Obituary: Eva Kleinitz Director Of Opéra National Du Rhin Dies

By Francisco Salazar

Eva Kleinitz, director of the Opéra National Du Rhin has died.

The administrator, who took over the opera company on Sept. 1, 2017, was born in Langenhagen and went on to study musicology, psychology and Italian literature at Saarland University. She went on to write her thesis on the opera “Francesca da Rimini” by Riccardo Zandonai and graduated in 1998.

Before her graduation, however, she has already worked as a direction and dramaturgy assistant at the Bregenz Festival and numerous other theaters and opera houses including Klagenfurt, Avignon, Nîmes, Paris, Strasbourg, Spoleto, Cologne, and Schwetzingen. She also went on to work with directors Daniele Abbado, Philippe Arlaud, Götz Friedrich, David Pountney, or Jérôme Savary.

In 1998, she took on a post as artistic director at the open-air festival and at the Festspielhaus in Bregenz and in 2000, she became director of the artistic department and spokesperson for the managing director, Alfred Wopmann, and held this role until 2003. she would become the managing director of the Bregenz Opera and deputy director of the Bregenz Festival.

Later in her career from 2006 to 2010, she became head of artistic planning and production at La Monnaie / De Munt and from the 2011/12 to the 2016/17 season, Kleinitz went onto to become artistic director and vice director in the management team of the Stuttgart Opera.

Kleinitz also became the first woman and the first German to be elected president of the Opera Europa association and became part of the editing team of the EU-funded Opera Platform.

On March 31, 2016, she was unanimously voted Managing Director of the Opéra National du Rhin and took her position on Sept. 1, 2017 where she reintroduced rarely performed works such “Francesca da Rimini” by Zandonai, “The Temple of the Golden Pavilion” by Mayuzumi, “Barkouf!” by Offenbach, “La divisione del mondo” by Legrenzi and “Beatrix Cenci” by Ginastera.

She was also in charge of the creation of the cross-disciplinary festival ARSMONDO which she crafted with her artistic advisor and dramatist Christian Longchamp.

Outside of her work as adminstrator, she participated in juries for international singing competitions such as the Francisco Viñas Competition, Concorso Lirico Internationale di Portofino, Aslico Como, the Paris Opera Competition and went on to work with some of the most recognizable directors in opera such as Pierre Audi, Calixto Bieito, Robert Carsen, Francesca Zambello, Deborah Warner and Krzysztof Warlikowski as well as conductors René Jacobs, Hartmut Haenchen, Marc Minkowski, Kazushi Ono, Marc Soustrot, Carlo Rizzi, Christophe Rousset, Jérémie Rhorer and Andres Erozco-Estrada, among others.