Hamlet 016 © Monika Rittershaus

Opera in 24 scenes (2016)

Music by Anno Schreier                             

Libretto by Thomas Jonigk based on motives by William Shakespeares drama of the same name, Saxo Grammaticus’ Historia Danica and Francois de Belleforests Histoires tragiques

In German with German surtitles

Comissioned by  Production of Theater an der Wien

Premiere: Wednesday, 14 September 2016, 7 pm until 9.30 pm (Intermission: 8.15 pm)

Performances: 16 / 18 / 21 / 23 September 2016, 7 pm


Radio Broadcast: ORF will broadcast Hamlet on September 16th at 7.30 pm on the channel Ö1. 

Livestream on myfidelio.at: Hamlet will be available as livesteam on September 23rd at 7 pm.

ORF III "Erlebnis Bühne": Barbara Rett presents the world premiere of Hamlet on November 20th at 8.15 pm . 


Shakespeare's Hamlet is one of the most famous plays in world literature. Since 1602 it has proved its unbroken topicality in countless new productions and adaptations. For our Shakespeare year, 2016, the Theater an der Wien has commissioned a new Hamlet: the author Thomas Jonigk has not just written an abridged version of Shakespeare's play suitable for a libretto, but has also drawn on the sources that the Bard himself used to create his play. The result is our own version of the tale, tailored to the 21st century without completely losing the connection to Shakespeare. The composition was commissioned from Anno Schreier, born 1979, who has already made a name for himself as a successful opera composer. Hamlet marks his debut at the Theater an der Wien.


Hamlet, the old king, is dead, presumed poisoned. His widow Gertrude now plans to marry his brother, Claudius. She seems to have an over-affectionate relationship with her son, Hamlet. Presumably for this reason, and on grounds of decency, the son disapproves of her mother's remarriage so soon after his father's death. The young Hamlet feels that everything is becoming too much for him: his feelings towards his mother, his father's death and the looming prospect of one day succeeding him as king which would mean having to accept him or the new king, his uncle Claudius, as a role model. What is more he is sure that it was Claudius who killed his father. How should he react in this situation? Gertrude is soon pregnant and convinced that the child will be a boy. Hamlet feels surplus to requirements and starts to suffer fits of depression. Gertrude engages Ophelia, a high-class prostitute who also bestowed her "favours" on the late king, as a distraction for Hamlet. However, the nature of her profession is also causing Ophelia to feel depressed. She and Hamlet realise that they have an emotional bond and fall deeply in love with each other. Gertrude now persuades Claudius to murder Ophelia. Once she is dead, Gertrude sets Hamlet against Claudius so she will be rid of him as well, but her plans go awry when Claudius stabs Hamlet to death. Claudius publicly expresses his regret at the death of the crown prince before securing family ties with the pregnant Gertrude.



Anno Schreier


Thomas Jonigk


Michael Boder


Christof Loy

Set & costume design

Johannes Leiacker

Light design

Reinhard Traub

Hamlet, Getrud´s son and dead Hamlet´s son

Andrè Schuen

Dead Hamlet, former king

Jochen Kowalski

Gertrud, Queen

Marlis Petersen

Claudius, King

Bo Skovhus

Ophelia, a young woman from the environment of the court

Theresa Kronthaler

A pastor, Protestant

Kurt Streit


ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien


Arnold Schoenberg Chor (Ltg. Erwin Ortner)


Gallery Photos

Hamlet 2016/17

World-Premiere: 14 September 2016

Director: Christof Loy
Conductor: Michael Boder
World premiere commisioned by Theater an der Wien
Photos: Monika Rittershaus