Saturday, September 5, 2015

Austrian barihunk Thomas Weinhappel to make debut as Hamlet

Thomas Weinhappel in Ostrava (right)
Austrian barihunk Thomas Weinhappel will sing music from Ambroise Thomas' Hamlet at a gala concert with the Ostrava Nationalorchester in the Czech Republic on September 6th. He will then debut the complete role in March and April next year at the Nationaltheater Ostrava, which is just a 3 hour drive from Vienna.

He joins an illustrious group of baritone who have sung the title role in recent years, including Sherrill Milnes, Thomas Allen, Thomas Hampson, Bo Skovhus, Simon Keenlyside, Liam Bonner, Wes Mason, and Franco Pomponi and Stéphane Degout (with their famous nude scenes).    

Thomas Weinhappel sings "Her die Hand es muß ja sein" from Johann Strauß's Zigeunerbaron: 

When Ambroise Thomas chose Shakespeare’s Hamlet as the subject of his new opera, France had been under the spell of the English bard for many years, and Ophelia had inspired romantic artists. The librettists Carré and Barbier distilled a straightforward story from Shakespeare’s abundant characters and situations. Many Anglo-Saxon critics have dismissed the opera because the libretto is so far removed from the original, despite Thomas having created a musical masterpiece. 

The opera is played out between the opposite poles of real and feigned madness, love and avenge. After the murder of his father, Hamlet opposes the marriage of his mother and his uncle, at the expense of his beloved and himself

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