From April 2012 to July 2017, Per Boye Hansen held the post of Artistic Director of Den Norske Opera (Norwegian National Opera), which during his tenure rose to become a prominent opera company and enjoys great international acclaim. In 2015, it received in London the International Opera Award in the “Accessibility” category.
Between 2005 and 2012, he served as the director of the Bergen International Festival. In 2011, the Norwegian Minister of Culture appointed him chair of the jury of the International Ibsen Award. Hansen is a member of the Board of Dacapo Records (Edition S), a classical and new music label supported by the Danish Ministry of Culture. He sat on the juries of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition (2013), the International Opera Awards (2017) and the Ring Award in Graz (2017).
In 1999, he began working as casting director at the Komische Oper Berlin, where in 2003 he was named director. In this post, he was responsible for the opera company’s everyday operation and was in charge of engaging guest singers and conductors, collaborating with a number of stage directors (Peter Konwitschny, Hans Neuenfels, Barrie Kosky,
Calixto Bieito, David Alden, Richard Jones, Sebastian Baumgarten, and others).
In 1990, he founded the Oslo Arts Management and organised a series of concerts in the Norwegian capital, featuring Jessye Norman, Kiri Te Kanawa, Kathleen Battle, Anne Sophie von Mutter, Anne Sofie von Otter, James Galway, José Carreras, Bryn Terfel and other artists. Hansen closely co-operated with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and their chief conductor, Mariss Jansons. In 1994, he was entrusted with organising a cycle of concerts for the Norwegian National Olympic Committee, which were part of the cultural programme of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. In 1996, he established collaboration with the KünstlerSekretariat am Gasteig, a classical music agency based in Munich.
From 1984 to 1988, Hansen worked at the Oper Köln, where he assisted the stage directors Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Hans Neugebauer and Willy Decker, as well as the opera company’s director Michael Hampe. In the 1980s, he regularly served as assistant to Hampe and Ponnele at the Salzburger Festspiele. In 1982, he established the Oslo Summer Opera company, which he helmed until 1992. The originally loose association of Norwegian artists ultimately turned into an annual 10-day festival, at which performances were given by Francisco Araiza, Edith Mathis, Delores Ziegler, Lucia Popp and other renowned singers. Hansen staged in Norwegian premiere Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, W. A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte and La clemenza di Tito, and Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.
After completing his theatre studies at the University of Oslo, he went on to study opera direction under the tutelage of Prof Dieter Bülter-Marell at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany.