International soprano extends her sabbatical

International soprano extends her sabbatical


norman lebrecht

May 08, 2015

The German soprano Christine Schäfer announced a month’s sabbatical a year ago, extending it to a full season. 

It now appears she needs still more time off, cancelling the Handel Festival in Halle in June on ‘personal grounds’. Early this year, Ms Schäfer began teaching as a professor at the Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule in Berlin.


UPDATE: Christine Schäfer’s sabbatical from singing has proved indefinite.


  • Max Grimm says:

    Although a few years old now, the comments Mrs. Schäfer makes regarding her home-life still hold true today and explain in part the extension to her sabbatical.

    (auf Deutsch)

    For those who don’t read German (or do not wish to read the article), ever since her husband died of a hyperglycemic shock over a decade ago, Mrs. Schäfer is the single mother of two young daughters now aged 13 and 15 and prefers to spend her time with them in Berlin, teaching at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler”. The article also explains that she cancels engagements or takes hiatuses to better accomplish this goal.

  • Hugh Jorgan says:

    Why does “Hanns” have two N’s? It would be like “Johnn” in English.

    • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

      The name Hanns is a short form of “Johannes”, which, in German, is rendered in quite a variety of manners: “Hans”, “Hannes”, or as “Hanns” with two N’s. Another rendition is “Hansel” (as in “Hansel und Gretel”), in the Alpine regions given as “Hansl”. In this bavarian form, it is either the affectionate expression of the name, or the not so friendly way of calling someone a fool or an idiot. Then there are diminutives like “Hänschen”, “Hännschen”, “Hänneschen” – “little Hans”, in some contexts or local cultural traditions the name of the comic or buffo character, particularly in Cologne where there is a theater for children named Hänneschen Theater. The name “Hans” is also often used as the first name in a double name (e.g. Hans Georg). So, as you see, “Hanns” with two N’s is only one of many variations. Cheers:-)