Franz Léhar

Land des Lächelns

Schlossfestspiele Langenlois

An open air setting in front of the facsade of beautiful Schloss Haindorf.
A perfect ambiance for the first part of Lehárs “Land of Smiles“. As much
as it is the right stage for the beginning, it is inappropriate for the China part.
There is no curtain, flyspace, turntable or anything else available in a regular
theatre. That calls for special tricks ... David Copperield would be impressed ...

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Friedrich von Flotow


Ulmer Theater

Da Ansgar Haag mir immer wieder versichert, dass das Ulmer
Theater nicht nur Geld, sondern auch Werkstättenzeit sparen
muss, wurde Dieter Richters Ausstattung aus Krefeld
eingekauft. Ich habe sie für die Ulmer Bühne adaptiert, Neues
dazubauen lassen, anderes weggelassen. Trotzdem war ich
natürlich mit einer gewissen Ästhetik konfrontiert. Aber worum
es mir wirklich ging war die Wandlung von der ewig
gelangweilten Zicke Lady Harriet, zur letztendlich
sympathischen Martha, die zwar nicht alle Macken ablegt,
aber doch die Welt mit anderen Augen sieht. Diese Wandlung
funktioniert in jeglicher Ästhetik.

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Giacchino Rossini

La Cenerentola

Ulmer Theater

I decided to have a rather unattractive dream couple. Ramiro and Angelina,
fitting them with fat buttocks and thick glasses, turns them into outsiders,
differing from the expected cliches. It made it also easy to find each other
through the same handicaps. Beauty lies within, and has nothing to do with looks.
The stepsisters on the other hand looked like models, with very bad character,
so whats the use of a perfect nose and body?

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Albert Lorzing

Der Wildschütz

Oper Dortmund

Der Traum des eigenen trauten Heimes vom Schulmeister
Baculus und seinem jungen Gretchen gerät arg in Gefahr, als
dieser beim Wildern erwischt wird. Dabei träumt er doch recht
bescheiden, denn sein ganzes Grundstück misst grade mal
soviel wie die Eingangshalle des Anwesens des Grafen. Zwar
ist des Grafen Charakter keineswegs besser als der des
Wilderers, aber der Graf verfügt über das Geld seiner reichen,
wenn auch nicht mehr ganz taufrischen Gattin.

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Gaetano Donizetti
Anna Bolena

Staatsoper Danzig

The production for the Stateopera in Gdansk/Poland is an adaptation
of the staging I created for Ulm in 2003. The Polish company is touring
with it  through Switzerland, Austria and Germany, as well as in Poland.
Simplyfying it technicaly, I made it easy to show it on stages of different
sizes and standards.


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Giuseppe Verdi
Il Trovatore

Ulmer Theater

Probably one of the most confusing libretti written in opera history.
Joan Sutherland, who sang Leonora as her Met-farewell, used to refer to it
as “the-wrong-baby-in-the- fire-opera“. The plot takes place over the period
of a few months, but the conflict spans three generations. Azucena keeps
her belongings in an old baby carriage, possibly also her memories.

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Jaques Offenbach

Orpheus in the Underworld

Ulmer Theater

Der Olymp im Plenarsaal der hiesigen Kommunalpolitik.
Politiker die glauben Götter zu sein, und doch alles andere
als unfehlbar sind. Wie sollen sich da erst die normal
Sterblichen verhalten? Da muss die öffentliche Meinung, die
Reporterin  der lokalen Tageszeitung dafür sorgen dass die
Moral nicht zu kurz kommt! Auch wenn dass heißt an den
verruchtesten aller Orte, der Unterwelt nämlich, danach
Ausschau zu halten! Ein Ort übrigens, an dem sich Götter
besonders wohl fühlen

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Gaetano Donizetti

Anna Bolena

Ulmer Theater

At the beginning Anna is shown at the height of her reign. She sits
on a throne topping everyone in her splendid gowns. It will become
more and more difficult for her to climb up on top again. At the
same time she loses bit by bit, sleeve by sleeve etc. of her dress
to her rival Giovanna Seymour, who knows with smart moves, to find
her way to the top, and take the place of her former mistress.

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Engelbert Humperdinck

Hänsel und Gretel

Schlosstheater Schönbrunn Wien

My third production of Humperdinck’s popular everlasting hit. This time
around for the university of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. The theatre
we perform in is not very technically advanced; the opera has only three
major roles. To keep all the students busy, also the ones who sing  very
small parts, I staged a children’s afternoon. The design is over-dimensionaly big.
The kids are sitting around a table drinking hot chocolate. One of the girls is
not accepted by the others. She moves awayand begins reading a fairy tale from
a book. She becomes Gretel. The others join in. One after the other they find their
characters, and at the same time create the needed atmosphere
... Kids having a good time playing!

