Jörn Weisbrodt in June 2013
January 26, 1973|
Rufus Wainwright (m. 2012)
Early life and education
Weisbrodt was born in Hamburg and studied opera direction at the Hanns Eisler Music Conservatory in Berlin, graduating in 2000. While still a student, he worked closely with directors Ruth Berghaus, Heiner Müller, Peter Stein, Peter Konwitschny and Robert Wilson. He became Wilson's personal assistant and also interned at The Watermill Center, Wilson's Performance Laboratory in Long Island, New York. It was here that Weisbrodt decided he would rather be an arts facilitator—"I realized that I wasn't an artist, I was an enabler of artists".
After his graduation, Weisbrodt worked for management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and held a number of positions in Germany, including Assistant Director at Deutsches Theater, co-founder of Zwischenpalastnutzung and Artistic Production Director at the Berlin State Opera.
In 2006 Weisbrodt moved to the United States to become Executive Director of Robert Wilson's company RW Work Ltd. and Director of the Watermill Center. At Watermill he was responsible for developing inter-disciplinary performances and installations and establishing new partnerships with, among others, the Guggenheim Museum, the Baryshnikov Arts Center, Moscow Biennale, Kampnagel Hamburg, the Donaufestival, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the Purnati Center for the Arts in Indonesia and Columbia University. He also oversaw the launch of a residency for emerging international artists.
Weisbrodt has an international reputation for collaborating with some of the world's leading arts organizations, including La Scala in Milan, the Spoleto Festival, the Barbican Centre in London, the Bolshoi Theatre, the Lincoln Center Festival, the Salzburg Festival and the Manchester International Festival.
Weisbrodt first collaborated with Luminato to host the North American premiere of Rufus Wainwright's opera Prima Donna (2010) and the revival of Robert Wilson's production of Philip Glass' opera Einstein on the Beach (2012). He was the Festival's Artistic Director from January 2012 to July 2016.
Luminato has encompassed all creative fields from music to theatre, dance, literature, visual arts, film, magic and food. Weisbrodt's vision for the Festival was to create connections between the disciplines and promote collaborations between artists from different fields. He stated, "I don't think a festival today should just invite productions from the international or national touring circuit; it should encourage artists to create something new." He also stressed the importance of pre-performance talks, artist interviews and community outreach in order to better engage a modern audience.
Luminato's program of events during Weisbrodt's appointment included the North American premiere of Robert Lepage's Playing Cards: SPADES, Joni Mitchell's 70th birthday tribute concert A Portrait in Song, the North American premiere of Robert Wilson's The Life and Death of Marina Abramović and the world premiere of Marina Abramović Institute—Prototype, the world premiere of Ronnie Burkett's Daisy Theatre, Pina Bausch's Kontakthof by Tanztheater Wuppertal, a retrospective of avant-garde artist Matthew Barney, the world premiere of Kid Koala's Nufonia Must Fall, the world premieres of Terence Koh's tomorrow's snow and a way to the light, the Canadian premiere of Paradisiacal Rites by Saint Genet and the world premiere of If I Loved You: Gentlemen Prefer Broadway—An Evening of Love Duets.
Weisbrodt believed that Toronto was on the verge of becoming a city of global and cultural importance and that the Festival could attract artists to live and work in it—"I would love to be [...] part of making something really extraordinary here," he said.
Weisbrodt married his partner, singer-songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright, in Montauk, Long Island, in August 2012. They have a daughter, in a "parenting partnership" with friend Lorca Cohen, daughter of Leonard Cohen.
Maciàn, J. E., Stoker, S. J., & Weisbrodt, J., eds., The Watermill Center—A Laboratory for Performance: Robert Wilson's Legacy (Stuttgart: Daco Verlag, 2012).
- Govani, Shinan. “Shinan: Celebrating the day he was Jorn (Weisbordt), with a little ditty by Rufus” National Post, Toronto, 2 February 2013. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Adams, James. “Jorn Weisbrodt named new artistic director of Luminato” The Globe and Mail, Toronto, 22 September 2011. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Weisbrodt, J., "Suddenly this summer", Luminato Festival blog, Jul 5, 2016.
