In 2005, the Australian conductor Simone Young was appointed artistic director of the Hamburg State Opera. As both chief executive of the Hamburg State Opera and music director of the Philharmoniker Hamburg, she has been presenting exciting music theatre in Hamburg. New ensemble members are delighting the audiences as are top-class guests from all over the world.
Since taking office, Simone Young has been combining the tradition of Hamburg State Opera with modern music theatre. Thus the program of the house at Dammtorstraße ranges from baroque opera to contemporary pieces. Each season, some 380 performances are given, circa 260 of which take place on the main stage.
Projects initiated by Simone Young include a cycle of works by Benjamin Britten started in 2006, and the series Opera rara presenting seldomly produced operas in concert form. In the season 2007/08, Simone Young placed particular focus on the operas of Richard Strauss. She also launched a new Hamburg Ring des Nibelungen for which she could win Claus Guth as director and Christian Schmidt as set designer. Such singers as Christian Franz, Falk Struckmann, Deborah Polaski, Wolfgang Koch and John Tomlinson are contributing to the success of the new Ring.
Hamburg State Opera attaches utmost importance to the promotion of young talents. Each season, the young singers of the International Opera Studio produce their own show. In the productions of the children’s opera series Opera piccola children take the stage to perform for their peers in the audience.
»Opera is drama and passion expressed by singing, music, and acting,« says Simone Young. »It touches heart and mind with an immediacy which, nowadays, is rarely found.«