Achim Freyer,

Guest Stage Director. Artist, set designer and stage director, Achim Freyer is a living legend of German art, a unique figure of European cultural life.
What makes Achim Freyer unique is his versatile talent and creative ambitions which embrace painting, set and costume design and, finally, directing. In this synthesis painting is the point of departure.
Achim Freyer got his first degree at the Applied Graphic Art School (Meisterschule für Grafik und Buchgewerbe). Later on his paintings were exhibited in many galleries and art exhibitions in Germany.
Achim Freyer’s interest in the art of staging was initially based on the understanding of stage design as a visual expression of content, of the idea of a production. It was close to the esthetics of Bertolt Brecht, who was his instructor in the German Academy of Arts and with whom Achim Freyer worked during the last years of the poet and playwright’s life. “Without painting the man of the theatre Achim Freyer would not exist,” the artist is fond of saying.
As a director and a set and costume designer, Achim Freyer did a number of productions in drama theatres in Stuttgart, Burgtheater in Vienna, the Berliner Ensemble and some others. In the early 1990s he created a theatre group, called “Freyer Ensemble” (drama actors, a singer, dancers, acrobats, musicians), with which he successfully makes new paths in performing arts.
His bold experiments were the main event of the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 1999, where he won a Golden Medal. Also, his productions were awarded the Italian Critics Prize (1994) and a prize of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) in 1999.
Achim Freyer has directed a number of feature films; including “MET AMOR PHOSEN” which was premiered at the International Film Festival in Berlin (1994). Freyer believes that in all cinematic exploration to date, the importance of painting has been given too little regard.
Achim Freyer started to work at the music theatre in the late 1960s, when he participated in a production of Rossini’s “Il barbiere de Siviglia”, which was staged in Germany in collaboration with Ruth Berghaus, another Brecht follower. Then he worked for opera houses in Hamburg, Paris, Brussels, Vienna, and Venice. In collaboration with the famous director Hartmut Neugebauer Achim Freyer participated in productions of operas by Debussy, Hindemith, and Schoenberg and also put on his own classical operatic productions such as Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride, Orfeo ed Euridice, Alceste, Weber’s Der Freischütz, Busoni’s Turandot and some others. The most well known productions by Achim Freyer are the stage version of Bach’s Mass in B minor in Schwetzinge (1996), Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Venice (1996), the magnificent Die Zauberflote in Salzburg (1997), stage versions of Die Zauberflote in Alexander Zemlinsky’s interpretation for piano four-hands (2005) and Morton Feldman’s compositions “About Samuel Beckett” at the Venice Biennale (2005).
An important area of Achim Freyer’s artistic work is collaboration with contemporary composers such as Mauricio Kagel, Philipp Glass, Erhard Grosskopf, Reiner Bredemeyer, Dieter Schnebel, Alvin Curran and Helmut Lachenman.
Collaboration with the Novaya Opera Theatre of Moscow was the famous producer’s first Russian experience. Die Zauberflote produced in the year of the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth was the fifth original version of the immortal masterpiece created especially for the Novaya Opera by Achim Freyer, a renowned maestro of European theatre.
Achim Freyer is in constant search and has a singular style: “I understand theatre as an act of creation, which has nothing to do with either fashion or time.”


Mozart's Die Zauberflöte — Director, Set and Costume Designer
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