The Hamburg State Opera was been voted "Opera House of the Year" in an annual critics' poll by the influential German opera magazine Opernwelt, the magazine announced on Thursday. Hamburg's former general music director Ingo Metzmacher and director Peter Konwitschny had consistently taken risks and sparked lively debate with their new, unconventional views of standard repertoire works, the critics said. Metzmacher, who became GMD in Hamburg in 1997, stepped down at the end of the last season. But during his nine-year stint, he worked with Konwitschny 11 times in critically acclaimed productions such as Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin" and "Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg", Carl Maria von Weber's "Der Freischuetz", Giuseppe Verdi's "Don Carlos", Alban Berg's "Wozzeck" and "Lulu", Arnold Schönberg's "Moses und Aron" and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "La Clemenza di Tito". Coming second behind Hamburg was Frankfurt's opera house, which last won the title "Opera House of the Year" in 2003. The "production of the year" was Stuttgart opera's staging of Ferruccio Busoni's "Doktor Faust" by Jossi Wieler und Sergio Morabito.