Peter Stein

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Peter Stein, 2015

Peter Stein (born 1 October 1937) is a German theatre and opera director who established himself at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, a company that he brought to the forefront of German theatre.[1]

Born in Berlin, Stein grew up in an era defined by the Nazis. His father Herbert Stein was factory director of Alfred Teves, a motorcycle manufacturing firm that the Nazi regime employed to make automotive parts. Herbert was in charge of 250,000 forced laborers. He was also involved in the Confessing Church, a resistance group.

Stein has said that these events had a profound effect on his life. After the war, his father was sentenced to two years of forced labor for collaborating with the Nazis. Peter's academic performance nose-dived and he barely made it into Frankfurt University. He then moved to Munich and enrolled at university there, pursuing a PhD thesis on the works of E. T. A. Hoffmann.

Having been curious about the theatre since his time at Frankfurt, he became a stagehand in Munich and eventually earned other parts. Proving himself, he was hired as director for Saved by Edward Bond. This piece threw him into the limelight and was critically acclaimed. Politically driven, Stein went on to direct many politically charged pieces, including Vietnam-Discourse by Peter Weiss, Bond's Early Morning, Seán O'Casey's Cock-a-Doodle Dandy, The Changeling by Thomas Middleton and William Rowley and Goethe's Torquato Tasso.

The theatre where Stein originally worked in West Berlin was the Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer [de].

In 1970, Stein was selected by politicians in Berlin to take over the Schaubühne, running it as an egalitarian socialist democracy.

After the end of his relationship with his partner Jutta Lampe in 1985, Stein left the Schaubühne.

Stein has also directed operas, such as Rheingold in Paris 1976 (conducted by Georg Solti), Otello for the Welsh National Opera in 1987, or Moses und Aron for the Salzburg Festival 1996 (conducted by Pierre Boulez). In 2011, Stein directed a new production of Verdi's Macbeth for the Salzburg Festival, with Riccardo Muti conducting, and in 2013 he directed Verdi's Don Carlos in Salzburg. He was awarded the Europe Theatre Prize in 2008.[2] He is married to Italian actress Maddalena Crippa.[3]

In 2019, Stein directed a production of Le Misanthrope with Lambert Wilson at the Le Comédia [fr] theatre in Paris.[4]

Major productions[edit]

Productions without a specified location were at the Schaubühne Berlin.[5]

Kabale und Liebe by Friedrich Schiller at the Theater Bremen, with Michael König [de] as Ferdinand, Edith Clever as Luise, Jutta Lampe as Lady Milford, Kurt Hübner as the President, and Bruno Ganz as Wurm.[6]
Vietnam-Discourse by Peter Weiss, co-directed with Wolfgang Schwiedrzik [de], at the Werkraumtheater of the Munich Kammerspiele, with Wolfgang Neuss as the Compère.[6]
Early Morning by Edward Bond
The Mother by Bertolt Brecht
Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen
Fegefeuer in Ingolstadt [de] by Marieluise Fleißer
Prinz Friedrich von Homburg by Heinrich von Kleist
Die Unvernünftigen sterben aus by Peter Handke
Sommergäste by Maxim Gorky
Big and Little (Groß und klein) by Botho Strauß, world premiere with Edith Clever as Lotte
Nicht Fisch nicht Fleisch by Franz Xaver Kroetz
Der Park by Botho Strauß
Phädra by Jean Racine
Pelléas et Mélisande by Debussy; Welsh National Opera 1992; conductor Pierre Boulez
Simon Boccanegra by Giuseppe Verdi (at the Salzburg Easter Festival)
Medea by Euripides

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Patterson (1981, xiii).
  2. ^ XIV Edition – Prize winners Europe Theatre Prize
  3. ^ Enrico Lancia, Roberto Poppi. Dizionario del cinema italiano, Le Attrici. Gremese Editore, 2003. ISBN 888440214X.
  4. ^ Le Misanthrope, Le Comédia, 2019
  5. ^ Chronology of the premieres since 1962/63 Schaubühne Berlin
  6. ^ a b c d Patterson (1981, 172).

Sources

  • Patterson, Michael. 1981. Peter Stein: Germany's Leading Theatre Director. Directors in Perspective ser. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. ISBN 0-521-29502-5.