Eytan Pessen

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Eytan Pessen
Eytan Pessen.jpg
Background information
Born(1961-08-30)August 30, 1961
OriginHaifa, Israel
Genresclassical, opera
Occupation(s)pianist, vocal coach, voice teacher, opera director
Years active1990–present

Eytan Pessen (born 30 August 1961 in Haifa, Israel) is a pianist, voice teacher and coach. He was former opera director of the Semperoper in Dresden, artistic advisor to Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and former casting director of the Staatstheater Stuttgart.

Early years[edit]

Born in Haifa, Israel, to parents of German heritage, he studied Piano (with Dr. Nilly Shilo, Walter Aufhauser, Irina Zaritskaya and Dina Turgeman), composition (with Andre Hajdu and Daniel V. Oppenheim), and musicology at the Tel-Aviv University Rubin Academy, with a Bachelor of Music, summa cum Laude, in 1983, and a Masters of Music, magna cum laude, in 1984. Further Piano studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Vladimir Sokoloff, (voice studies at Curtis with Robert Grooters), and at the Juilliard School in New York with Marshal Williamson, Margo Garrett and Alberta Masiello. In New York he worked as pianist and coach for the Metropolitan Opera young artist's programme.[1]

Stuttgart Opera 1991-2006[edit]

As head of music staff and the casting director[2] at the Stuttgart Opera in Germany, he worked under the German Dramaturge-Intendant Klaus Zehelein and Co-Intendant Pamela Rosenberg. When she left for San Francisco in 2001, he became casting director.[3][4] In Stuttgart, Pessen launched the international carriers of conductors Constantinos Carydis, Nicola Luisotti,[5] Carlo Montanaro and Robin Ticciati. Singers Lucas Meachem and Eva-Maria Westbroek began their international careers during his Stuttgart tenure as well. Other guest artists were Brandon Jovanovich, Catherine Naglestad and Jonas Kaufmann, who explored Italian repertoire as Barbiere-Almaviva, Rodolfo and Alfredo.[6] In Stuttgart Pessen promoted a series of unknown baroque and classic works, and conceived the chamber music series for the orchestra at the Mozart-Saal, which is still running today.[7] Under Zehelein’s leadership the Stuttgart Opera won the Opera house of the year award of European critics six times during the fifteen years.[8]

RUHR.2010 2007-2010[edit]

Eytan Pessen was artistic advisor to the RUHR.2010 cultural festival under music director Steven Sloane. An intense collaboration ensued with the composer Hans Werner Henze, 2010 became a year-long Hans Werner Henze project,[9] which spanned many cities, opera and ballet companies as well as symphony orchestras and chamber music groups. Henze wrote his last opera, Gisela! For the RUHR.2010 (an opera for and about youth, premiered at the RuhrTriennale).

Semperoper Dresden 2010-2013[edit]

As opera director of the Semperoper, he invited the composer Hans Werner Henze and the director Stefan Herheim to return each season for different projects. He chose to collaborate with a young generation of directors including Bettina Bruinier, Jan Phillip Gloger, Florentine Klepper, Axel Köhler, Michael Schulz, Elisabeth Stöppler und Manfred Weiss.[10]

Interested in the artistic benefits of a stable ensemble working together over a long period,[11] he chose to extend the Ensemble and the young ensemble (the Dresden opera’s studio programme) rather than invest in established guests.[12][13] Among the artists he brought to Dresden as permanent members of the ensemble are Giorgio Beruggi, Scott Connor, Emily Dorn, Vanessa Goikoexea, Evan Hughes, Pavol Kuban, Christopher Magiera, Amanda Majeski, Marjorie Owens, Barbara Senator, Tichina Vaughn, Rachel Willis-Sørensen, Sebastian Wartig and Elizabeth Zharoff.[14] Conductors that made their debut in Dresden include Josep Caballé Domenech, Julia Jones (conductor),[15] Nicola Luisotti,[16][17] Michele Mariotti, Carlo Montanaro, Pier Giorgio Morandi, Henrik Nánási, Daniel Oren and Omer Meir Wellber. Pessen widened the repertory span to include commissions from de:Miroslav Srnka and Lucia Ronchetti,[18] as well as Karl Amadeus Hartmann’s Simplicius Simplicissimus, Jaromir Weinberger’s Svanda Dudák, (Schwanda the Bagpiper), Kurt Weill’s Street Scene (opera), Hans Werner Henze’s Gisela! and We Come to the River.[10] For this performance the famous theatre interior (by the architect Gottfried Semper) was completely rebuilt with three vast set parts (designed by Rebecca Ringst and Anette Hunger) jutting into the audience space and reaching up toward the balcony.

