Born in Riga in 1965, Alvis Hermanis studied drama at the National Conservatory of Latvia. Initially starting out as an actor, he began directing in 1992. Since 1997, he has been the artistic director of the New Riga Theatre, some of the programming of which is devoted to the classical repertoire, particularly the works of German and Russian writers. However, he also stages more contemporary works such as Sonia by the Russian author Tatiana Tolstaia (presented at the Avignon Festival in 2008). His productions have been seen in over 40 countries—more specifically, in Wellington, Bogota, Seoul, Montreal and Moscow. They have also featured at several major festivals including the Salzburg Festival, the Avignon Festival, the Edinburgh Festival, the Wiener Festwochen, the Holland Festival, the International Theatre Festival in Belgrade and the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. In 2012, the Swiss cultural magazine Du, bringing together theatre world experts from twenty countries, named him one of the ten most influential personalities in contemporary European Theatre. His productions have received numerous distinctions, including the Europe Theatre Prize for “New Theatrical Realities” (Thessaloniki, 2007), The Stanislavski Award (Moscow, 2008), and the Baltic Assembly Prize for Arts (2014).
He works regularly in theatres in the German-speaking world (the Zurich Schauspielhaus, the Munich Kammerspiele, the Vienna Burghteater, the Berlin Schaubühne, and the Cologne Schauspiele). In 2010, his production of Tracy Letts’ Osage County won the Nestroy Theatre Award in the Best Producer category and Platonov (at the Vienna Burgtheater) was listed among the ten best German-language productions at the Berlin Theatertreffen in 2012. Since 2012, he has also devoted his time to producing operas, including Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten, Birtwistle’s Gawain and Verdi’s Il Trovatore at the Salzburg Festival, Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Berlin Komische Oper, Janáček’s Jenůfa at La Monnaie in Brussels, and Puccini’s Tosca at the Berlin Staatsoper (Schiller Theater). His production of Die Soldaten was presented at Milan’s La Scala last January.
Projects: Verdi’s I due Foscari at Milan’s la Scala.