As a conductor, Konrad Junghänel specialises in early music, and is also one of the most internationally renowned lutenists. This season he returns to the Komische Oper Berlin as the musical director of the new production of Händel’s Semele, and for the restaging of Xerxes, having previously worked on Gluck’s Armida and Iphigenie in Taurus, and Händel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto and Xerxes.
His musical work has taken him right across Europe, through the USA, to Japan, Australia, South America and Africa. For many years, he has been collaborating regularly with René Jacobs and ensembles such as Les Arts Florissants, La Petite Bande and Musica Antiqua Köln. In 1987, he founded the vocal ensemble Cantus Cölln, which he also conducts, and which has rapidly established itself as one of the most respected ensembles of its kind in the international music scene. Since 1994, he has been a professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln.
As a conductor of stage productions, in addition to his work with the Komische Oper Berlin, he has a long-time partnership with the theatre-maker Uwe-Eric Laufenberg, artistic director of Oper Köln, and with the Hessian State Theatre of Wiesbaden. In Wiesbaden, Konrad Junghänel is staging a series of Mozart’s seven great operas, which has gained a great deal of attention. Così fan tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, The Abduction from the Seraglio and The Magic Flute have already been produced, with Don Giovanni is coming in June, and Idomeneo and Titus to follow next season.
In addition to this, he has directed the stage production of Bach cantatas Ein geistliches Bankett at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, Mozart’s Lucio Silla in Stuttgart, Purcell’s Hail! Bright Cecilia at the Staatsoper Hannover, as well as Monteverdi’s L´incoronazione di Poppea at Theater Basel, where he also made Wie liegt die Stadt so wüst, die voll Volkes war with music by Heinrich Schütz, and the Händel oratorio Israel in Egypt (both directed by Herbert Wernicke). At the Göttinger Händelfestspiele he produced Poro, Re dell’ Indie, and the Florentine Intermezzi, directed by Nigel Lowery. He has conducted Hasse’s Leucippo for the Schwetzinger Festspiele, and Xerxes for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, and guest conducted Händel’s Jephta at the Wiener Festwochen.