Barrie Kosky

Stage director

"He has an unerring antenna for finding hidden pockets of silliness and tenderness, of humour and pathos, in works that have been performed to death."

Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

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Barrie Kosky is the Intendant and Chefregisseur of the Komische Oper Berlin. He is one of the most internationally sought after stage directors of today presenting productions all over the world.

His work at the Komische Oper Berlin has included The Magic Flute (co-directed with 1927), which has been seen by over a quarter of a million people in three continents, The Monteverdi Trilogy, Ball at the Savoy, Eugene Onegin, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Rigoletto, La Belle Hélène, Moses und Aron, La bohème, Rusalka, Le Grand Macabre, West Side Story, Pelléas et Mélisande, Semele, The Bassarids, Die Perlen von Cleopatra, Anatevka and Candide. At the end of his first season for 2012/13, the Komische Oper was voted 'Opera House of the Year' by Opernwelt magazine.

Barrie Kosky has directed opera productions for the Bayerische Staatsoper (Die Schweigsame Frau, Agrippina, The Fiery Angel and Der Rosenkavalier), the Salzburg Festival (Orphée aux Enfers), Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Saul), Festival Aix en Provence (Falstaff, Coq D´Or), Oper Frankfurt (Dido and Aeneas/Bluebeard's Castle, Salome and Carmen), Opera Zurich (La Fancuilla del West, The Stigmatized, Macbeth and Boris Gudonov), Opéra National de Paris (Prince Igor) and Royal Opera House Covent Garden (The Nose, Agrippina and Carmen). He has also presented his productions at the Los Angeles Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Gran Liceu Barcelona, Vienna Staatsoper, Het National Opera Amsterdam, English National Opera, Oper Graz, Theater Basel, Aalto Theater Essen, Staatsoper Hannover, Deutsches Theater Berlin and Schauspielhaus Frankfurt and is a regular guest at the Edinburgh International Festival.

His awards include the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production for Castor and Pollux (English National Opera), Best Director at the 2014 International Opera Awards, Best Opera House (Komische Oper Berlin) at the 2015 International Opera Awards, the 2015 Gold Iffland Medal from the Berliner Theater Club and the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Opera and Music Theatre for Saul (also nominated for a 2016 International Opera Award). In 2016 he was named Director of the Year by Opernwelt and in 2017 Kosky’s production of Saul won six out of seven categories at the Helpmann Awards, including Best Opera and Best Opera Direction. In 2018 Kosky’s Bayreuth Festival production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg was announced as Production of the Year by Opernwelt. In 2020 he was the recipient of a Sidney Myer Performing Arts Award, in recognition of his unique and influential contribution to the Australian Arts world.

New productions in 21/22 include Mahagonny for Komische Oper Berlin, The Cunning Little Vixen/ Bayerischen Staatsoper Munich, Don Giovanni/Wiener Staatsoper and Tosca/Dutch National Opera.

Born in Melbourne, Kosky was Artistic Director of Gilgul Theatre Company 1990–97, Artistic Director of the 1996 Adelaide Festival and from 2001-2005 he was co-Artistic Director of the Vienna Schauspielhaus.

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