Opera in Hamburg
Christophe Rousset | Les Talens Lyriques
Very few music centres in the country of Germany could resist the dominance of the Italian opera seria in order to go their own, very different ways – but among them and the most prominent was the Hamburg Opera am Gänsemarkt. The theatre had always had a rich tradition and was one of the few opera companies that were not attached to a court, but run by the city, the middle-class burghers, so commercial success was imperative. Accordingly, any composer who wanted to be successful here had to have a feel for the interests, yearnings and whims of the public and at the same time meet high artistic standards. Moreover, the house placed priority on German-language operas and thus for the first time founded an independent, non-Italian music theatre tradition. The outstandingly productive composer and astute general director Reinhard Keiser steered the theatre’s fate for many years. George Frideric Handel put on the first performance of his first operas here, and Georg Philipp Telemann celebrated his greatest successes in Hamburg.
Star soprano Anna Prohaska has made a name for herself not only on the international opera scene, but has also dazzled her public time and again through her unusual and ingeniously compiled concert programmes. In the recital Opera in Hamburg, she opens up the portals to one of the most extraordinary theatres in the history of German opera and conjures up the tones of Keiser, Handel and Telemann as well as rarities by composers such as Christoph Graupner and Johann Mattheson to resound through the Margravial Opera House.