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Claus Guth receives “Großes Verdienstzeichen” of the State of Salzburg

17 AUG 2011

published in: Opera, General

Gabi Burgstaller, Claus Guth, Helga Rabl-Stadler, Markus Hinterhäuser, Photo: LPB Franz Neumayr/SB
Theater and opera director Claus Guth received the Medal of Honor of the State of Salzburg today, August 17. At the award ceremony at the SalzburgKulisse, part of the Haus für Mozart, Landeshauptfrau Mag. Gabi Burgstaller emphasized Guth’s long years of service to the Salzburg Festival and to Salzburg. Baritone Christopher Maltman and pianist Adrian Kelly contributed the musical framework to the event.

Since 1999, Claus Guth has directed eight opera productions at the Salzburg Festival. These made a decisive contribution to the success and the importance of the Salzburg Festival, Landeshauptfrau Burgstaller remarked in her speech. This year, Guth’s Mozart-Da Ponte cycle – Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte, which he has been developing since 2006 for Salzburg – will be performed in its entirety.

German director Claus Guth, born in 1964 in Frankfurt, studied philosophy, German and theatre studies at the University of Munich as well as theatre and opera directing at the Munich Conservatory. He found major inspiration in his work with Axel Manthey in Hamburg and Stuttgart. Early on in his career, world premieres were an important part of his work: at the Munich Biennial, he directed Giorgio Battistelli’s Keplers Traum and Johannes Maria Staud’s Berenice; at the Salzburg Festival, he directed Luciano Berio’s Cronaca del luogo and Chaya Czernowin’s Adama combined with Mozart’s fragment Zaide; at Dresden’s Semper Opera, he oversaw the production of Peter Ruzicka’s Celan, in Basel Klaus Huber’s Schwarzerde and Helmut Oehring’s Unsichtbar Land, and in Aachen Oehring’s BlauWaldDorf. In the traditional repertoire, his work spans from baroque opera and Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, which he directed in Salzburg in 2000 to great acclaim, to Mozart, Rossini, Lortzing, Verdi and Wagner, to classic works of modernism, such as Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.

Claus Guth has been an especially frequent guest at the opera houses of Basel and Zurich. In 2003 he made his debut at the Bayreuth Festival with Der fliegende Holländer. In 2005 he directed Mozart’s Lucio Silla at the Wiener Festwochen – his first collaboration with the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, which was continued in 2006 with Le nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival. After Don Giovanni (2008), Guth’s Mozart/Da Ponte cycle was completed in the summer of 2009 with Così fan tutte. During the recent seasons Claus Guth also directed in Dresden (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), at Munich’s Gärtnerplatz Theatre (In mir klingt ein Lied, a “topography of operetta”), at the Bavarian State Opera (Luisa Miller), in Frankfurt (Un ballo in maschera, Il trittico, Daphne), at the Hamburg State Opera (Simon Boccanegra, Der Ring des Nibelungen) and at the Theater an der Wien (Messiah). In June 2010 Claus Guth made his debut at the Vienna State Opera with Tannhäuser. In 2011 he directed Parsifal at the Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona and in Zurich.

Tomorrow, Claus Guth’s Don Giovanni will be the last premiere of this Festival summer – with a promising recasting of several roles. Please click here for more information.