Obituary: German Director Johannes Felsenstein Passes Away At 73

By David Salazar

Famed opera director Johannes Felsenstein has passed away on Oct. 30, 2017 at the age of 73.

Born in 1944, he was the son of Walter Felsenstein, longtime director and founder of the Komische Oper Berlin. His father, unsurprisingly, was a major influence on his career growth, teaching the young Felsenstein about direction. Felsenstein would become an assistant at the Berlin Komische in 1973, working under his father as well as Joachim Herz, Götz Friedrich, David Pountney and Harry Kupfer. He would make his directorial debut in 1974 with the musical “Das Himmelbett.” He would leave the company in 1985 to work as a guest director in Leipzig, Weimar, Karlsruhe, Darmstadt, Aachen and Saarbrücken.

His career would take a huge step when he became director of the Landestheater Dessau in 1991 and from 1996 to 2009 he would take on the title of General Director. There he staged such operas as “Die Kluge,” “Orpheus in the Underworld,” “Anna Bolena,” “I Due Foscari,” “”La Traviata,” “Fidelio”, “Otello,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “Salome,” “Luisa Miller,” “La Bohème,” “The Flying Dutchman,” and many others.