John Neumeier soon to retire

50 Years of the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier: The Anniversary Season 2022/2023

Next season marks the 50-year anniversary of John Neumeier’s appointment to the Hamburg Ballet, and also his last season as the Hamburg Ballet’s Artistic Director.

The 2022/2023 ballet season will be a festive one in many ways. The Hamburg Ballet celebrates an anniversary that is unique throughout the world: the 50-year anniversary of John Neumeier’s appointment as ballet director and chief choreographer of the Hamburg Ballet. This anniversary also marks the end of an era, as John Neumeier will step down from his positions in the summer of 2023, but he will retain his position as artistic director of the National Youth Ballet. The coming season promises many occasions to celebrate these events, for John Neumeier’s greatest wish is this: „In our anniversary season, I intend to spread dance throughout the city of Hamburg, creating spaces of encounter outside the opera home. “


Therefore, the season opening takes place in the heart of Hamburg, on Rathausmarkt square. On September 3 John Neumeier invites his audience to a “fireworks of dance”, a free open-air event.

Four Revivals, Four Tours and a World Premiere

The coming season has plenty to offer: in addition to four revivals (“Third Symphony of Gustav Mahler” (Sept. 18), “Préludes CV” (Oct. 27), “Illusions – Like Swan Lake” (Feb. 11), “Romeo and Juliet” (June 11)), John Neumeier will celebrate the last world premiere of a new creation as artistic director of the Hamburg Ballet. He has chosen Johann Sebastian Bach’s Mass in B minor, which he will present under the title “Dona Nobis Pacem”. As he himself explains: „Dona Nobis Pacem – give us peace. This title is of great importance to me – even at the risk of seeming naïve, sentimental or even pretentious. In light of the constant and growing tensions in our world, this thought remains an important aspiration and inspires me to approach Johann Sebastian Bach’s multifaceted composition with conviction. In my last season as artistic director, I consider this creation a great opportunity.“

Furthermore, the Hamburg Ballet will show a total of 14 ballets by John Neumeier, and in the course of the season, four Ballet Workshops will feature the chief choreographer giving valuable insights into his work and the genesis of his ballets. On May 13, 2023 the Hamburg Ballet hosts an Open House Day at the Ballet Centre in Hasselbrook.


The 2022/2023 season sees the Hamburg Ballet undertake four tours in Germany and abroad. The first, in October, is the traditional autumn appearance at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. At the festival premiere of “The World of John Neumeier”, the company presents two productions and one Ballet Workshop, and the National Youth Ballet performs John Neumeier’s latest production, “Die Unsichtbaren”. At the beginning of 2023, the Hamburg Ballet travels to Venice in January, presenting John Neumeier’s “Lady of the Camellias” in the city on the lagoon. The major winter tour takes the ballet company to Chicago in February, where it presents several performances of “The Glass Menagerie” during its 13th US tour. From there, the Hamburg Ballet flies round the globe to Tokyo in early March.

48th Hamburg Ballet Days

The crowning finale of the anniversary season will be the traditional Hamburg Ballet Days, its 48th edition expanded to a four-week festival instead of the usual two. During his last Hamburg Ballet Days, John Neumeier presents a curated combination of important key works of his era. Furthermore, three guest companies will be invited, all of them closely associated with John Neumeier’s oeuvre. In Hamburg, they will dance works from his repertoire: the Royal Danish Ballet (“Othello” on June 20 & 21), the Stuttgart Ballet (“The Lady of the Camellias” on July 5 & 6) and, depending on current developments, the Ballet of the Bolshoi Theatre (“Anna Karenina” on June 27 & 28). The National Youth Ballet and the School of the Hamburg Ballet also perform on the main stage of the Hamburg State Opera. “Matthäus-Passion” returns to the place of its creation, St. Michael’s Church. The four-week festivities culminate and end with John Neumeier’s last, star-studded Nijinsky Gala XLVIII, promising a glittering season finale and a personal farewell from John Neumeier to the Hamburg Ballet.

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