Barrie Kosky

Artistic director
© Jan Windszus Photography
© Jan Windszus Photography
Barrie Kosky is the Intendant and Chefregisseur (Artistic Director) of the Komische Oper Berlin. At the end of his first season for 2012/13, the Komische Oper was voted »Opera House of the Year« by Opernwelt magazine and in 2016, Barrie Kosky was voted »Director of the Year’ by Opernwelt. In 2014, Kosky was voted »Opera Director of the Year« at the International Opera Awards in London and at the same awards in 2015, the Komische Oper was voted »Opera Company of the Year«.

His most recent work at the Komische Oper Berlin has included The Magic Flute (co-directed with 1927) which has been seen by over 350,000 people in three continents, The Monteverdi Trilogy, Ball im Savoy, West Side Story, Moses and Aron, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Jewgeni Onegin, The Pearls of Cleopatra, The Fair at Sorochintsi, Pelléas et Mélisande, Anatevka - Fiddler on the roof, the re-production of The nose (2016 for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden) and his production of Castor and Pollux (co-produced by the English National Opera) which won the Laurence Olivier Award for best opera production in 2012. In the 2018/19season he will direct the new productions of Candide and as well as the world premiere of M - Eine Stadt sucht einen Mörder (A Citty searching for a murderer).

Barrie Kosky’s Glyndebourne Festival production of Saul opened the 2017 Adelaide Festival at the beginning of March. In 2017 he made his Bayreuth Festival debut with Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. He has directed opera productions for the Bayerische Staatsoper (Die Schweigsame Frau and The Fiery Angel), Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Saul), Oper Frankfurt (Dido and Aeneas/Bluebeard’s Castle and Carmen), the Dutch National Opera (Armide), Opera Zurich (La Fancuilla del West and Macbeth) and Royal Opera House Covent Garden (The Nose). He has also presented his productions at the Los Angeles Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Gran Liceu Barcelona, Vienna Staatsoper, English National Opera, Oper Graz, Theater Basel, Aalto Theater Essen, Staatsoper Hannover, Deutsches Theater Berlin and Schauspielhaus Frankfurt and is a regular guest at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Barrie Kosky was Artistic Director of the 1996 Adelaide Festival and has directed opera and theatre productions for Opera Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company and the Sydney and Melbourne International Festivals. From 2001-2005 he was co-Artistic Director of the Vienna Schauspielhaus.

Future plans include invitations to the Bayerischen Staatsoper (Agrippina, july 2019), Opéra National de Paris, Metropolitan Opera New York and Festivals in Aix-en-Provence and Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Mark Janicello, 04.03.2018
Hands Down, the best production I've seen in Europe
»Last night, at the Comic Opera of Berlin I was gobsmacked. Their production of Fiddler on the Roof was hands down, the single best performance I have ever witnessed in my 24 years living and working in continental Europe. Nothing else I have ever seen, anywhere on the continent, even comes close. … Gentle readers, walk, crawl, run, beg, borrow or steal... do what you must do, but get a ticket to see Fiddler on the Roof at the Comic Opera in Berlin. 20 years from now, people will still be talking about this legendary production. «
New York Times
A. J. Goldmann, 06.12.2017
Fiddler on the Roof
»Mr. Kosky understands that the best traditions are the ones that can constantly reinvent themselves. Bringing back “Fiddler” after nearly three decades, he has removed the mothballs and nostalgia. The set designers, Rufus Didwiszus and Jan Freese, have built the shtetl Anatevka as a massive rotating assemblage of antique wardrobes ... Against this backdrop, Otto Pichler’s choreography is a jolt of pure theatrical energy.  … Performed in German by a largely non-Jewish cast, this is quite possibly the most convincing — and least embarrassingly cliché-ridden — “Fiddler” imaginable.«
Marc Berry, 5.4.2017
The Komische Oper’s Colourful Portrayal of »The Fair at Sorochintsy«
»A Gogol opera would almost seem made for Barrie Kosky, offering magic, sex, exoticism, and of course grotesquerie. He and his production team certainly do a fine job here. Katrin Lea Tag’s set designs are relatively spare, without being minimalist; they provide an excellent frame for Kosky’s always detailed, convincing Personenregie. There is no doubting the mastery of his craft here. … The Dream Vision ballet sequence is, unsurprisingly, an exception to any hint of spareness. … Kosky’s fantastical imagination here runs riot. One does not necessarily understand, although one may feel compelled to attempt interpretation nevertheless. It is spectacle in the best sense, though, mysteriously changing what we have seen and heard forever.«
Full review
Mark Pullinger, 08.10.2015
A tale of three Hoffmanns: Kosky’s Komische Oper production a triumph
»A musically satisfying evening, Kosky’s Tales of Hoffmann was often exhilarating, occasionally exasperating, but above all, gloriously entertaining.«