Peter Konwitschny

Master 2014-2015


Director Peter Konwitschny was born in Frankfurt am Main in 1945 and grew up in Leipzig. His father was a conductor and his mother a singer. He studied opera directing in Berlin, after which he was assistant director at the Berliner Ensemble under directors Ruth Berghaus and Manfred Wekwerth. From 1980 to 1985 he directed opera, operetta and theatre in Budapest, Berlin, Rostock, Greifswald, Anklam, Altenburg and Halle. In the latter city he was director of the Landes Theatre from 1986 to 1990. He made musical-theatre history with his new conceptual and structural approach to Handel’s operas. Since 1990, Peter Konwitschny has worked as a freelance director in many European opera houses. He has been a guest in Basel, Graz, Paris, Vienna, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Moscow, Tokyo and Zurich. His interpretations of Parsifal, Tristan und Isolde (Munich), Tannhäuser (Dresden), LohengrinDie Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Hamburg), Götterdämmerung (Stuttgart) and Der fliegende Holländer (Moscow) marked a new phase in the staging of Wagner’s work. With Aida, Macbeth and Falstaff (Graz), Konwitschny made an important contribution to a contemporary vision of Verdi interpretations. This Verdi cycle won Graz Opera the title ‘Opera house of the year’ (Opernwelt) in 2001. In that same year, Konwitschny made a substantial contribution to the Verdi year with Don Carlos in Hamburg. Other major productions are Al gran sole carico d’amore (Hannover), Moses und Aron, Elektra (Copenhagen), Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Das Land des Lächelns (Komische Oper Berlin) and König Lear (Graz). Recently he was responsible for a remarkable Salome at the Dutch Opera Amsterdam and for La Traviata in the Graz Opera. In 1988 Konwitschny received the Kunst Preis DDR, in 1993 de Könrad Wolf Prize from the Berlin Academy of Arts, in 2005 the Berlin Theatre Prize and in 2007 the Welt Theatre Award. He was elected director of the year five times by the opera magazine Opernwelt. In the 2008-2009 season he was chief director at the Leipzig Opera. In recent years he has also directed From the House of the Death (Janáček) at the Zurich Opera, Verdi’s Atilla at the Theater an der Wien and Jenufa at the Graz Opera.