Football fever inspires unusual opera in Germany – FBC News

(Source: Reuters)

The football fever at Euro 2024 in Germany is felt not only in packed stadiums, raucous bars and heaving city squares – but also in the more rarefied atmosphere of an opera house.

On the banks of the River Elbe in Hamburg, one of the host cities of the tournament, a new production takes place called The “Fussball runner” (Football Opera) is sold out to fans of both sports and music.

Director Inken Rahardt’s work recreates a football field and the chaotic interactions between players, referee and ball, mixing fan chants with traditional arias and pop songs.

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Of course it takes 90 minutes: the time of a game.

“The connection between football and opera is just perfect,” Rahardt said on another busy evening at the Opernloft (Opera Loft) venue in a trendy part of Germany’s second-largest city.

“The room is buzzing, people are happy, they recognize the football movements, connect that with the emotional music of opera and just have a great evening.”


The songs range from the Champions League song to that of Giacomo Puccini “Nessun dorma” – with much participation from spectators in colorful hats and scarves.

“It’s a big mix of everything, different genres,” said singer Freja Sandkamm, who plays a referee, joking that her biggest challenge was suppressing her normal operatic voice and instead learning to “sing out” football songs.

Spectators were delighted.

One lady said she could finally take her football-loving partner to the opera, while others praised the imaginative, if surreal, fusion of entertainment cultures.

“I chose it because of the combination because I thought it was a really good way to attract people who might not go to the opera that often,” says York Rudhard, 53, a pharmaceutical scientist from Hamburg.

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