Obituary: Latvian Director Andrejs Žagars Passes Away At 60

By Francisco Salazar

The Latvian opera director Andrejs Žagars has died after a long illness.

Born on Oct. 16, 1958, Žagars began working in theater and then eventually transitioned to film He went on to act in numerous feature films before opening up several cafes in Riga.

In 1996, the Latvian entrepreneur was then appointed to the post of director of the Latvian National Opera. During his tenure he made his operatic directorial debut with Richard Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” at the Dalhalla Opera Festival in 2002, and later staged the opera at the Latvian National Opera in 2003.

He became a theater director at Daile Theater in 2015 and ended up staging plays and operas in Latvia, Hong Kong, Russia, Lithuania, France, Hungary, Turkey, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

He ended his tenure with the Latvian National Opera in 2013.

Žagars went onto received France’s Legion of Honor order in 2001 and Latvia’s Order of the Three Stars in 2002. He also received orders in Netherlands, Lithuania, Estonia, and Russia and established a foundation to support cultural projects, especially in music and art.

The director passed away on Feb. 26, 2019 at the age of 60 of Colon Cancer.