Dieter Dorn

Dieter Dorn
Born (1935-10-31) 31 October 1935
  • Stage director
  • Theatre director
Organization Münchner Kammerspiele

Dieter Dorn (born 31 October 1935 in Leipzig) is a German theatre director, also for the opera, the manager of the Münchner Kammerspiele from 1983 to 2001 and now manager of the Bavarian Staatsschauspiel.


Dieter Dorn studied at the Theaterhochschule of Leipzig. In 1956, he left East Germany and studied at the Max-Reinhardt-Schule für Schauspiel in Berlin with Hilde Körber, the founder of the school, and Lucie Höflich.

He was engaged at the State Theatre in Hanover from 1958 until 1961 as an actor and a dramaturge, then worked as a journalist and radio speaker for the NDR. In 1964, he returned to the theatre at the Landesbühne Hanover, then in Essen. In the early 1970s, he staged at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg and at the Schaubühne in Berlin,[1] and as a guest in Oberhausen, Basel, Wien and the Burgtheater.

Münchner Kammerspiele

In 1976, Dorn moved to the Münchner Kammerspiele as a senior director, opening with Lessing’s Minna von Barnhelm with Cornelia Froboess in the title role.[1] He concentrated first on other German classical authors such as Goethe and Kleist and then focused on Shakespeare. He staged six plays in collaboration with the literary manager Michael Wachsmann, the theatre’s artistic director since 1986, who translated the complete texts: A Midsummer Night's Dream (1978), Twelfth Night (1980), Troilus and Cressida (1986), King Lear (1992), The Tempest (1994), and Cymbeline (1998). The stage sets were by Jürgen Rose who built large empty spaces. One of his protagonists was Rolf Boysen who played Lear, for example. Dorn promoted contemporary theatre, such as world premieres of the plays of Botho Strauß, in 1988 Besucher (Visitors), in 1991 Schlusschor (Final Chorus), and in 1996 Ithaka, with Bruno Ganz. Dorn had become the theatre's director in 1983.[1]

Bavarian Staatsschauspiel

Since 2001, he has been the director of the Bavarian Staatsschauspiel in the Residenz Theatre and the Cuvilliés Theatre.[2] He continued, together with many members of the Kammerspiele ensemble and the translator, performances of Shakespeare[1] and several more premieres of Botho Strauß.[3] The theater supplies a list of his play productions, staged at the Residenztheater unless otherwise noted.

Opera productions

The first opera staged by Dieter Dorn was Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Wiener Staatsoper, conducted by Karl Böhm in 1979. He also staged at the Salzburg Festival Ariadne auf Naxos of Richard Strauss and in 2003 the world premiere of L'Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe of Hans Werner Henze, conducted by Markus Stenz. The reviewer stated: "The hot ticket at this year’s Salzburg Festival is not one of the three Mozart opera productions, but the world premiere production of Hans Werner Henze’s newest stage-work L’Upupa und der Triumph der Sohnesliebe (The Hoopoe and the Triumph of Filial Love)." and continued: "This action-packed scenario might seem complex, but it emerges in a production of magical simplicity and ravishing visual beauty by the stage director, Dieter Dorn and set and costume designer, Jürgen Rose with a spell-binding clarity. A clarity which Henze also achieves in what must be his richest and most entrancing opera score to date."[4]

At the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Dorn staged Così fan tutte in 1984 and Le nozze di Figaro in 1987, both conducted by Wolfgang Gönnenwein. At the Bayreuth Festival, he staged Der Fliegende Holländer in 1990, and at the Metropolitan Opera Tristan und Isolde in 1999, conducted by James Levine.

The Cuvilliés Theatre was reopened in 2008 with Mozart's Idomeneo, staged by Dieter Dorn, conducted by Kent Nagano, sets and costumes by Jürgen Rose, with singers John Mark Ainsley, Juliane Banse and Annette Dasch.



  1. 1 2 3 4 Portrait: Dieter Dorn
  2. Intendanten-Duell in Der Spiegel, 25 October 2001 (in German)
  3. Er hat eine ganz bestimmte Sicht auf die Welt Interview with Egbert Toll in Süddeutsche Zeitung, 31 March 2009 (in German)
  4. Up and away Review of Hugh Cunning in TimesOnline, 31 August 2003

External links

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