Tobias Kratzer (born 17 January 1980) is a German stage director, especially of opera, who has worked internationally after winning a competition in Graz with two entries in 2008. He has staged works by Verdi and Wagner, but also contemporary music. He directed Wagner's Tannhäuser for the 2019 Bayreuth Festival.
Born in Landshut, Kratzer studied art history in Munich and Berne. After completion, he turned to studying staging plays and music theatre at the Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding.His first productions were in 2006 at the Münchner Akademietheater Brecht/Weill's Die sieben Todsünden and in 2008 Werner Egk's Die Verlobung in St. Domingo . He staged at the Münchner Reaktorhalle in 2006 Verdi's La traviata , working for the first time with stage designer Rainer Sellmaier from Regensburg and the conductor Martin Wettges with whom he has frequently collaborated.
The team, called ATEF, won prizes at the competition "Ring Award" in Graz with productions of Verdi's Rigoletto .Kratzer had nominated two stagings under two pseudonyms, as Ginger Holiday, an American female director, and as Pedrak Topola from Bulgaria. Following the attention at the competition, the team received commissions from several opera houses; they staged in 2009 at the Bavarian State Opera Mozart's Così fan tutte , at the Theater Heidelberg his Die Zauberflöte , at the Wermland Opera in Karlstad, Sweden again Rigoletto, and in 2010 at the Leipzig Opera Handel's Admeto , and at the Graz Opera Bellini's La sonnambula .
In the 2010/11 season, Kratzer staged Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss at the Theater Bremen,Donizetti's Anna Bolena at the Lucerne theatre, which was nominated as "Opera of the Year" by Opernwelt , and Telemaco at the Schwetzingen Festival and the Theater Basel. The following season, Kratzer staged Wagner's Tannhäuser at the Theater Bremen, a scenic version of Bach's St John Passion at the Wermland Opera, and Erkki-Sven Tüür's Wallenberg at the Theater Karlsruhe.
His staging of Lehar's Die Csárdásfürstin at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt was nominated for the 2015 Österreichischer Musiktheaterpreisin the category "Beste Regie" (Best staging). His production of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe was nominated for the award Der Faust. In 2018, he staged a new production of Meyerbeer's L'Africaine – Vasco da Gama at the Oper Frankfurt as an interstellar drama of colonialism ("interstellares Kolonialismusdrama"). Conducted by Antonello Manacorda, with Michael Spyres, Claudia Mahnke and Kirsten MacKinnon in leading roles, the story was told as a combination of directing the characters, visionary images and sound magic ("Personenregie, Bildvision und Klangzauber").
Kratzer directed Wagner's Tannhäuser for the opening performance of the 2019 Bayreuth Festival.He directed Die ersten Menschen , the only opera by Rudi Stephan, premiered at the Oper Frankfurt in 1920, there in 2023, with Andreas Bauer Kanabas as Adam, Ambur Braid as Eva, Iain MacNeal as Kain and Ian Koziara as Abel, conducted by Sebastian Weigle; a reviewer described the production as of "archaic force, biblical depth and even a pinch of humour".
Stephen Grady Gould was an American heldentenor and leading interpreter of Richard Wagner's stage works. He performed around 100 times at the Bayreuth Festival, notably as Tannhäuser starting in 2004, and later Siegfried and Tristan. In 2022, his performance in all three roles earned him nicknames such as Iron Man.
Harry Alfred Robert Kupfer was a German opera director and academic. A long-time director at the Komische Oper Berlin, he worked at major opera houses and at festivals internationally. Trained by Walter Felsenstein, he 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 Oper Frankfurt is a German opera company based in Frankfurt.
Hans Neuenfels was a German writer, poet, film producer, librettist, theatre director, opera director and theatre manager. As a director, he first focused on drama, staged at prominent houses such as the Vienna Burgtheater, and became a leading exponent of German Regietheater. From 1974, he turned to opera, looking for "the subliminal of the music and the interlinear of the texts", for "surprisingly new, sometimes even disturbingly ambivalent perspectives on the works".
Anja Harteros is a German soprano. Since winning the 1999 Cardiff Singer of the World competition she has been particularly associated with the Bavarian State Opera and enjoyed an international career.
Aile Asszonyi is an Estonian soprano who has made an international career, known for dramatic roles such as Puccini's Turandot, Wagner's Senta and Elektra by Richard Strauss.
Opernwelt is a monthly German magazine for opera, operetta and ballet. It includes news about current performances, portraits of composers and performers, articles about opera houses, performance spaces, and contemporary and historical subjects from the world of opera and classical music. It reviews recordings and books and publishes monthly schedules of German and international opera houses. The magazine's website offers full text search for past issues. A year book is published every October.
Sebastian Weigle is a German conductor and horn player. He is currently Generalmusikdirektor of the Oper Frankfurt and principal conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
Stefan Herheim, is a Norwegian opera director, based in Germany.
Camilla Nylund is a Finnish operatic soprano. She appears internationally in lyric-dramatic roles such as Beethoven's Leonore, Verdi's Elisabetta, and Wagner's Elisabeth and Sieglinde. She is especially known for portraying leading female characters in operas by Richard Strauss,. She has appeared at international festivals and the openings of the Dresdner Frauenkirche and the Elbphilharmonie.
Claudia Mahnke is a German operatic mezzo-soprano, a member of the Oper Frankfurt, with guest appearances at leading opera houses and the Bayreuth Festival.
Vera Nemirova is a Bulgarian-German opera director who has worked at major opera houses in Europe, staging for example Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Oper Frankfurt. She directed for the Munich Biennale and the Salzburg Festival.
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.
Alfred Kirchner is a German actor, theatre director and theatre manager who is based in Berlin. He worked at theatres such as Theater Bremen, Schauspielhaus Bochum, the Burgtheater in Vienna and the Staatliche Schauspielbühnen Berlin, before turning to freelance work. He has staged productions in Europe and North America, including several world premieres of both drama and opera. He directed the premiere of Martin Walser's Ein Kinderspiel in Stuttgart in 1971, the U.S. premiere of Henze's We Come to the River at the Santa Fe Opera in 1984, and the premiere of Hans Zender's Stephen Climax at the Oper Frankfurt in 1986. In 1994, he staged Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Bayreuth Festival.
Bernd Loebe is a German music journalist and opera manager. After working as a journalist with a focus on opera and voice for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Neue Musikzeitung, Opernwelt and Hessischer Rundfunk, he was artistic director of the opera house of Brussels, La Monnaie, from 1990, and has been Intendant of the Oper Frankfurt since 2002, where he encouraged a capable ensemble, international guest artists, and the production of rarely performed operas. He received the 2018 International Opera Award in the category Leadership in Opera.
Constantin Trinks is a German conductor.
Claus Guth is a German theatre director, focused on opera. He has directed operas at major houses and festivals, including world premieres such as works of the Munich Biennale, and Berio's Cronaca del luogo at the Salzburg Festival in 1999. Guth is particularly known for his opera productions of the works of Richard Wagner and Richard Strauss. He has received two Faust awards, for Daphne by Richard Strauss in 2010, and for Debussy's Pelléas et Mélisande, both at the Oper Frankfurt.
Erich Witte was a German stage actor, operatic tenor and opera director. He was based for almost five decades at the Berlin State Opera, and performed leading roles at major opera houses in Europe and at the Metropolitan opera. He participated in world premieres, including Louise Talma's Die Alkestiade and Alan Bush's Joe Hill.
Hugh Beresford was a British operatic baritone, later Heldentenor.