Henze We Come to the River, at the Semperoper

For the Wagner year 2013 he conceived a mini-festival that explored Richard Wagner’s development years in Dresden,[19] combining Wagner's The Flying Dutchman with Gaspare Spontini's La Vestale and Halevy’s La Juive.[10]

Soiree at the Semperoper, 2011

Opening up the Semperoper to the general public, he often wrote essays and editorials; in one case counting the calories burnt going to different operas,[20][21] or imagining a conversation with the Gargoyles decorating the new building of the Semperoper.[22] For the programme notes of Alcina he wrote a poem describing the first performance of Alcina through the eyes of a young boy.[23]

Pianist, Voice teacher and coach[edit]

Eytan Pessen now teaches voice and piano at the Opera Academy of the Grand Theatre, Warsaw (Teatr Wielki i Opera Narodowa w Warszawie),[24][25] as well as numerous workshops for ENOA.[26][27]

Since 2007 he has been teaching at the Theaterakademie in Munich, since 2008 at the Frankfurt Opera,[28][29][30] since 2014 at the IOS in Zürich.[31]

He often gives masterclasses for singers, pianists and accompanists at the Académie of the Paris national opera, Les Azuriales festival,[32] Meistersinger Akademie in Neumarkt,[33][34] the Scuola d’Opera in Bologna [35] Duszniki Zdroj,[36] Oberlin in Italy, San Francisco Opera, North Carolina School of Arts, New Israeli Opera, Vinterakademi Voksenåsen (Oslo),[37] the Mikhailovsky theatre in Saint Petersburg[38] and the theatres of Stuttgart, Graz and Dresden.[39]

Pessen performs in recitals and concerts with Giorgio Berrugi,[40][41][42] Emily Dorn, Gala El Hadidi, Andrzej Filończyk, Armelle Arménouhi Khourdoïan,[43] Pawel Konik, Maciej Kwaśnikowski, Keith Lewis, Amanda Majeski, Markus Marquardt, Danylo Matviienko, Christa Mayer, Paula Murrihy, Marjorie Owens, Michał Partyka,[43] Christoph Pohl, Matthias Rexroth,[44] Katharina Ruckgaber,[45] Iurii Samoilov, Michal Shamir,[46] Merto Sungu, Mikołaj Trąbka, Tichina Vaughn, Eva-Maria Westbroek,[47] Rachel Willis-Sørensen[48] and Jan Żądło.

With Motti Kastón[49] and Helene Schneiderman he produced a CD of songs in Jiddish and Ladino.[50] Recent appearances include the Concertgebouw Amsterdam,[51] Rheingau Musikfestival, Bochum Symphony,[52] and the theatres of Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Dresden, the Rossini in Wildbad Festival, the Miskolc Festival,[53] as well as radio broadcasts NDR Hamburg, DeutschlandRadio Berlin, the Berlin Philharmonie and Stuttgart opera.

Consulting and Judge[edit]

He was jury member of the Stanislav Moniuszko competition in Warschau,[54] Antonina Campi International Voice competition in Lublin,[55] Concorso Voci Verdiane Busseto,[56][57] the Belvedere competition in Vienna,[58][59] as well as the Marcello Giordani competition in Catania,[60] the Aviv competition in Tel Aviv, Concorso Internationale di Assisi and Concorso Aslico in Como,[61][59] The year 2011 he was artistic advisor for the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and from December 2012 to 2014, was advisor to Teatro Massimo in Palermo,[62][63] where he programmed Richard Strauss’ Feuersnot,[64][65] Jaromír Weinberger's Schwanda the Bagpiper [66] and Hans Werner Henze's Gisela!.

Eytan Pessen Consulente artistico


  • Interview: Marietta Piekenbrock der schauplatz ist oberhausen, Steven Sloane and Eytan Pessen in conversation with Kulturhauptstadt Europas Ruhr.2010, published by Ruhr2010, 2009
  • Interview: REGJO Wagnerspuren ‚Semper Wagner’ S.22-24 Special edition Wagnerspuren Sachsen, April 2013
  • Michael Kerstan Gisela!, 13 April 2008, in Hans Werner Henze, work diary excerpts published in das henze-projekt neue musik für eine metropole, 2009, RUHR.2010
  • Biography in the programme for the May 10, 2013 Wagner-Soiree ‚A birthday song-bouquet for Richard Wagner’, Semperoper Dresden
  • Joachim Lange, An der Schwelle zur Professionalität, Die Deutsche Bühne, Januar 2012, S.40-41
  • Revolution in Der Semperoper Sächsiche Zeitung 11.12.2012
  • Adieux Frau Hessler, Sächsiche Zeitung 24.11.2012
  • Dresdner Operngala, Epochtimes, 17.03.2012
  • Staatstheater Stuttgart, Spielzeit 2004/05 und Spielzeit 2005/06
  • Video interview, teatro Massimo in Palermo (retrieved July 2013)
  • Youtube Eulogy for the deceased general director of the Semperoper, Ulrike Hessler. (retrieved July, 2013)
  • Radio Interview (in Polish) Moniuszko Competition



