State Opera in Hamburg dares new things: When the “bat” only flies digitally

State Opera in Hamburg dares new things
If the “bat” only flies digitally

The Hamburg State Opera has to completely rethink the pandemic. Dancers can no longer dance, opera singers have to practice in the home office. In the podcast “The Zero Hour”, managing director Ralf Klöter tells how you can still keep in touch with the audience.

The ballet dancers are no longer allowed to dance, the opera singers are forced to practice in the home office. The pandemic and lockdown also mean a major upheaval for the Hamburg State Opera. In order to maintain contact with its audience, the State Opera now also offers performances as video-on-demand.

Ralf Klöter

(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

The pandemic is also an opportunity “to try things out differently and to show them differently,” says Ralf Klöter, managing director of the opera, in the “Zero Hour” podcast. On April 17th, for example, Strauss’s “Die Fledermaus” was broadcast on NDR, and Romeo Castellucci’s staging of Johann Sebastian Bach’s St. Matthew Passion can be streamed in Arte’s media library until June 24th.

For Klöter it is doubtful whether these methods are “a way into the future”. Above all, the State Opera is a company “that offers a live experience that brings an audience together”. Even for the artists, streamed performances cannot replace an appearance in front of a real audience. Nevertheless, Klöter remains confident. Even in times of lockdown, “really amazing things happened,” he says.

“We are very much looking forward to being able to bring these things to the stage. And we are actually very optimistic that our audience will find their way back and that they will accept these things with great pleasure,” said Klöter. “Perhaps this crisis has shown once again how fundamentally important it is for all of us that we can come together.”

Also hear in the new episode of “The Zero Hour”:

  • How many viewers watch a streamed performance
  • How the State Opera would like to stay in contact with young people
  • What Klöter thinks of the #allesdichtmachen campaign

You can find all episodes directly at Audio Now, Apple or Spotify or via Google.

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