Harry Kupfer, the German opera director whose artistic and often provocative smiles under Wagner's masterpieces put him in the avant-garde of a generation seeking to rethink the rule, died in Berlin on Monday. He was 84 years old.
His death announced by his agency, Arsis Artist Management said he died after a long illness.
Mr. Kupffer, whose career began in East Germany, rose to prominence in 1978 with the innovative production of Wagner's "Der Fliegende Holländer" at the Bayreuth Festival, which denied history as a hero's fantasy. He became the director Comic book case three years later in East Berlin and held that position for 21 years through German reunification.
He developed a strong partnership with conductor Daniel Barenboim, working with him in the post-cognitive Ring at Bayreuth, and later with Wagner. 10 mature operas At the Berlin Staats. Mr Cooper's extensive work led two of Berlin's three major opera theaters German press to call him the "Opera King of Berlin."
Over the course of his six-decade career, Mr. Kupffer would direct more than 200 operas and move from a terrifying horror to a senior statesman. He angered some purists with concept-driven products that contained unusual settings but also won fan dams and influenced generations of directors. His first shocks, which were as shocking as the 1970s, when he put Richard Strauss in the Electra reservoir in the 1970s, would hardly raise an eyebrow now.
Mr Barenboim said he found Mr Cooper's rehearsals so shocking that he began attending a few that the conductors would normally miss.
"He always saw that there was a constant connection between the stage and the pit," Mr Barenboim said in an interview. "Sometimes working together as one, sometimes at the opposite point."
Mr. Kupfer's attention to the focused assessment: "I only have music with ideas," he said in 2002, evident in his "Hollander" in Bayreuth. She initially put the opera's heroine, Senta, on the stage and began to turn the opera between the world of her dream and the outer reality, which was offered from time to time by her father's Daland home.
"Mr. The great advantage of Kupfer's concept, especially hitting the work of directors who deliberately or unconsciously divide dramaturgy from music, is its ability to "explain" stylistic imbalances, "says ոzef Horovitz. wrote in The New York Times. "The more chromatically stretched zones are connected to the fantastic world depicted by Senta's mind. the more square, more traditional parts are surrounded by the boring walls of the Daland house that collapse to the outside when Senta loses contact with reality. ”
Opening night audience divided: Associated Press: reported that "cheer and cheer for 20 minutes after the curtain came down."
Such divisions will be prevalent throughout Mr. Cooper's career.
After Mr. Kupfer returned to Wagner's "Ring" after a nuclear disaster in 1988, critic Barry Millington wrote that he had emphasized the work's message: and enhanced material possessions lead to the despair of nature and, ultimately, to world destruction. "
But the staging was staged by Martin Bernheimer Los Angeles Times. He complained that Mr. Cooper was "confusing" and "inventing an unpublished action by the libretto and, more dangerously, bringing characters even when Wagner wanted them to be reflected."
Mr Barenbo said he thought Mr Cooper's productions had finally worked, despite their bold interventions, because "he was very afraid that the story would really be told."
"Getting acquainted is not always disregarding," added Mr. Barenbaum. “The more the public was aware of his performances, the more they liked it. But he was always contentious, and he enjoyed it. ”
It was Harry Cooper born in Berlin On August 12, 1935, I fell in love with the opera as a boy, who often went to work several times a week.
"When I was 15, it was clear that I wanted to work at the Opera House," he told The Australian in 2002. "What, I didn't know. I didn't have a voice, so I couldn't be a singer. So I studied theater, science, music and that is how I came to opera. "
He studied with Hans Otto at Leipzig Theater and began his career in small theaters in East Germany. He began as an assistant director in Halle, where in 1958 he began his directorial debut with Dvorak's production of Rusalka.
He continued to work through theaters in Stralsund. From Kim, then called Karl-Marx-Stadt; Weimar; and Dresden before he was appointed in 1981. To oversee the operation of the Commissary. His tenure lasted until 2002.
Mr. Kupffer grew old after World War II in a generation of German filmmakers who embraced the Regietheater ("directorial theater"), an approach that suppressed old-fashioned traditions and invented new plays that often changed the image of classical and new dance. some of their themes, with an eye on contemporary social and political resonances.
It had an important impact Walter FelsensteinThe Austrian filmmaker, who founded the Komisie Opera in 1947 and whose ideas for an "ideological musical theater", including a real-life approach to psychology and the social field, inspired a generation of German filmmakers, including Mr. Kupfer, Ruth Berghouse, Gutz Friedrich and: Joachim Herz.
Mr. Cooper's work, in turn, inspired a new generation. The current artistic director of Comiche Opera Barry Koski said in an interview that no director in his youth had been as influential as Mr. Kupfer, whose production Mr. Koski first saw as a guest student in the 1980s.
"For a young, naive, innocent boy from Australia to come across what virtuoso brought to Harry from the stage was a kind of gobble," he said.
Mr. Kupfer's work stood out, Koski added, for the musical basis of his ideas. the demands he has placed on singers to act and use their whole bodies, as well as their voices; the emotional core that informed his stories; and how he will direct his choirs.
"I have never seen a movement like a choir, or the director created such images with only 80 bodies," Mr Koski said.
Mr. Cooper's productions often had strong political overtones. "He did it to make it universal," Mr Koski said. “It was never dogmatic. You never felt you were lecturing. ”
Mr. Kupffer directed several world premieres, including Christopher Penderecki's "The Death of Schwartz Musketeer" for which he wrote a libretto in 1986, and Aribert RaymanBernarda Alba HouseBased on the play "Lorca", 2000
His wife, Marianna Fischer-Kupfer, a singer and voice teacher, died in 2008. Among his survivors are their daughter, Christian Cooper, actress:
Mr. Cooper's career passed last year. For the first time since 2002, he returned to directing at the Komicea Opera House, and for the first time chose an obscene work that he remembered from his love in his youth; Handel's Poro which he had got used to his first job, In Halle. It was a happy return.
"He remembered people's names in the box, makeup and wardrobe," Mr Koski recalled. "It was very moving and moving and extraordinary."
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