Last update: 24 October 2016
October 2016
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HAMLET, Theater an der Wien , 16 September 2016 - 19:00

Event Details
Category: Operas Event: HAMLET Date/Time: 16 September 2016 - 19:00 Venue: Theater an der Wien Address: Linke Wienzeile 6, 1060 Wien/Vienna (Map)

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Shakespeare's Hamlet is one of the most famous plays in world literature. Since 1602 it has proved its unbroken topicality in countless new productions and adaptations. For our Shakespeare year, 2016, the Theater an der Wien has commissioned a new Hamlet: the author Thomas Jonigk has not just written an abridged version of Shakespeare's play suitable for a libretto, but has also drawn on the sources that the Bard himself used to create his play. The result is our own version of the tale, tailored to the 21st century without completely losing the connection to Shakespeare. The composition was commissioned from Anno Schreier, born 1979, who has already made a name for himself as a successful opera composer. Hamlet marks his debut at the Theater an der Wien.

Hamlet, the old king, is dead, presumed poisoned. His widow Gertrude now plans to marry his brother, Claudius. She seems to have an over-affectionate relationship with her son, Hamlet. Presumably for this reason, and on grounds of decency, the son disapproves of her mother's remarriage so soon after his father's death. The young Hamlet feels that everything is becoming too much for him: his feelings towards his mother, his father's death and the looming prospect of one day succeeding him as king which would mean having to accept him or the new king, his uncle Claudius, as a role model. What is more he is sure that it was Claudius who killed his father. How should he react in this situation? Gertrude is soon pregnant and convinced that the child will be a boy. Hamlet feels surplus to requirements and starts to suffer fits of depression. Gertrude engages Ophelia, a high-class prostitute who also bestowed her "favours" on the late king, as a distraction for Hamlet. However, the nature of her profession is also causing Ophelia to feel depressed. She and Hamlet realise that they have an emotional bond and fall deeply in love with each other. Gertrude now persuades Claudius to murder Ophelia. Once she is dead, Gertrude sets Hamlet against Claudius so she will be rid of him as well, but her plans go awry when Claudius stabs Hamlet to death. Claudius publicly expresses his regret at the death of the crown prince before securing family ties with the pregnant Gertrude.

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