- Citron, Paula. “Weisbrodt’s Luminato” The WholeNote, Toronto, 29 April 2014. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- “Jörn Weisbrodt” Theater der Zeit, Berlin. Retrieved on 24 June 2014. "Er studierte Opernregie an der Hochschule für Musik 'Hanns Eisler' in Berlin, Abschluss 2000." (Translation: He studied opera direction at the "Hanns Eisler" Music Conservatory in Berlin, degree 2000.)
- “Star Talks with Jorn Weisbrodt, the newly appointed artistic director of Luminato in conversation with the Toronto Star's Richard Ouzounian” Toronto Public Library, Appel Salon, part 1, transcript, 23 February 2012. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
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- Knelman, Joshua. “He’s a Firework” Men's Fashion, Toronto, Spring 2012.
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- Taylor, Kate. “Luminato reborn? It’s up to Jorn” The Globe and Mail, Toronto, 13 April 2012. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
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- “The Watermill Center’s Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 Residencies include 17 projects by artists from five continents” Blake Zidell & Associates, New York, 5 November 2010. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
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- Menon, Vinay. “Jorn Weisbrodt: Hail to Luminato's visionary-in-chief” Toronto Star, 12 June 2013. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Terauds, John. “Jorn Weisbrodt’s eclectic 2013 Luminato festival crosses disciplines, highlights collaborations” Musical Toronto, 16 April 2013. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Talbot, Michael. “EVENT: Luminato breaks down barriers between artist and audience” CityNews, Toronto, 5 June 2013. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- “Star Talks with Jorn Weisbrodt, the newly appointed artistic director of Luminato in conversation with the Toronto Star's Richard Ouzounian” Toronto Public Library, Appel Salon, part 3, transcript. 23 February 2012. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Rockne Corrigan. “Joni Mitchell will appear at Luminato Festival in Toronto for live in-conversation event and appreciation” National Post, Toronto, 28 May 2013. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Adams, James. “Luminato to host North American premiere of Abramovic ’opera’” The Globe and Mail, Toronto, 19 November 2012. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- “Marina Abramovic to premiere new installation at Luminato Festival” artdaily.org, 18 March 2013. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- “Ronnie Burkett is Back in Toronto with THE DAISY THEATRE” Broadwayworld.com, Toronto, 7 February 2014. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- “Luminato Festival to Present Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch's KONTAKTHOF” Broadwayworld.com, Toronto, 25 November 2013. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Kelly Nestruck. “Luminato promises a festival full of sex—from Matthew Barney to David Byrne” The Globe and Mail, Toronto, 8 April 2014. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Knelman, Martin. “Jorn Weisbrodt sees Luminato as a playground” Toronto Star, 4 June 2014. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Sandals, Leah. “Matthew Barney, Terence Koh Premieres Highlight Luminato 2014” Canadian Art, Toronto, 8 April 2014. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Rice, Beat. “You Will Feel It” The Charlebois Post, 11 June 2014. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Henry, Alan. “LUMINATO to Present If I Loved You, Gentlemen Prefer Broadway: An Evening Of Love Duets” BroadwayWorld.com, 8 April 2014. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
- Petrowski, Nathalie. “Jorn Weisbrodt: du charme des contacts et... Rufus” La Presse, Montreal, 23 June 2012. Retrieved on 24 June 2014. "C'est un moment intéressant pour Toronto qui a toujours vécu dans l'ombre du géant américain, sauf qu'aujourd'hui, le géant ne va pas bien. Il est en perte de prestige et de pouvoir. Toronto, pendant ce temps-là, se porte bien et ne demande qu'à s'ouvrir et à s'épanouir culturellement." (Translation: It's an interesting moment for Toronto which has always lived in the shadow of the American giant, except that today, the giant is not well. It's losing prestige and power. In the meantime Toronto is well and asks only to open up and to flourish culturally.)
- Veillette, Eric. “A drink with: Jorn Weisbrodt, artistic director of Luminato” Toronto Star, 7 June 2013. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.
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- Michaels, Sean. “Hallelujah! Rufus Wainwright has baby with Leonard Cohen’s daughter” The Guardian, London, 21 February 2011. Retrieved on 24 June 2014.