Andrejs ŽagarsGuest of the Opera
Andrejs Žagars has been the General Director of the Latvian National Opera since 1996, and is one of the most interesting present stage directors. Under his leadership, the Latvian National Opera has developed into an internationally acclaimed company. The LNO took part in international opera festivals and toured to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mexico and Beijing as well as throughout Europe. Žagars established the Riga Opera Festival as an annual cultural event which showcases the best productions of the Latvian National Opera and attracts an international audience. As a stage director Andrejs Žagars debuted with Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer at the Dalhalla Festival, Sweden, in 2002. Since then, he has directed many operas in Latvia and other European countries: Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer (the LNO, 2003), Rubinstein’s The Demon (the LNO, 2003), Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades (the LNO, 2005), Shostakovich’s The Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (the LNO, 2006), Verdi’s Nabucco (the Moscow New Opera Theater, 2006) and La traviata (the LNO, 2007), Bizet’s Carmen (the LNO, 2007 and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, 2010), Massenet’s Werther (the Theater Erfurt, 2008 and the LNO, 2009), Borodin’s Prince Igor (the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, 2009), Mozart’s Don Giovanni (the LNO, 2009), Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera (the Mikhailovsky Theatre St Petersburg, 2010) and Il trovatore (the Stadttheater Klagenfurt, 2010 and the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, 2011), Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin (the LNO, 2010), Puccini’s Manon Lescaut (the Estonian National Opera, 2011), Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor (the LNO, 2013), Wagner’s Lohengrin (the Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre in Vilnius, March 2013 and the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, May 2013) and Tannhäuser (Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Music Theatre, September 2013).
His productions were included in the Savonlinna Opera Festival, the Maifestspiele festival in Wiesbaden, the Bordeaux festival “Surprising Latvia", the Hong Kong International Arts Festival and the Kuresaare Opera Days on Saaremaa island in Estonia. His productions have also toured the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, Tokyo’s New National Theatre and the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania. Andrejs Žagars has received several awards, including State decoration of the Republic of Estonia – the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana (2012), The Order of Friendship given by the President of Russia Dmitri Medvedev for strengthening the culture link between Latvia and Russia (2010) or Commander of the Legion d’Honneur – France (2001).
Update: August 2013