Hamlet in Rock



This rock opera, developed in 2006, is a musical implementation of the tragedy Hamlet by Shakespeare. The English version uses only original texts by Shakespeare. The texts are reduced to about 800 lines. The only stylistic devices are deletion and repetition of texts.

The opera contains 24 rock and pop songs telling the story of the young Prince Hamlet. While enlightening the murder of his father he gets into philosophizing. The music is in the style of the 1980s.

There is a film adaptation in English from 2007. This is the cover of the DVD. On YouTube there’s a version with English subtitles and explanatory texts between the songs. The film was shown in 2012 at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Samuel B. Prime remarks:
“… the musicality of Shakespeare’s words”.

Music and Libretto by
Dr. Rudolf Volz

Additional Composing and Arrangements by
Michael Wagner, Herb Bucher, Falko Illing

World premiere on September 2nd, 2006 in Schlieben with the title “Hamlet in Space”. Since this title was already used by other productions, there was a renaming in “Hamlet in Rock” shortly thereafter.

The play extends over two halftimes of 65 minutes each.

5 male singers/actors
2 female singers/actresses
6 extras
4 musicians

William Shakespeare completed his play Hamlet in 1601. Since then, it has become the most popular play in the world. There are quite a few operas and other material on the topic Hamlet, but hardly any with the original texts by Shakespeare. Although there are many thematic adaptations to the world’s most famous monologue To Be Or Not To Be, no song with original texts did exist before. This is our rock version on YouTube.