WE MOURN THE LOSS OF
HARRY KUPFER

WE MOURN THE LOSS OF HARRY KUPFER

Great german opera director Harry Kupfer dies at the age of 84

We are sad to inform you that German opera director Harry Kupfer, one of the world’s most celebrated opera directors, died Monday at the age of 84 after after lengthy illness in Berlin.

Kupfer’s career began in Stralsund, then part of communist East Germany, in 1958. After stations in Chemnitz — formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt — Weimar and Dresden, he became director at the Komische Oper in 1981, a position he held for 21 years.

Kupfer gained international attention with his 1978 production of “The Flying Dutchman” in Bayreuth.

He worked closely with conductor Daniel Barenboim, first on the 1988 production of Wagner’s ‘Ring’ cycle — also in Bayreuth — and on a wider selection of the German composer’s works at the Berliner Staatsoper from 1992 onward, most recently with Macbeth 2018.

His last production was also his return to the Komische Oper, where he directed Handel’s Poro in the spring of this year and was triumphantly celebrated one last time by his audience. Harry Kupfer, who has worked almost exclusively with the stage designer Hans Schavernoch since 1986 and first with the costume designer Reinhard Heinrich, and after his death with Yan Tax in a permanent team, was full of plans to the end despite his age and illness.