Jun 8, 2019
This summer, Diana Damrau reprises the role of Ophélie in Berlin, for three concert performances on June 24, 27 and 29. This time, she’s joined by Florian Sempey in the title role, Ève-Maud Hubeaux as Gertrude and Nicolas Testé as Claudius, with conductor Yves Abel on the podium.
Hamlet is not just William Shakespeare’s arguably most layered and philosophical tragedy but also known as a play in which all the protagonists end up dead onstage. That Hamlet can also be adapted successfully as an opera with a happy ending and without the great “To be or not to be” soliloquy was demonstrated by Ambroise Thomas and his two librettists, Michel Carré and Jules Barbier. Their Hamlet is the most successful adaptation of the material to date as well as being one of the most significant French operas of the 1860s. Like the masterpieces turned out by Charles Gounod, it was written in a period of operatic upheaval when a new genre, the “drame lyrique”, was being distilled from elements of the establishmentarian grand opéra and the lighter opéra comique. The new form was through-composed and complex in its musical language but more intimate and lyrical in tone and more strongly focused on the fates of its individual characters. And Thomas’s Hamlet is both of these: at once riveting as a musical drama and, in the musical portrayal of the key roles, poetically nuanced in its probing of emotional detail.
Ms. Damrau recently made her concert debut in this role at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, for which she received rave reviews:
“The part of Ophélie is difficult, and it takes an important light soprano to face all the difficulties of her mad scene in Act IV. Diana Damrau gave an outstanding performance and was enthusiastically cheered by the audience.” – Seen and Heard International