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© Foto: Hamburgische Staatsoper

Today (Jan 15th evening – I just write this shortly after I return from the show) I was at the A premiere of Lear at the Hamburg Opera. At least – I have to say because the premiere was originally scheduled for the 300th season of the Opera but there happened things that weren’t supposed to be happened and the worldpremiere of Aribert Reimann’s Opera went to Munich in 1978. It was a big success there and anyhow Hamburg needed 34 years to finally bring it on stage. I was there and I was extremely happy about.

I am absolutely not the typical Opera visitor I have to admit before. I think I have seen just five different Operas in my whole life before. (“Der Freischütz” by Carl Maria von Weber; “Der fliegende Holländer” by Richard Wagner; “Madame Butterfly” by Giacomo Puccini; “La Betulia liberata” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; and a fifth Opera Luigi Nonos “Il gran sole carico d’amore” which one was the most aweful piece I have ever seen in my whole life.). Anyway, I have seen some Operas at TV and listened to the classics at radio or I know them from Vinyl but usually I don’t spent extra money for watching them. I wanted to see Lear because I am Fan of Bo Skovhus. I love his singing. I like his presence on stage exstremely much. I own some CDs with collected songs of him and I am listening to them quite often when I need to calm down. My last Opera experience was honestly a disturbing one and I swore myself to not get into Opera for a long time after Leipzig’s “Fliegenden Holländer”. I was sitting there in the Opera house and I was closing my eyes cuz I didn’t want to see what was happening on stage. I liked the music and the songs but not the production.

Anyway, back to Lear. I never get to one Opera or Ballett completely unprepared. I pay money for it and so I want to know what could happen and what will I suspect. For regular Opera goers please skip the next few lines … but I need to tell you how I prepared …🙂 … I have been listening to some tunes of Aribert Reimann (born in 1936 – still very active and brillant musician composer) and I was really looking forward to the Opera. I took my Shakespeare – Collected Works and read the Lear before. I didn’t know the Libretto but at least I knew the original piece.

It was 5 pm yesterday when I went to the train to get to the Opera. But of course when I want to be in time at the Opera there are “unfortunately troubles in the operating schedule”. So, I needed to switch to the bus but there was unfortunately hell of traffic jam at the Reeperbahn so, I had to wait for the bus about 15 minutes and I was getting finally to the Opera house 5 minutes before the begin and this was really last minute or just in time.

I had my ticket at the 4th tier and I was pretty happy because I never had a ticket there before and I didn’t know you can watch soooo beautiful there on stage. I have to remind this for ballet pieces I have seen quiet often where I just want to enjoy the choreography. Cuz those tickets are really cheaper. I had a brillant view on stage and I was happy to have the opera glasses by my sister with me as well. I didn’t need them that much. I was very close to the stage but I used them sometimes.

So, after more than 600 words I have to tell you something bout the Opera piece … don’t I?!

  • I loved it completely.
  • I loved Aribert Reimann’s music.
  • I loved all singers … each of them … I will never stop to love Bo Skovhus. He is probably not the cutest Opera singer but he is that one who produces my eargasms. (ooops.) I have to add in that category as well that man who was singing Edgar … his name is Andrew Watts. Absolutely amazing. The women were great as well but I am not a real women fan on Opera stages.🙂 But they were brillant anyway.
  • I loved the production. It absolutely fitted with the music. I mean … decorating, props, lights, stagedesign. Just everything. It was perfect.
  • And finally the orchestra Philharmoniker Hamburg conducted by Simone Young were absolutely fab. I have to tell you that sometimes I just forget to watch on stage … I loved to look to the Orchestra more.🙂 … Young’s conducting is brillant and well … I just still cannot find the right words.

    The music … Well you have to get used to it. I needed some minutes to get in the right tunes but I loved it from the beginning. I am very open for modern tunes and I love it to find out themes and tunes that repeat for special characters.

    Here is a glimpse of the Opera from a production in Munich 1982 with Fischer-Dieskau as Lear.

    I am not suspecting that you’d like that stuff at all. But I did it a lot. I still don’t know why those three ladys sitting next to me until the first break didn’t come back after the break. I mean … they would have know it that it is modern music. The production wasn’t disturbing at all. The music was brillant and so were the singers. I really would love to know which problem they did have. Questions none can help me out, I fear.

    Anyway, if you want to hear what I was listening to and watching at … you can get it on Feb 4th 7:05 pm CET @Deutschland Radio Kultur. They have a Livestream – get info at dradio.de

    Next dates at the Opera in Hamburg are:
    Jan 18th
    Jan 21st
    Jan 24th
    Jan 27th
    Jan 30th
    Feb 3rd

    You can get tickets for each show at Opera Ticket Service

    On Jan 25th, Bo Skovhus there is the Elbphilharmonie Kulturgespräch at the Elbphilharmonie Kulturcafé (Mönckebergstraße Corner Spitalerstraße)… entry free @ 6pm

    And finally some brillant links as you know it.

    Hamburgische Staatsoper
    Lear Opera (wiki)
    Aribert Reimann
    Bo Skovhus