Saturday, April 16, 2016

"That it should come to this" Hamlet appears simultaneously in Sweden and Czech Republic

Thomas Weinhappel as Hamlet
Thomas Weinhappel is back in Ostrava in the Czech Republic singing the title role in Ambroise Thomas's Hamlet on April 16, May 10 and 17, and June 2 and 15. Performances are at the Antonín Dvořák Theatre and tickets are available online.

In between performances of Hamlet, Weinhappel heads to the Opéra Massy in Paris to sing Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte on March 31, and April 1,2 and 3, which then plays at the Théâtre Montansier in Versailles on April 5, at the Théâtre Alain Joneman in Le Vésinet on April 6 and at the Théâtre Alexandre Dumas in Saint Germain on April 8. He'll return to Ostrava in the Fall for more performances of Hamlet.
Thomas Weinhappel as Hamlet
Thomas Oliemans as Hamlet
Barihunk Thomas Oliemans is also performing the role at the Göteborgs Opera through May 21 with fellow barihunk Paul Whelan as Claudius. In this production, on different nights they will present the two alternate endings that Ambroise Thomas wrote. At the very first performance in Paris the opera concluded with Hamlet being crowned King, and Queen Gertrud entering a nunnery. For the premiere at Covent Garden in England, Thomas composed a more Shakespearean ending in which Hamlet takes his own life. Tickets are available online.

Weinappel and Oliemans join an illustrious group of baritones who have sung the title role in recent years, including Sherrill Milnes, Thomas Allen, Thomas Hampson, Bo Skovhus, Simon Keenlyside, Liam Bonner, Wes Mason, Franco Pomponi and Stéphane Degout.

Thomas Weinhappel sings Hamlet's Drinking Song:

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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