Hamburg - Musical Metropolis


World-famous as well as locally produced musicals with first-class entertainment, moving stories and rousing songs attract two million visitors to Hamburg every year. Nevertheless, there is still no end in sight to the boom in the world's third-largest musical city after New York and London. Light-hearted entertainment, perfect choreographies and beautiful melodies can be found in the city's five major musical theaters. Hamburg is undisputedly the German-speaking musical metropolis.

For 21 years now, the cult musical Disney's THE LION KING has been enchanting young and old visitors from all over the world with breathtaking voices, choreography and fabulous animal costumes. From the port of Hamburg, a small ferry takes you directly across the Elbe to the musical's entrance.

In November 2021, the time had finally come: after Anna and Elsa had already conquered Broadway, the musical adaptation of Disney's THE ICE QUEEN of one of the most successful animated films of all time finally premiered in Hamburg at the Stage Theater an der Elbe.

And two more highlights are coming to Hamburg this year. In September MAMMA MIA celebrated it's premiere and in October HAMILTON, winner of eleven Tony Awards including Best Musical! At the Stage Operettenhaus you can experience the story of the American founding father on a completely new production from a mix of different musical styles! Here, history meets modernity-a story of love, strength and friendship.

From revue to musical

From early on, the people of Hamburg cultivated a penchant for entertaining music on their world-famous amusement mile, the Reeperbahn. As early as the end of the 19th century, many private theaters and operetta houses were built on St. Pauli - where whimsical operettas, musical comedies, revues and early musicals such as Freddy Quinn's "The Boy from St. Pauli" were performed. The popular Schmidts Tivoli, today located right next to the St. Pauli Theater at Spielbudenplatz, ties directly into this tradition with the locally produced neighborhood musical Heiße Ecke.

On the other side of Spielbudenplatz is the Operettenhaus, from which Hamburg's musical boom began in 1986 with the premiere of the hit musical "Cats" - and from which a revival of the Reeperbahn entertainment mile also started. When the curtain fell for the last time on "Cats" in 2001, a total of 6.2 million spectators had seen it - and Hamburg had transformed itself into the German musical capital. But first came the construction of the Theater Neue Flora in 1990 with "Phantom of the Opera" - and more and more visitors came from all over Germany to see the great musicals in Hamburg.

Melodies for millions

It was a good time for the Dutch company Stage Entertainment to set up its headquarters in Hamburg. Since then, the most important provider of musicals in Germany has been lodging in an old brick building in the historic Speicherstadt. Stage founder Joop Van den Ende, who was awarded the Gustav Gründgens Prize in Hamburg in 2012, took over the Theater im Hafen opposite the Landungsbrücken in 2001 and brought there what is still probably Hamburg's most successful musical: Disney's The Lion King. The melodies of Elton John combined with Disney's African fantasy world have already attracted 13 million spectators - to this day, almost every performance is sold out. In 2021, the popular musical celebrated its 20th birthday.

A short time later, Stage Entertainment also took over the Operettenhaus and the Neue Flora. Since then, Stage has brought many German premieres to Hamburg, including box office hits such as "Sister Act," "Dirty Dancing," "Tarzan," "Dance of the Vampires," "Mamma Mia" and "I've Never Been to New York.

(Download durch Klick aufs Bild / Stage Theater im Hafen / Stage Entertainment)

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