|Born||25 April 1919|
|Died||February 2006 (aged 86–87)|
Bohumil Herlischka (25 April 1919 – February 2006) was a Czech opera director. After years at the National Theatre, he worked from 1957 predominantly in German opera houses, introducing a style later known as Regietheater (director's theatre). He directed several productions at the Oper Frankfurt and developed a close connection to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein where he staged operas by Leoš Janáček, presenting a cycle of six operas in the 1977–78 season. He staged Schoenberg's Moses und Aaron at the Hamburg State Opera, including a tour to Israel. He focused on rarely played works such as Meyerbeer's Le prophète at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and on contemporary opera such as Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District and the world premiere of Alexander Goehr's Behold the Sun – Die Wiedertäufer.
The National Theatre in Prague is known as the alma mater of Czech opera, and as the national monument of Czech history and art.
Regietheater is the modern practice of allowing a director freedom in devising the way a given opera or play is staged so that the creator's original, specific intentions or stage directions can be changed, together with major elements of geographical location, chronological situation, casting and plot. Typically such changes may be made to point a particular political point or modern parallels which may be remote from traditional interpretations.
The Oper Frankfurt is one of the leading opera companies in Europe, and voted best "Opera house of the year" several times since 1996. Opera in Frankfurt am Main has a long tradition, with many world premieres such as Franz Schreker's Der ferne Klang in 1912, Fennimore und Gerda by Frederick Delius in 1919, and Carl Orff's Carmina Burana in 1937. Frankfurt's international recognition began in the Gielen Era, 1977 to 1987, when Michael Gielen and stage directors such as Ruth Berghaus collaborated.
Born in Čáslav on 25 April 1919, Herlischka worked as a stage director at the National Theatre in Prague from 1951 to 1957.He then emigrated to the West, where he worked at German opera houses such as the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Oper Frankfurt, the Cologne Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf and Duisburg.
Čáslav is a town in eastern part of Central Bohemian Region of the Czech Republic.
The Deutsche Oper Berlin is an opera company located in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, Germany. The resident building is the country's second largest opera house and also home to the Berlin State Ballet.
The Cologne Opera refers both to the main opera house in Cologne, Germany and to its resident opera company.
He staged the original version of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District in 1959 in a style which later was called Regietheater (director's theatre).The same year, he directed Nicolai's Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor at the Oper Frankfurt, conducted by Felix Prohaska. A year later, he staged Mussorgsky's Boris Godunov there, conducted by Georg Solti.
Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District is an opera in four acts and nine scenes by Dmitri Shostakovich, his Opus 29. The libretto, jointly written by Alexander Preys and the composer, is based on the novel of the same name by Nikolai Leskov.
Felix Prohaska was an Austrian conductor.
Boris Godunov is an opera by Modest Mussorgsky (1839–1881). The work was composed between 1868 and 1873 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is Mussorgsky's only completed opera and is considered his masterpiece. Its subjects are the Russian ruler Boris Godunov, who reigned as Tsar during the Time of Troubles, and his nemesis, the False Dmitriy. The Russian-language libretto was written by the composer, and is based on the drama Boris Godunov by Aleksandr Pushkin, and, in the Revised Version of 1872, on Nikolay Karamzin's History of the Russian State.
In Düsseldorf, he staged Weber's Der Freischütz in 1961, but met with strong opposition as he did not stage the traditional "happy ending". In 1964, he directed Bizet's Carmen in Frankfurt, and a year later Tchaikovsky's Pique Dame .Also in 1964 he directed a production of Franz Schreker's Der ferne Klang at the Staatstheater Kassel, the first staging of a Schreker opera after his music had been banned by the Nazis in 1933. In 1971, he directed Gounod's Faust (in Germany traditionally called Margarethe) at the Oper Frankfurt, conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi.
Der Freischütz, Op. 77, J. 277, is a German opera with spoken dialogue in three acts by Carl Maria von Weber with a libretto by Friedrich Kind. It premiered on 18 June 1821 at the Schauspielhaus Berlin. It is considered the first important German Romantic opera, especially in its national identity and stark emotionality.
Carmen is an opera in four acts by French composer Georges Bizet. The libretto was written by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on a novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée. The opera was first performed by the Opéra-Comique in Paris on 3 March 1875, where its breaking of conventions shocked and scandalized its first audiences.
