Hanover State Opera has a new ballet director – culture

After choreographer Marco Goecke’s dog excrement attack on a critic, the Hanover State Opera has a new ballet director. Christian Blossfeld, previously Vice Goeckes and acting director after his contract was terminated, is the new ballet director, State Opera director Laura Berman said on Thursday. Regarding the contract period of the 42-year-old, she said her contract runs until 2029 – and “we’ll do it together”. Berman called Goecke “one of the most important choreographers of our time”. Blossfeld explained that his predecessor’s pieces were the foundation of the repertoire.

In the new 2023/2024 season, the theater is also performing plays by Goecke, such as “A Wilde Story” based on Oscar Wilde motifs. Other houses such as the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden in Baden-Württemberg and the Staatsballett Berlin have already signaled that they want to continue working with Goecke despite the dog excrement attack.

In February, Goecke smeared a critic with dog feces in the foyer of the opera house. He had previously accused the journalist of always writing “bad, personal” reviews. The Staatstheater Hannover parted ways with him the week after the attack, and his contract as ballet director was terminated with immediate effect and by mutual agreement. Blossfeld then took over the provisional management. Berman explained that there was “no substitute” for a choreographer like Goecke. It is still unclear how Goecke’s new works will continue in Hanover, but his works will remain in the repertoire. However, Blossfeld has “great ideas in terms of content”.

Suggestions should come from different choreographers. Blossfeld was trained at the state ballet and artistic school in Berlin. As a solo dancer he was engaged at the Leipzig Ballet and the German Opera on the Rhine. From 2016 to 2019 he worked at the Stuttgart Ballet, and from the beginning of the 2019/2020 season he was Deputy Director of the State Ballet in Hanover.

In the new 2023/2024 season, in addition to a series of ballet premieres – including two world premieres – the State Opera is focusing on a mixture of classics and rarely heard. The opera premieres include Wagner’s “Parsifal”, Bellini’s bel canto version of “Romeo and Juliet”, namely “I Capuleti ei Montecchi” and Gluck’s “Orfeo ed Euridice”, but also Aribert Reimann’s “Lear” or “Turning Turandot”. Olivia Hyunsin Kim – the attempt to break up gender role models in Puccini’s opera blockbuster “Turandot”.

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