Uwe Eric Laufenberg
„A sublime and provocative Parsifal at Bayreuth“ (New York Times): Actor, stage director and artistic director Uwe Eric Laufenberg is an internationally coveted artist thanks to his psychologically precise productions and thought-provoking programmes for a wide audience. As a stage director at the Vienna Staatsoper, the Bayreuth Festival, at Brussels‘ Théâtre La Monnaie, Dresden‘s Semperoper and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, his works presented profound readings of the text and music, causing lively debates and worldwide attention.
Recent highlights in Uwe Eric Laufenbergs’s work include productions of Puccini‘s Il Trittico and Tchaikovsky‘s Pique Dame as well as Wagner‘s DerRing des Nibelungenat the Wiesbaden Staatstheater, Wagner‘s Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Mozart‘s Don Giovanni at Oper Köln; Richard Strauss' Frau ohne Schatten, Verdi‘s Otello, Wagner‘s Tannhäuser and Tristan und Isolde, and Mozarts Le Nozze di Figaro in Wiesbaden, Richard Strauss' Elektra at the Vienna Staatsoper and, in 2016, at the Bayreuth Festival, Richard Wagner‘s Parsifal.
Important opera productions under his direction also include Ernst Krenek‘s Karl V. at the Bregenz Festival, Richard Wagner‘s Der Ring des Nibelungen at Landestheater Linz and, in a revised version, at Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Dmitry Shostakovich and Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss at Semperoper Dresden, in Baltimore and at the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, Puccini‘s Tosca at Brussels‘ Théâtre La Monnaie, Opéra Marseille and Geneva‘s Grand Théâtre, Kurt Weill‘s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahgonny in Gelsenkirchen, Richards Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at La Monnaie (a production which also toured to Strasbourg, Torino, Berlin, Barcelona, Tel Aviv and Bilbao), Mussorgsky‘s Boris Godunow at Komische Oper Berlin, Britten‘s Peter Grimes at Staatstheater Oldenburg, Beethoven‘s Fidelio at Stadttheater Freiburg, Gounod‘s Romeo et JuliettJ at Oper Frankfurt, Reinhard Keiser‘ Der lächerliche Prinz Jodelet at the Hamburg Staatsoper, Smetana‘s Bartered Bride at the Vienna Volksoper, Mozart‘s Entführung aus dem Serail, Così fan tutte and La Clemenza di Tito at Schlosstheater Potsdam.
As artistic director, Uwe Eric Laufenberg led Hans Otto Theater in Potsdam from 2003 to 2009. In 2009 he was appointed intendant of Oper Köln. Major new productions led to an unparalleled return of the company to the public’s favour, earning the Cologne Opera in 2012 the nomination by leading magazine Opernwelt as „Opera Company of the Year.“ Resigning from his post in 2012 when the Cologne city council failed to meet its funding commitments, Mr. Laufenberg was appointed intendant of the Wiesbaden Staatstheater, assuming the artistic leadership of the opera, dance and theatre company, a house rich in tradition, as of the 2014/15 season. Since then, the Wiesbaden Staatstheater‘s International May Festival and, since 2016, the Wiesbaden Biennale have contributed to positioning Wiesbaden as one of the most attractive destinations in the European opera world.
Born in Cologne, Uwe Eric Laufenberg studied acting at Folkwang Hochschule in Essen. His debut as a theatre director came in 1988 at Schauspiel Frankfurt with the staging of Harald Kuhlmann‘s play Pfingstläuten. Having served as a stage director and senior stage director at Schauspiel Köln from 1990 to 1993 and at Schauspielhaus Zurich from 1993 to 1996, Laufenberg joined Berlin’s Maxim Gorki Theater as a stage director and member of the board from 1997 to 2000. As a stage director in drama, he has worked at Deutsches Theater Berlin, Munich’s Residenztheater and the Vienna Burgtheater, among others.