for events up to 5 December.

With Molto Agitato, a completely new production, Frank Castorf makes his director‘s debut at the Hamburg State Opera on 5 September 2020. The focus is on Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, the musical direction is in the hands of Hamburg’s General Music Director Kent Nagano.

Paul Abraham’s operetta Märchen im Grand-Hotel, originally planned for May, will now celebrate its premiere on September 13, also in the Grosses Haus of the Staatsoper. Sascha-Alexander Todtner stages the comic-turbulent story around an extraordinary film production.

Under the musical direction of Kent Nagano, the new production of the double evening Pierrot lunaire by Arnold Schönberg and La voix humaine by Francis Poulenc will premiere on 11 October. Direction and animation of Pierrot lunaire is by Luis August Krawen, the scenic arrangement of La voix humaine by Georges Delnon.

The repertoire of the Hamburg State Opera will include a reduced orchestral version of the operas Così fan tutte in a production by Herbert Fritsch and under the musical direction of Sébastien Rouland as well as Die Zauberflöte in a scenic interpretation by Jette Steckel and under the musical direction of Volker Krafft. The ballet opera Orphée et Eurydice by Christoph Willibald Gluck in the artistic interpretation by John Neumeier will be performed in November.

The Philharmonic State Orchestra will start their sixth joint concert season with General Music Director Kent Nagano on 10 September 2020 with an open-air concert on the open-air stage in Hamburg’s Stadtpark. The open-air concert, originally planned for the Rathausmarkt, will thus take place on a smaller scale and with a different programme – in keeping with Corona’s philosophy. The exact programme is still being worked out and will be announced later.

Programmatic changes must also be made to the programmes of the Philharmonic Concerts in September, October and November in the Elbphilharmonie: Thus, in the 1st Philharmonic Concert on 27/28 September, instead of Shostakovich and Beethoven, the programme now includes works by Hindemith, Ligeti, Mahler and Schubert under the baton of Kent Nagano; soloists are Julian Prégardien and Marie-Luise Neunecker. Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” overture and excerpts from the German Dances as well as Strauss’ “Der Bürger als Edelmann” will be performed on 25/26 October in the 2nd Philharmonic Concert, which originally included Ligeti and Brahms. The Haydn programme of the 3rd Philharmonic Concert on 22/23 November with Andreas Spering will be shortened, as will the programmes of the 1st and 2nd Chamber Concerts on 18 October and 15 November. A highlight in autumn is the special concert with a focus on Beethoven in the Elbphilharmonie: Opera star Pretty Yende will sing Beethoven’s concert aria “Ah! Perfido” on October 9, while Kent Nagano will also conduct the Coriolan Overture and the anniversary composer’s 2nd Symphony.

The concerts of the Philharmonic Academy planned for August are postponed to November 5, 6 and 8 and will take place on the stage of the Hamburg State Opera. The world premiere of the Clarinet Concerto by Matthew Ricketts – a commissioned composition of the Philharmonic State Orchestra – with solo clarinetist Rupert Wachter as soloist can be performed on the opera stage with the orchestra pit raised, as well as the 2nd Serenade by Johannes Brahms. The other two Academy Concerts include chamber music and will feature a soloist from the orchestra’s own ranks (Philharmonic oboist Thomas Rohde) as well as the American violin virtuoso Jimmy Lin, who will interpret works by Mozart, Brahms and Tchaikovsky together with strings from the Philharmonic.

jung – for our young audience, a chamber ensemble of the Philharmonic State Orchestra will perform Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition on Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1 in a version that is sometimes classical, sometimes with crazy hip-hop sounds. Families with children from 8 years of age will experience how a live illustrator brings to life beeping chicks, screaming market women and the witch Baba Jaga on the Iron Curtain.

Schools cannot come to us? Our musicians will be going on a school tour in and around Hamburg in small ensembles of string, woodwind or brass players from September. They will also be carrying with them pictures of an exhibition which they will perform in the schoolyard, in the break hall or the assembly hall for children and young people of all grades.

As an offer for music lessons we produce the concerts in the series Tonangeber digital for classes 4 to 6 as interactive videos. We zoom very close to the instruments and our musicians show how the craziest sounds are created and present works for trombones, percussion and cello.

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