  • Eytan Pessen, Chopin in Stuttgart, in C. E. Chaffin, The Best of the Melic Review, 2001 pp. 88–93, ISBN pending
  • Eytan Pessen, Chamber Music, in Kammerkonzerte 2004/05, Staatstheater Stuttgart p. 74
  • Eytan Pessen „Alcina“ in Covent Garden, 1735, in Programmheft Alcina, Semperoper Dresden, October, 2011


  • Eytan Pessen, Endings and Beginnings, in „Anders“, raumzeit3 Verlag, ISBN 398110076X ISBN 978-3981100761 (2006)
  • Eytan Pessen, Über Musen, Masken und Magie in „Saisonvorschau Semperoper Dresden“ 2011/12 pp. 14–17, Yearbook – season catalogue for 2011/12, published by Semperoper Dresden
  • Eytan Pessen, Zusammenhängende Reliquien, Eine Geschichte über Richard Wagner und Gottfried Semper. Special publication for the Wagner year 2013, Semperoper Dresden.
  • A row of essays in the opera programme notes of the Semperoper Dresden, letters to composers (selection) Sehr verehrter Maestro Hasse August, 2010, Lieber Hans September, 2010, Dear Kurt Weill, Juni 2011, Sommo Maestro Monteverdi, Februar 2011
  • Eytan Pessen, Rozhinkes mit Mandeln in ‚Ulrike Hessler Errinerungen’, in Semper Nr. 2, 2012-2013
  • Eytan Pessen, Heart in the south (in German) (of Hans Werner Henze) in Semper Nr.3, p. 51,2012-2013[67]

You Tube Links[edit]





