Dörte Lyssewski studied at the Hamburg Academy of Music and Fine Arts from 1985 to 1988. She joined the company of the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin, where she remained for six years. She then performed in Salzburg, Zürich and Vienna and then became a permanent member of the Bochum Theatre company from 2000 to 2005. Since 1989, Dörte Lyssewski has performed under the direction of some of the greatest names in German theatre including Heiner Müller, Jürgen Gosch, Peter Stein (Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, Koltès’ Roberto Zucco, Botho Strauss’ Les Semblables, Grillparzer’s Libussade), Klaus Michael Grüber (Lenz’s Catherine of Siena ), Claus Peymann (Peter Handke’s The Left-Handed Woman from Untertagblues), and Ernst Stötzner (Hedda Gabler and The Marquise of O). She appeared in the Patrice Chéreau film La Reine Margot (the role of Marie Touchet) and she played Kleist’s Penthesilia under the direction of Georges Lavaudant. Luc Bondy also cast her in numerous roles including Lavinia in Botho Strauss’s Viol and Perdita in The Winter’s Tale.
Dörte Lyssewski has won several prizes and awards (the 1997 Kainz Medal, the 2003 NRW Prize for Best Actress, the 2004 Gertrud Eysoldt-Ring). She has appeared in the productions of Andrej Wajda, Herbert Wernicke, Georges Lavaudant, Dieter Giesing, Edith Clever, Nicolas Steemann, Karin Henkel, Matthias Hartmann, and Wilfried Minks and performed in numerous operas at the Salzburg Festival, the Ruhrtriennale, the Montpellier Opera and the Paris Opera (Andromaque in Les Troyens in 2006).
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