Ivo Van Hove Named Artistic Director of Ruhrtriennale

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Jan Verseweyveld)

Germany’s Ruhrtriennale has named Ivo van Hove its Artistic Director from 2024 to 2026.

The Belgian theatre director and artistic director of the International Theater Amsterdam will succeed the current artistic director Barbara Frey on Nov. 1, 2023.

The state’s Minister for Culture, Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, introduced Van Hove, who will take over the directorship, which changes every three years. The board of directors of Kultur Ruhr GmbH, chaired by the Minister, voted unanimously in favor of Van Hove.

In a statement, Pfeiffer-Poensgen said, “With his proven international track record and his many years of experience, including as director of the largest theatre company in the Netherlands and artistic director of a renowned theatre festival, Ivo van Hove is a great asset to the NRW culture scene in general and to Ruhrtriennale in particular. He has staged several productions for the Ruhrtriennale in recent years and is therefore already more than familiar with the Ruhr’s characteristic venues. His ambitious productions aim to inspire a wide audience. His critically acclaimed renderings, ranging from classical and modern theatre to film and opera, testify to the success he has achieved in Amsterdam and during his worldwide guest performances. The Ruhrtriennale will surely be shaped by this approach during his tenure.”

Meanwhile, Van Hove said, “I am honored that Kultur Ruhr GmbH’s board of directors asked me to take on the artistic director at this fantastic international festival, which brings together many artists from all over the world in a short period of time. For me personally, it is back to my roots, as it were, to the early 1980s, when I did theatre together with Jan Versweyveld in unusual places like port warehouses, an old laundry, a cellar and a number of living rooms. The Ruhrtriennale also gives me the opportunity for my programming to focus, next to the typical Ruhr venues, on music theatre and theatre. I plan to present a world premiere each year, with the ITA company, as part of the festival.”

Van Hove has directed work at the Paris Opera as well as in London, Taipei, Seoul, Sydney, Buenos Aires and New York. He is set to make his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2023.