R.I.P 〓 Hans Neuenfels(80)German Director


German director Hans Neuenfels died on February 6th at his home in Berlin. He was 80 years old. He has directed nearly 100 stages, mainly in German-speaking countries.

He was known for his enthusiastic applause and intense booing, which was a radical rendition that approached the essence of opera works.

He was born in 1941 in Krefeld, western Germany. He studied at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna and began his career as a director. In 1974, he made his debut as a director with the Verdi “Il Trovatore” at the Nuremberg State Theater.

After that, he directed Verdi “Aida” at the Frankfurt Opera House in 1980. At this time, the story was moved to the present age, and the novel production of replacing the main character Aida with the position of a cleaning lady caught the topic and established a reputation as a director.

In 2001, he directed Johann Strauss II’s “Bat” at the Salzburg Festival. The characters of the main characters also boldly changed the original settings and inserted original lines and skits. In addition, he Introduced the eccentric idea of using his wife and actress Elisabeth Trissenaar as Frosch.

However, in addition to chopping up the work too much, unpleasant keywords such as drugs, sake pond meat forest party, violence, murder, strange voices and screams, ruckus, and sexual depictions appeared in abundance, so audience got angry and went home on the way. After that, he got a terrible boo. It was a scandal since the beginning of the festival.

In 2006, he directed Mozart’s “Idomeneo” at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. At this time, the problem was to arrange the severed heads of Poseidon, Christ, Mohammed, and Buddha on a chair. He caused a ruckus that was warned by police that he was in danger of being attacked.

He made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival in 2010. The production of Wagner’s “Lohengrin” has moved the stage of the story to the laboratory, and the choir is made to appear as a guinea pig mouse, which is surprising to the viewer. His last work was in 2018, when he worked on Tchaikovsky’s “Queen of Spades” at the Salzburg Festival.

He is a member of the Academy of Arts Berlin and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts and was named “Director of the Year” by the German opera magazine Opernwelt in 2005, 2008 and 2015. He also directs films, and in 2016 he received numerous awards, including the “Faust Award” given to pioneers in the German theater world.

Photo:APA / Herbert Neubauer

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