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Lotte de Beer to become the new Volksoper Director

The Dutch opera director Lotte de Beer, Artistic Director of the Dutch ensemble Operafront, is to become the new Director of Volksoper Wien from 1 September 2022.

The appointment of Lotte de Beer for five years was made by the Austrian State Secretary for Art and Culture, Andrea Mayer, in accordance with the provisions of the Austrian Federal Theatre Organisation Act (Bundestheaterorganisationsgesetz).

There were 33 applicants for the position of the artistic management of Volksoper Wien, including 7 women. 16 of the candidates are from Austria and 17 from abroad.

The selection committee consisted of the Director of the Bregenz Festival Elisabeth Sobotka, the former Director of the Burgtheater Karin Bergmann, the manager of Bundestheater Holding Christian Kircher and the Director General for Art and Culture Jürgen Meindl.

“I am absolutely delighted to be taking up the position of Director of Volksoper Wien. I hope I will be able to help shape the future of opera in this unique theatre in the city which I regard as my second artistic home. When times change, the nature of the art people need also changes. I am convinced that the Volksoper – the opera house for the people – with its versatility is the ideal stage in these turbulent times. My aim will be to reach out to the people of Vienna, to build bridges between innovation and tradition, and at the same time to inspire the world,” said Lotte de Beer in her initial statement.

Andrea Mayer, State Secretary for Art and Culture, said: “The decision in favour of Lotte de Beer is a statement of commitment to the future of Volksoper Wien. With her love of music theatre, Lotte de Beer will find a careful and judicious approach to the tradition of the Volksoper while at the same time setting out a new future path for the theatre. Lotte de Beer will develop a programme of high artistic quality which will also aim to further develop our audience structure. I am delighted that we have been able to acquire Lotte de Beer. She will successfully take the Volksoper forward on a bold and sustainable basis.”

“Lotte de Beer is an extraordinary person who impressed us with her high level of professionalism and her winning presentation. At a young age she has succeeded with her artistic work in establishing a solid position for herself in the world of music theatre. She is also well known in Vienna in particular. Not only has she staged several shows at the Theater an der Wien, but also she is currently working on a film project in Vienna,” said Christian Kircher, manager of Bundestheater Holding. “For de Beer, musical excellence is the basis for her work as a director. Her high musical standards, her creativity and her commitment impressed me.”

Robert Meyer also welcomed the decision in favour of Lotte de Beer as his successor: “I am delighted she has been chosen. This is an excellent decision. We have already got to know each other and we understand each other perfectly. We will be working together over the next two years to facilitate an optimal handover for the Volksoper.”

Lotte de Beer was born in 1981 and studied theatre directing at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Amsterdam. She quickly attracted attention with her first productions – Benedict Weisser’s “Penthesilea”, based on the play by Kleist, at the Kameroperahuis Zwolle and Sinem Altan’s and Kerem Can’s “Tango Türk” at the Neuköllner Oper Berlin. Peter Konwitschny brought her to Leipzig Opera, where her first production was “Clara S.” (Chatzopoulou) and her other productions included Janáček’s “The Cunning Little Vixen” and “Die arabische Prinzessin”. 
She was then invited to the Holland Festival and the Munich Biennale. 
She now has many impressive opera productions to her name all over Europe, including: Humperdinck’s “Hänsel und Gretel”, Robin de Raaff’s “Miss Monroe” and Rossini’s “Il barbiere di Siviglia” at the Dutch National Opera, 
Henze’s “Boulevard Solitude” at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, Mozart’s „Così fan tutte“ at the Staatstheater Braunschweig, Massenet’s “Manon” at Opera Zuid, Puccini’s “La Bohème” and “Traviata Remixed” after Verdi at the Wiener Kammeroper, Georges Bizet’s “Les pêcheurs de perles” and Tchaikovsky’s “The Maid of Orleans” at the Theater an der Wien, Puccini’s “Il trittico” at the Bavarian State Opera, Berg’s “Lulu” at Leipzig Opera, Tchaikovsky’s “Eugen Onegin” in Bielefeld, Dvořák’s “Rusalka” and Bizet’s “Carmen” at the Aalto-Theater Essen, Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” and Verdi’s “Falstaff” at Malmö Opera, Jommelli’s “Didone abbandonata” at Theater Basel, Verdi’s “Don Carlos” at the Stuttgart State Opera, Handel’s “Alcina” at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Rossini’s “Mosé in Egitto” in Bregenz. 

Together with the conductor Steven Sloane, Lotte de Beer formed the Amsterdam company Operafront, of which she is the Artistic Director. Operafront’s aim is to arouse enthusiasm for the art form of opera among a new generation of theatre goers.
Her productions with Operafront include “Moonstruck Intoxication” (a triple bill with works by Henze, Schönberg and Maxwell Davies) and “Caliban” (a world première based on Shakespeare, composed by Moritz Eggert).

In 2015 de Beer received an award in the Newcomer category at the International Opera Awards. In 2018 she was given the Distinguished Artist Award of the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA). In 2020 she was nominated in the Best Director category at the International Opera Awards.

Upcoming productions in 2021 include Verdi’s “Aida” at the Paris Opéra and 
“Le Nozze di Figaro” at the Aix-en-Provence Festival.