  1. ^ Berlin Philharmonie, Concert Programme 25. September, 20:00, (Live im DeutschlandRadio Berlin)
  2. ^ Stefan Schickhaus, Frankfurt sucht den Opernsänger, Frankfurter Rundschau, November 7, 2008
  3. ^ Oakland Tribune, October 22, 2004, Stuttgart Reveals a New Way to Envision Tristan und Isolde
  4. ^ Es geht immer ums Ganze, Opernwelt Jahrbuch 2006, Friedrich Verlag, ISBN 978-3617529829
  5. ^ Interview with Nicola Luisotti retrieved June 2, 2013
  6. ^ Staatstheater Stuttgart, Spielzeitheft 2004/05 und Spielzeitheft 2005/06
  7. ^ Eytan Pessen , Chamber Music, in Kammerkonzerte 2004/05, Staatstheater Stuttgart p.74
  8. ^ German Wikipedia article on the Opera House of the year award
  9. ^ Marietta Piekenbrock, the story is set in oberhausen, Steven Sloane and Eytan Pessen in conversation with Marietta Piekenbrock, Kulturhauptstadt Europas Ruhr.2010, published by Ruhr2010, 2009 pp. 11-13
  10. ^ a b c Biography in the programme for the May 10, 2013 Wagner-Soiree ‚A birthday song-bouquet for Richard Wagner’, Semperoper Dresden
  11. ^ Martin Morgenstern, Musik in Dresden (online magazine) Interview (in German): I do not seek sound producers, I seek artists retrieved 13.05.2013
  12. ^ Article about Pessen (in German): Boris Michael Gruhl, Träume mit Praxisbezug, 24. October 2010, , Musik in Dresden Online Magazine, [1], retrieved, June 1, 2013.
  13. ^ http://newswire.scena.org/2010/04/semperoper-dresden-offers-scintillating.html
  14. ^ Dresdner Operngala, Epochtimes, 17.03.2012, Retrieved 06.07.2013
  15. ^ German Wikipedia link
  16. ^ Article about the conductor Luisotti's debut in Dresden, [2], retrieved, June 2, 2013
  17. ^ Italian article about the conductor Nicola Luisotti in La Scala and elsewhere, [3], retrieved June 2, 2013
  18. ^ Lucia Ronchetti
  19. ^ Eytan Pessen, Eine Mitteilung an Meiner Freunde, Essay in the season Yearbook of the Semperoper 2011-2012, Published March 2011. Online version: [4] retrieved July, 2013
  20. ^ Online Version of Editorial Semper Magazine Number 2, 2010-2011, [5], retrieved June 15, 2013,
  21. ^ Online Version of Editorial Semper Magazine Number 3, 2011-2012 [6], retrieved June 15, 2013
  22. ^ Über Musen, Masken und Magie in „Saisonvorschau Semperoper Dresden“ 2011/12 pp. 14-17, Yearbook – season catalogue for 2011/12, published by Semperoper Dresden
  23. ^ Eytan Pessen „Alcina“ in Covent Garden, 1735, in Programmheft Alcina, Semperoper Dresden, October, 2011
  24. ^ http://teatrwielki.pl/en/ludzie/eytan-pessen/
  25. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXtfloMIJqQ
  26. ^ http://www.enoa-community.com/workshop/workshop-for-singers-and-pianists-with-eytan-pessen/
  27. ^ https://twitter.com/AkademiaOperowa
  28. ^ Interview with Frankfurt's Intendant, Bernd Loebe
  29. ^ Season 2008/2009, Oper Frankfurt, p. 70
  30. ^ http://www.oper-frankfurt.de/de/spielplan/oper-finale/?id_datum=314
  31. ^ [7]
  32. ^ [8]
  33. ^ https://meistersingerakademie.com/faculty
  34. ^ Mittelbayerische Zeitung, 12.07.2013 Stimmen die unter die haut gehen, Online version: [9], retrieved July 18, 2013
  35. ^ Website of the Scuola d'opera in Bologna, [10],(retrieved June 12, 2013)
  36. ^ http://dokis.pl/events/view-festival/395
  37. ^ http://www.voksenaasen.no/arrangement/vinterakademiet-19-21-januar/
  38. ^ https://mikhailovsky.ru/en/afisha/repertoire/die_zauberflote/
  39. ^ An der Schwelle zur Professionalität (Joachim Lange) Die Deutsche Bühne, Januar 2012, ASIN: B000M9CCOG, S.40-41
  40. ^ Online Wigmore Hall concert information: [11], retrieved July, 2013
  41. ^ http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=11536
  42. ^ Interview Giorgio Beruggi
  43. ^ a b http://operakameralna.pl/index.php?12072017_t
  44. ^ Vienna, Concert information, [12], (retrieved July, 2013)
  45. ^ http://katharinaruckgaber.com/events/soiree-des-opernstudios-amor-voce-del-cielo/
  46. ^ Artist Website, [13], (retrieved July 1, 2013)
  47. ^ https://www.concertgebouw.nl/en/page/32087
  48. ^ Concert announcement, retrieved June 12, 2013
  49. ^ Concert Information (retrieved June 25, 2013)
  50. ^ CD source
  51. ^ https://www.concertgebouworkest.nl/en/eytan-pessen
  52. ^ Concert review, Westdeutsche Zeitung, 23.07.2003, Bochum edition
  53. ^ Concert review (hungarian)(retrieved June, 2013)
  54. ^ Biography competition publication, Online version: [14], (retrieved 13.07.13)
  55. ^ http://www.dziennikwschodni.pl/co-gdzie-kiedy/festiwale/lublin-w-centrum-spotkania-kultur-szukaja-najlepszego-glosu,n,1000193968.html
  56. ^ http://www.parmapress24.it/2017/06/19/busseto-55-concorso-voci-verdiane-vincitori-foto/55-concorso-internazionale-voci-verdiane-eytan-pessen-premia-luisa-tambaro-annina_ph-elisa-contini/
  57. ^ http://www.vociverdiane.com/?page_id=1219
  58. ^ https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/NewOldClassicalSingerForum/americans-win-belvedere-vocal-competition-t10536.html
  59. ^ a b Musical America, July 12, 2006
  60. ^ http://www.marcellogiordani-foundation.org/competition/jury.php?id=4
  61. ^ Website information: [15], (retrieved July, 2013)
  62. ^ Press release Teatro Massimo, [16], (retrieved 13.07.2013)
  63. ^ http://www.rondomagazin.de/artikel.php?artikel_id=1398
  64. ^ La Repubblica, June 11, 2013 Palermo Teatro Massimo
  65. ^ Corriere del Mezzogiorno, 11.06.2013, Online version: [17] (retrieved July 13, 2013)
  66. ^ Rondo magazine, Ausgabe 6, 2014 (in German)
  67. ^ http://issuu.com/semperoperdresden/docs/so_semper_no3_web_einzel