Peter Konwitschny, Direction

Portrait von Peter Konwitschny

Peter Konwitschny

Peter Konwitschny, born in Frankfurt (Main) in 1945, moved to Leipzig when his father was appointed as Gewandhauskapellmeister in 1948. Having studied at Berlin’s Hanns Eisler Academy, he was graduated as director for Musiktheater in 1971. When he subsequently assisted Ruth Berghaus during her reign at the Berliner Ensemble, she became one of his important influences.

From 1980 to 1985 Peter Konwitschny was free lancing as director in several theatres. From 1986 to 1990 he was a resident director at Halle’s Staatstheater, where he strongly contributed for its succesful Handel revival.

Starting in 1991, he directed seven operas at the Graz Opera during Gerhard Brunner’s tenure as General Manager. His highly acclaimed interpretations of Verdi’s „Aida“, „Macbeth“ and „Falstaff“ were decisive for the nomination of Graz as the Opera House of the Year 2001 by Germany’s magazine OPERNWELT.

„Lohengrin“, directed in Hamburg in 1998, highlighted his impressive interpretations of Wagner’s operas, soon to be followed by his memorable „Götterdämmerung“ in Stuttgart in 2000. Closely collaborating with the conductor Ingo Metzmacher, Peter Konwitschny called Hamburg his artistic residency for several years - with 11 common productions, including Verdi’s „Don Carlos“, Wagner’s „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“, and Berg’s „Wozzeck“. Stuttgart’s and Hamburg’s nominations as Opera Houses of the Year were widely due to his theatrical work.

Peter Konwitschny is the sole director, who has been nominated „Director of the Year“ five times in all. His dramatic approach is strongly influenced by Brecht’s intention to activate the spectators intellectually, not to just to inform or entertain them. This activation is seen by him as the only way how the performing arts can remain to be understood as an integral element of our human existence.

Peter Konwitschny is a member of three major Academies of the Arts, namely in Dresden, Hamburg and Berlin, where his directorial work is documented extensively.