Simone Young Renews Contract as Music Director of Hamburg Opera

Classic Arts News   Simone Young Renews Contract as Music Director of Hamburg Opera
Australian conductor Simone Young has extended her contract as music director and general manager of the Hamburg State Opera until 2015, reports Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Young, 46, became Intendantin of the Hamburgische Staatsoper and chief conductor of the Hamburg Philharmonic in 2005; she has now effectively extended her current contract by five years.

"The seemingly early extension of my contract until 2015 allows me to continue the planning of repertoire and the development of both opera company and orchestra in the long term," Young said in a statement quoted by Opera News. "This will enable us to complete existing cycles of projects and to embark upon new and exciting enterprises. A guarantee of the conditions to make this work possible was the central point of the negotiations. I am very happy that I will be very much at home in Hamburg until 2015."

Young, who in 2005 became the first female conductor to lead the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, was James Conlon's assistant at the Cologne Opera and Daniel Barenboim's assistant at both the Berlin Staatsoper and the Bayreuth Festival. She first conducted Opera Australia in 1985 and became the company's artistic director and chief conductor in 2001; her contract was terminated, amid controversy, in 2003. Her symphonic career includes a three-year term (1999-2002) as chief conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway; this summer she begins a term as principal conductor of the Gulbenkian orchestra in Lisbon.

Her plans for the Hamburg Staatsoper's 2007-08 season, according to Opera News, include new productions of Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Der Rosenkavalier, Arabella, Daphne and Das Rheingold. Young (who will conduct all the aforementioned except for the Offenbach) is will also be on the podium for Otello, Macbeth, Turandot, Don Carlos, Elektra, Salome and Die Frau ohne Schatten.

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