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Gioacchino Rossini

The Barber of Seville


There is a lot happening in the doctor’s office of Bartolo. If he only knew that
his ward Rosina is in kahoots with Figaro the barber to get her hands on Lindoro.
Maybe he would be nicer to his secretary Bertha. After all she is a lot nicer to him
and is more interested in him than is Rosina .

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Engelbert Humperdinck

Hans och Greta

Königliche Oper Stockholm

Some of the basic ideas were the same as for my production in Ulm 1996,
as was the desinging team. However the design, staging and also partly the
interpretation is completly different. Once again the first act shows a
perspectivly slanted gray set which opens to reveal a multicolor playful forest.
Or is it an illusion that turns into a horrific factory where kids are turned into
sweets? The witch at first shows the friendly face of a sweet caring elderly
lady, before she turns into a dirty old man.

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Giuseppe Verdi
La Traviata

Ulmer Theater

Sie ist zwar die “vom Weg Abgekommene“, trotzdem aber
muss sie ihren Weg gehen, alle Höhen und Tiefen
durchlaufen, darf die Liebe von Alfredo spüren, genauso
wie sie die Intrigen des alten Germont ertragen muss,
unausweichlich. Nur einmal, in Violettas letzter Aire läuft
die Uhr rückwärts, blickt sie auf ihr verpfuschtes Leben
Wie in der Romanvorlage stirbt sie alleine, denn Alfredo
un der vergebene Germont sind nur einige der
Gestalten in ihrem letzten Fieberwahn.

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Gaetano Donizetti

Maria Stuarda

Ulmer Theater

In history the queens of England and Scotland never met.
Schiller made that meeting possible for the stage. Donizetti
liked that idea. Gigantic dresses serve as thrones for the rivals.
Maria’s dress  turns into her prison at the end. Tall pillars are
moved chess-like to one’s utmost advantage.
There is room only for one queen.

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Giuseppe Verdi

La Traviata

Theater Augsburg

Coproduction with the Theatre Ulm

(see above)

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Gaetano Donizetti
L'elisir d'amore

Ulmer Theater

Nemorino has the help of Venus and Amor, but since Amor has poor aim,
and needs several shots to hit Adinas’ heart, he decides to get some
extra help from guru Dulcamara, not knowing that he is a sought after conman.
Neither does he realize that his beloved and well cared for uncle suddenly dies
and leaves him a lot of money.

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Wolfgang Rihm

Jakob Lenz

Opernhaus Halle/Sale

Jakob Lenz loses grip in the real world and keeps slipping into his confused
subconsiousness, slides down a deep spiral where he is confronted with
voices of his past.

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Vincenzo Bellini

I Capuleti e i Montecchi

Ulmer Theater

Romeo and Juliet, everybody knows that story. However Bellini cuts out
many of the familiar scenes of the Shakespeare play: no masked ball, no
balcony, no secret wedding ceremony ... a lot has happend before the curtain
opens. Two extra extra dimensions were created. One through a prosenium
which glows either in red or blue, indicating the power struggle between the
two parties. Another behind a scrim in the back of the stage, indicating parallel
future and/or past action/happenings.

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Emmerich Kàlmàn
Gräfin Mariza

Ulmer Theater

Mariza is a women who gets what she wants. If she wants gypsys
she gets gypsys, even if they are only cardboard cut-outs.
If you treat real men like cardboard cut-outs you can get in trouble.
Luckily, UPS delivers a package that has all the answers

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Manfred Trojahn


Wiener Klangbogen

Enrico, insane after an accident years ago, even though completely
recovered, pretends insanity to avoid his problems. He demands his
own historic world in a specially created historic setting. The Vienniese
Semper-Depod is a perfect venue for performance, built by Gottfried
Semper to store and build theatrical sets.

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Christoph Willibald Gluck

Orpheus and Eurydice

Ulmer Theater

Orpheus in a black suit: the artist-prototype. Armor, representing his "inner-self"
in a white suit, unveils unrelenting self-doubt, but nurtures hope as well as failure.
There is an on-going fight between the both of them. Euridice is dead and stays
dead. The dead can not be resurrected. Orpheus has to work through his anger,
sadness and pain of loss, so that he can go on living, while his “inner-self“
unites with Euridce.

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Engelbert Humperdinck

Hänsel und Gretel

Ulmer Theater

Hansel and Gretle must get along in a world that is built by and for grownups,
grey and monotonous. The kids must work to earn money, instead of playing
or going to school as other children. Evil disguises itself as non-gender specific,
making it difficult to identify by looks alone. If evil equalled an ugly old
woman/witch, it would be easy to stroll through life....

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Bedrich Smetana
The Barterd Bride

Ulmer Theater

Hans, Marie and Wenzel all find their ways to escape the pressure that is
forced upon them by tradition, machinations and intrigues. Kezal, thinking
that Love is a matter of business rather then emotions, plans to make big
money with his doings, ends up being the big loser.

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