From tap-dancing santas and rapping angels to a festive minstrels’ contest and a literary-musical Advent calendar – Hamburg’s thespians demonstrate that Christmas shows can be both festive, touching, original and surprising. A selection.
In a new guise: Christmas minstrels’ contest on the Elbe
Since the ElbErOperung – the reopening of the opera loft at its new location in the old Altona ferry terminal – artistes are once again regularly doing battle in the minstrels’ contest. The battlefield is right next to the Elbe. On December 8 and 14 things will get hectic, with plenty of liquid refreshment for cognoscenti of the genre. Knowledge of composers, arias and libretti will be rewarded with shots of schnapps. During this operatic contest, the artists compete with snippets from the repertoire over a number of 90-second rounds. The public decides the victor: A decibel meter measures how loud the applause is for each artiste. It brings a whole range of new sounds into the former England ferry terminal.
Classical: Christmas in the Laeiszhalle
Classical played classically is to be heard in Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle. On December 1, the festive Advent concert will showcase the chamber orchestra of the Hamburg New Philharmonia playing Mozart and Bach, and on December 9 the festive Christmas concert will be performed. The Hamburg concert choir will present a programme both festive and reflective of traditional European Christmas songs, along with overtures, arias and choral pieces from operas by Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini and Engelbert Humperdinck.
Popular Christmas classics presented from a new perspective will be performed at “The Nutcracker and I”. The Romanian pianist Alexandra Dariescu has created her own fairy-tale version of the music of Peter Tchaikovsky with a multimedia dance performance set to the composer’s music. In the Laeiszhalle on December 17.
The Big Christmas Show 2018
Christmas to appeal to all the senses is on the programme in the First Stage theatre in Altona from November 14. The aroma of cinnamon and mulled wine and a theatre decorated from top to toe with its own ice lounge, all to the sound of Christmas classics before the show, spread Christmas cheer throughout the theatre. The Big Christmas Show 2018 plucks the heartstrings with more than 25 different dance, theatrical and singing acts: By turns touching and enchanting, sexy and captivating, and then again cheeky and full of humour. The format, with its tap-dancing santas and rapping angels has been extended to December 27 as a result of strong demand.
Surprise: the literary-musical Advent calendar
The Hamburg State Opera is presenting one surprise after another, right through December. An artistic mini-surprise awaits the audience at the literary-musical Advent calendar in the opera house’s entrance foyer every weekday at 5 pm and on Sundays at noon. Stories, poems and songs, from well-known, cheerful and reflective Christmas classics to lesser known, out-of-the-ordinary and comedic material relating to Advent, will be presented by the members of the Opera Ensemble, the International Opera Studios, the Hamburg Ballet, the German Youth Ballet, the Ballet School, the State Opera Choir, the Philharmonic State Orchestra and outside artistes. Entrance is free!
Scrooge – converted by spirits
Scrooge is not easily impressed. The ghosts of Christmas past, Christmas present and Christmas yet to come are needed to soften the heart of the nasty and stingy businessman.
Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol” is a timeless classic among Christmas stories. This version, especially adapted for the Kellertheater (Cellar Theatre) by Sarah Topfstädt is aimed at an audience from eight years. Premiere: November 17, 2018 Last call: December 22, 2018.