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Thaddeus Strassberger

Stage Director

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Biography highlights

Thaddeus Strassberger, stage director and scenic designer, earned his degree in Engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York City, and received a Fulbright Fellowship to complete the Corso di Specializzazione per Scenografi Realizzatori at Teatro alla Scala in Milan in 2001.

 

He was awarded the prestigious European Opera Prize in 2005 for directing La Cenerentola at Opera Ireland/Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. His production of the rarely heard Rossini's La Gazzetta (Rossini in Wildbad Festival, Germany) garnered nominations for both Best Production and Best Direction from Opernwelt Magazine in 2008.

 

Thaddeus Strassberger staged Hamlet (Washington National Opera, Minnesota Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Fort Worth Opera), Nabucco (Washington National Opera, Minnesota Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Florida Grand Opera, Opéra de Montréal), La fanciulla del West (Opéra de Montréal, Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck), Turandot (Theater Augsburg), and I due Foscari, with Plácido Domingo making his role debut in the opera (Los Angeles and Valencia).

 

Other notable works include The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe (Staatstheater Braunschweig), I due Foscari (Theater an der Wien), The Rape of Lucretia, Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni (Norwegian National Opera), and his production of Sergei Taneyev’s Oresteia (a co-production with Bard Summerscape in New York and Mariinksy Theatre St Petersburg) - the first staging of the piece to be seen outside of Russia.

Following his critically acclaimed new production of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots at Bard Summerscape – the first staged production in New York in nearly a century, he returned there to also create the first American staged production of Franz Schreker’s Der ferne Klang and the North American staged premiere of Chabrier's Le roi malgré lui (a co-production with Wexford Festival Opera, Ireland).

 

His recent and upcoming engagements comprise his debut with the Ekaterinburg State Academic Opera, directing and designing the first ever production in Russia of Philip Glass’ Satyagraha, his debut at The Royal Opera Covent Garden, directing both Placido Domingo in I due Foscari and the world premiere of Søren Nils Eichberg’s Glare, Giordano’s Andrea Chénier and a new Rigoletto at Staatstheater Braunschweig as well as his returns to Fort Worth Opera with the world premiere of the David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s JFK, Tiroler Landestheater Innsbruck with The Queen of Spades and Un ballo in maschera, and to Ekaterinburg in 2016 for the Russian premiere of Weinberg’s The Passenger.

 

Philip Glass' Sathyagraha has been awarded the 2016 Critic’s Award during the Golden Mask Festival in the spring of 2016 in Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. 


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October 2016
2218:00

M. Weinberg - The Passenger - Stage Director, Set & Lighting designer

Ekaterinburg Opera House

September 2016
1518:30

M. Weinberg - The Passenger - Stage Director, Set & Lighting designer

Ekaterinburg Opera House

1618:30

M. Weinberg - The Passenger - Stage Director, Set & Lighting designer

Ekaterinburg Opera House
1718:00

M. Weinberg - The Passenger - Stage Director, Set & Lighting designer

Ekaterinburg Opera House
1818:00

M. Weinberg - The Passenger - Stage Director, Set & Lighting designer

Ekaterinburg Opera House
November 2014
2018:30

Philip Glass – Satyagraha - Stage Director

Ekaterinburg Opera House

2118:30

Philip Glass – Satyagraha - Stage Director

Ekaterinburg Opera House
October 2014
2418:30

Philip Glass – Satyagraha - Stage Director

Ekaterinburg Opera House

2518:30

Philip Glass – Satyagraha - Stage Director

Ekaterinburg Opera House
September 2014
1618:30

Philip Glass – Satyagraha - Stage Director

Ekaterinburg Opera House

1718:30

Philip Glass – Satyagraha - Stage Director

Ekaterinburg Opera House
1818:30

Philip Glass – Satyagraha - Stage Director

Ekaterinburg Opera House
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The Oresteia

Director Thaddeus Strassberger wisely emphasized the Russian nature of the piece while giving a nod to its Greek roots. Madeleine Boyd's multilevel set was loosely based on a St. Petersburg palace, but the basic structure had architectural elements that evoked both ancient Greece and Stalinist Russia, and it looked different in each act. Along with Mattie Ullrich's 19th-century Russian costumes, Jax Messenger's moody lighting and skilful direction of the chorus, the production had both universality and specificity.

- Heidi Walesen, The Wall Street Journal


Rigoletto

"Rigoletto" in krimineller Schattenwelt

Es ist eine düstere Szenerie, in der Opernregisseur Thaddeus Strassberger seine "Rigoletto"-Aufführung platziert hat. Strassberger hat auch die Bühnenkulisse entworfen. Seine zeitgenössische Version spielt im schmuddeligen Milieu einer mafiösen Halbwelt. Umwabert von viel Theaternebel verlegt der Regisseur die dramatische Handlung in ein apokalyptisches Zwielicht, in dem Gewalt, Drogen, Prostitution und Mord an der Tagesordnung sind. Zwischen Müllbergen, Marihuana-Plantagen, verkommenen Sozialwohnungen und finsteren Abwasserkanälen vollzieht sich jene tragische, oft erzählte Geschichte um den verkrüppelten Hofnarren Rigoletto, dem sein Herr, der Herzog von Mantua, seine geliebte Tochter Gilda nimmt, und dessen Rache dann dramatisch misslingt. 

- NDR.de Norddeutscher Rundfunk, Janek Wiechers


Hamlet

Sounds like a job for Thaddeus Strassberger, the inventive director and set designer who gave us a thoughtfully political “Nabucco” in September. In his staging of “Hamlet” (whose earlier iterations were seen in Kansas City and revelatory update, while keeping the piece firmly in the time we’re used to seeing it. Paired with gorgeous singing and detailed, nuanced character portrayals, it proved a most excellent evening at the opera.

- Minneapolis Star Tribune, Larry Fuchsberg


The Passenger - Ekaterinburg State Opera, 2016

Strassberger dokumentiert auf eindrückliche Weise, wie er treffend Emotionen schüren und eindrucksvoll sowie schlüssig darstellen kann. Er entwickelt dazu eine exzellente Personenregie, die in keinem Augenblick Langeweile aufkommen lässt oder irgendwelchen Opernklischees verfällt. Der Regisseur vermag die Psyche und Emotionen der Personen tief auszuloten und das Drama aus ihnen heraus zu gestalten. Optik und Dramaturgie befinden sich dabei stets in bestem Einklang mit der komplexen Musik Weinbergs, die zwischen großer Dramatik mit expressiver Ausdruckskraft und einem lyrischen Duktus sowie Tanzrhythmen und Elementen der Volksmusik changiert, ganz wie es die jeweilige Situation erfordert.

 

- Klaus Billand, Der Neue MerkerRead the article

The concept is extremely effective, particularly because of Strassberger’s attention to detail on the complex way the characters move around stage and on how they are lit. Different sets delineate the various parts of the camp, with the tall, smoking brick chimneys of the furnaces particularly hard-hitting.

Strassberger keeps pressing emotional buttons right up to the end.

 

- David Karlin, BachtrackRead the article


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