The Queen of Spades, Op. 68 is an opera in three acts by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky to a Russian libretto by the composer's brother Modest Tchaikovsky, based on a short story of the same name by Alexander Pushkin, but with a dramatically altered plot. The premiere took place in 1890 in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Herlischka worked for television in 1962, directing the play fragment Woyzeck by Georg Büchner. The press reacted mostly negatively to a different order of scenes, compiled from different versions, with some omissions. The review in the weekly Die Zeit noted that words were repeated in an artificial way and that the social aspects of the plot were neglected. –74 season, Herlischka staged Schoenberg's Moses und Aaron at the Hamburg State Opera. The opera had been regarded as impossible to perform, and the world premiere was given in Hamburg in 1954 in a concert performance, conducted by Hans Rosbaud. Herlischka's production, with Franz Mazura as Moses and Richard Cassilly as Aaron and conducted by Horst Stein, was also shown in Israel.In 1964, he directed Meyerbeer's Le prophète at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, conducted by Heinrich Hollreiser, with James McCracken in the title role. A reviewer regarded it as a persiflage by a cynical director. In the 1973
Woyzeck is a stage play written by Georg Büchner. He left the work incomplete at his death, but it has been posthumously "finished" by a variety of authors, editors and translators. Woyzeck has become one of the most performed and influential plays in the German theatre repertory.
Die Zeit is a German national weekly newspaper published in Hamburg in Germany. The newspaper is generally considered to be among the German newspapers of record and is known for its long and extensive articles.
Le prophète is a grand opera in five acts by Giacomo Meyerbeer. The French-language libretto was by Eugène Scribe and Émile Deschamps, after passages from the Essay on the Manners and Spirit of Nations by Voltaire. The plot is based on the life of John of Leiden, Anabaptist leader and self-proclaimed "King of Münster" in the 16th century.
Similar to Walter Felsenstein at the Komische Oper Berlin, he was a pioneer of expressive-poetic theatre and his performances were revived again and again over several years. He introduced the operas by Leoš Janáček to Western Europe. –78 season, all six operas were presented as a cycle at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, conducted by Peter Schneider in a stage design by Ruodi Barth. It was the only such cycle outside Czechoslovakia. In 1986, he staged the opera Schicksal (Destiny), which was regarded as an important step in bringing the composer's works to the stage.In Düsseldorf, he staged a cycle of six of his operas from 1969 to 1977, when they were all performed as a cycle. The first was Jenůfa in 1969, in a stage design by Hermann Soherr. Astrid Varnay, the singer of the Kostelnička, wrote in her memoirs that Herlischka knew exactly how to present the emotions of peasants from Moravia. While she resented his authoritarian attitude, she admired his sense for the visual. It was followed by Das schlaue Füchslein (The Cunning Little Vixen) in 1972, Káťa Kabanová in 1973, Die Sache Makropulos (The Makropulos Affair) in a double bill with Die Ausflüge des Herrn Brouček (The Excursions of Mr. Brouček to the Moon and to the 15th Century) in 1974, and finally Aus einem Totenhaus (From the House of the Dead) in 1977. In the 1977
Walter Felsenstein was an Austrian theater and opera director.
The Komische Oper Berlin is a German opera company based in Berlin. The company produces opera, operetta and musicals.
Leoš Janáček was a Czech composer, musical theorist, folklorist, publicist and teacher. He was inspired by Moravian and other Slavic folk music to create an original, modern musical style.
Herlischka staged Janáček's Das schlaue Füchslein also at the Hamburg State Opera, both in 1976,conducted by Armin Jordan, and in 1981, conducted by Lawrence Foster. He staged Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz in Munich in 1977, conducted by Heinz Drewanz. In 1985, he directed Alexander Goehr's Behold the Sun – Die Wiedertäufer (Sehet die Sonne), an opera commissioned for the 25th anniversary of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, based on a libretto by John McGrath. It premiered on 19 April 1985, conducted by Hiroshi Wakasugi, in a set designed by Ruodi Barth.
Herlischka died in Düsseldorf in February 2006, a few weeks before his 87th birthday.
Edited by Ilka Kügler, a book reflecting Herlischka's work for the opera stage, Ein Magier der Bühne:Der Regisseur Bohumil Herlischka (A Magician of the Stage:The Director Bohumil Herlischka), appeared in the series Dokumente zur Theatergeschichte (Documents of theatre history) in Düsseldorf in 1989.
Franz Schreker was an Austrian composer, conductor, teacher and administrator. Primarily a composer of operas, Schreker developed a style characterized by aesthetic plurality, timbral experimentation, strategies of extended tonality and conception of total music theatre into the narrative of 20th-century music.
Michael Andreas Gielen was an Austrian conductor and composer who promoted contemporary music in opera and concert.
Harry Kupfer is a German opera director and academic. A long-time director at the Komische Oper Berlin, he has worked at major opera houses and at festivals internationally. Trained by Walter Felsenstein, he has worked in the tradition of realistic directing. At the Bayreuth Festival, he staged Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer in 1978, and Der Ring des Nibelungen in 1988. At the Salzburg Festival, he directed the premiere of Penderecki's Die schwarze Maske in 1986, and Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss in 2014.
The Deutsche Oper am Rhein is an opera company based in Düsseldorf and Duisburg. The opera also has an associated classical ballet company. Axel Kober has been its Music Director since 2009. The resident orchestra, the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, play both opera and symphonic repertoire.
Ruth Berghaus was a German choreographer and opera and theatre director.
Die tödlichen Wünsche, Op. 27, is an opera by Giselher Klebe who also wrote the libretto based on La Peau de chagrin by Honoré de Balzac. It consists of fifteen lyrical scenes in three acts. It premiered on 14 June 1959 at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, conducted by Reinhard Peters, and was published by Boosey & Hawkes. The opera was revived in 2006 at the Landestheater Detmold on the occasion of the composer's 80th birthday.
Éva Marton is a Hungarian dramatic soprano, particularly known for her operatic portrayals of Puccini's Turandot and Tosca, and Wagnerian roles.
Claudia Eder is a German mezzo-soprano in opera and concert, and an academic at the Hochschule für Musik Mainz.
Michael Leinert is a well-known stage director, dramaturg, editor and author. His father, Friedrich Leinert was a respected composer, conductor and Professor of Music in Hannover; Michael Leinert's mother was an operatic and concert singer.
Gabriele Schnaut is a German classical singer who started her operatic career as a mezzo-soprano in 1976 and changed to dramatic soprano in 1985. She has appeared internationally and performed at the Bayreuth Festival from 1977 to 2000. She recorded works by composers of the 20th century and appeared in the premieres of operas by Wolfgang Rihm and Jörg Widmann.
Hans Wallat was a German conductor, GMD in Bremen, at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Theater Dortmund and Deutsche Oper am Rhein. A specialist for the stage works of Richard Wagner, he appeared at the Bayreuth Festival and internationally.
David Hermann is a German-French stage director focused on opera. He was in 2006 the then youngest stage director at the Salzburg Festival, and has directed operas at major opera houses in Europe.
Reinhard Peters was a German operatic conductor, violinist and an academic teacher at the Folkwangschule Essen. He was the Generalmusikdirektor for the opera companies Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Theater Münster and Deutsche Oper Berlin. He premiered music in opera and concert, such as Giselher Klebe's Die tödlichen Wünsche, Aribert Reimann's Melusine, Nicolas Nabokov's Love's Labour's Lost, and Wilhelm Killmayer's song cycle Tre Canti di Leopardi.
Marco Arturo Marelli is a Swiss set designer and stage director who has worked at European opera houses for opera and ballet. He designed sets for ballets by John Neumeier, and for premieres of the operas Thomas Chatterton by Matthias Pintscher at the Semperoper in Dresden (1998) and Medea by Aribert Reimann at the Vienna State Opera (2010).
Johannes Martin Kränzle is a German baritone in opera and concert who has made an international career. For years a member of the Oper Frankfurt, he was chosen as Singer of the Year in 2011 after creating the leading role in Wolfgang Rihm's Dionysos at the Salzburg Festival. He made his debut at the Royal Opera House as Don Alfonso in Mozart's Così fan tutte, and at the Bayreuth Festival as Beckmesser in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in 2017.
Christof Loy is a German stage director especially for opera, whose work received several awards. A freelance director, he has staged operas from Baroque to premieres of new works at major European opera houses and festivals. He is known for directing works by Mozart.
Günter Krämer is a German stage director, especially for opera, and a theatre manager who has staged internationally.
Hans Günter Nöcker was a German operatic bass-baritone who was based at the Bavarian State Opera for decades, performing in several world premieres including Aribert Reimann's Lear, and also had an international career.
Alfred Vökt was a Swiss operatic tenor who made a career at major opera houses, mainly in Germany. He focused on supporting roles and took part in world premieres such as Henze's König Hirsch in Kassel and Hans Zender's Stephen Climax at the Oper Frankfurt in 1986. Vökt appeared at major European opera houses and festivals.