philipp harnoncourt

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Philipp Harnoncourt
is a versatile stage director with experience in many areas of theatre: He directs plays and opera productions, he creates light- and stage-designs; as technical director he organised the ImPulsTanz-Festival in Vienna for more than ten years, he worked as theatre director for the "Schauspielhaus Wien" and he also writes his own plays.

Philipp Harnoncourt created light designs for many plays, as well as musical and dance theatre productions at major theatres and with famous artists, for example with Robert Wilson, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, the Volkstheater etc., and he also works for independent productions and companies. For years he has been responsible for stage and lighting of choreographer Christine Gaigg`s innovative dance productions, where he interrogates and varies time and again the arrangement in space between performers and audience.

As a long-term member of ImPulsTanzs production team he worked together with a large number of outstanding international artists and companies.

For the season 2000/2001 Philipp was appointed theatre director by Hans Gratzer for the "Schauspielhaus Wien". Together they produced Baroque operas alternating with contemporary music-theatre productions for the course of a season, extra rebuilding the Schauspielhaus into an amphitheatre for this year. It was here that Philipp directed his first opera, "Piramo e Tisbe", a late opera seria by J. A. Hasse. This production also proved a huge success at the "styriarte" festival in Graz and was sent on tour to the Netherlands.

From then on, opera productions became Philipp`s main focus. The Monteverdi Project "ballo mortale" at the Viennese "Kammeroper", "Pagliacci" at the State Opera in Kiew, the operetta "Der Bettelstudent" at the "Tiroler Landestheater" in Innsbruck, Mozarts "Die Schuldigkeit des Ersten Gebots" at the "Theater an der Wien" in 2006, Austria`s "Year of Mozart", "The Magic Flute" at Heidenheim open air Opera Festival, "The Tales of Hoffmann" at Opera on the Sea at Stralsund are just some examples of his work. In 2008 Philipp staged Marin Marais "Alcione", a Tragedie Lyrique, which had not been performed for more than 240 years. As a joint venture with the "Serapionstheater" at the Odeon in Vienna, the production was highly successful. In the same year he directed - together with his father Nikolaus Harnoncourt - "Idomeneo" at the "styriarte" in Graz.

Philipp Harnoncourt also addresses the more intimate forms of theatre by directing a series of operas performed at Kirchstetten Castle with a chamber orchestra and young artists. There he staged daring interpretations of "Cosi fan Tutte", "The Abduction from the Seraglio" and "La Cenenerentola".

The season 2009/2010 he shows a decided focus on contemporary opera: "The Last Supper" by Harrison Birtwistle for the "Neue Oper Wien", followed by Maxwell Davies' "Eight Songs for a Mad King" and Salvatiore Sciarrinos "L`Infinito Nero". A huge success with a lot of attention from the press and media was Prokofjews "Fiery Angel" at the Odeon, another collaboration with the "Serapionstheater". Together with the artist-collective Gaigg/Harnoncourt/Lang/Ritsch Philipp produced "maschinenhalle#1" , the opening of the avantgarde-festival "steirischer herbst", a performance-installation with 12 robot-pianos and 12 dancers.

In 2011 Philipp Harnoncourt will stage "Rodelinda" by G. F. Händel at the "Theater an der Wien" and the semi scenic performance of B. Smetanas "The Bartered Bride" at the "styriarte" in Graz.

Theatre means to tell stories one another under not quite serious conditions, but at the rather dramatical stake of life and limb. I love baroque theatre, which urgently claims fantasy and invention, as well as the exuberant and crazy genre of the operetta. I am attracted by all sorts of open air productions and the conquests of the most uncommon venues, and I am really interested in bringing together an audience well versed in art with an audience unfamiliar with it. The highest utopia is, as ever, to stage new ideas and new works...