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The Director


Barrie Kosky | director


Critical acclaim:


The Lost Echo

“...Barrie Kosky, Tom Wright and their team have created an epic theatrical experience that is by turns comic, obscene, heartbreaking, gutwrenching, beautiful and sometimes just plain weird.”

—The Australian


The Cornnation of Poppea, Edinburgh Festival

“Purists may blanch, but I found this production, imported from the Vienna Schauspielhaus, to be a serious work of art rather than a piece of frivolous desecration. Part of the pleasure lies in the interweaving of ancient and modern, and the juxtaposition of two different musical idioms. …Kosky, an Australian iconoclast now based in Europe, clearly has a passion for Monteverdi's opera, which he takes apart and reassembles before our eyes.”

—Michael Billington, The Guardian


Wozzeck

"This was an achievement of the highest international standard.  A production of challenging imagination…the result was a truly peak experience."

—The Sun-Herald


Australian born Barrie Kosky is recognised as one of the most exciting and creative directors and writers of his generation. His productions span the fields of opera, theatre and contemporary music theatre. 


Based in Europe, 2007/08 productions will include a revival of his production of Orfeo at the Berlin Staatsoper, and new productions of Iphigenie en Tauride and Kiss me Kate at the Komische Oper Berlin, Peter Grimes at the Hannover Opera and Mahagony in Essen. His production of The Coronation of Poppea from the Schauspielhaus in Vienna was mounted at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival and his production of The Tell Tale Heart was performed in the Melbourne Festival in October 2007.  2006 opera productions included Der Fliegende Holländer in Essen, Midsummer Night’s Dream in Bremen, a revival of his production of Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre in Gratz and a new production of Tristan und Isolde in Essen. A number of months in 2006 were spent working at the Sydney Theatre Company on The Lost Echo, a specially commissioned two-part epic based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses for which was writer, director, music director and designer. He has won the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Director and Helpmann Awards for Best Direction of a Play and Best New Play, for this production which was regarded universally as one of the most outstanding theatre works mounted in Sydney. He will return to work in Australia directing The Trojan Women at Sydney Theatre Company and a new opera by Lisa Lim at the Brisbane and Melbourne Festivals.


Barrie made his European opera debut directing Ligeti’s Le Grande Macabre at the Komische Oper, Berlin. A new production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo with René Jacobs that premiered at the Innsbruck Festwochen in August 2003 and the Berlin Staatsoper closely followed this in January 2004.  In 2005 his new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro opened to great acclaim at the Komische Oper in Berlin in January and in December his new production of Wagner’s Lohengrin opened at the Vienna Staatsoper.


In 2001 he was appointed to the position of Co-Artistic Director of The Schauspielhaus Theatre in Vienna a post he relinquished in October 2005 when he left to continue his freelance career in Europe. He directed many outstanding productions for the Schauspielhaus theatre, including Hoffmann’s Erzählungen based on Jacques Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann, Das Schloss (The Castle) as well as Monteverdi’s Poppea which has had a number of seasons in Vienna and was also mounted at the Berliner Ensemble in Berlin, Boulevard Delirium with Paul Capsis, which has had a number of seasons in Europe and in Melbourne, and Medea which featured the Australian performer Melita Jurisic.


In October 2003 he directed performances of The Lost Breath, one of his shows from the Schauslpielhaus with the Vienna cast, for the Melbourne International Festival. Boulevard Delirium returned to Melbourne at the end of 2005 and also had a season at the Sydney Opera House.


Barrie Kosky has directed productions for all the major opera and theatre companies in Australia including: Wozzeck, The Flying Dutchman, Nabucco and The Golem for Opera Australia; Oedipus, Mourning Becomes Electra and Tartuffe for the Sydney Theatre Company; King Lear for the Bell Shakespeare Company; Café Fledermaus for Belvoir Street and Goethe's Faust for the Melbourne Theatre Company.


From 1990-1998 he was Artistic Director of Gilgul Theatre and devised and directed productions of The Dybbuk, Es Brent, Levad, The Wilderness Room and The Operated Jew. He was the Artistic Director of the 1996 Adelaide Festival, widely regarded as one of the finest festivals Australia has ever seen.


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