Willy Decker studied the violin, musicology, and philosophy at the University of Cologne. At the age of 22 he made his debut as an assistant director in Essen before returning to Cologne to work with figures likes of Hans Neugebauer, Harry Kupfer, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle and Michael Hampe. In 1986, he appointed resident director at the Cologne State Opera. Since then, he has worked at some of the great opera venues in Europe and the United States, in cities like Vienna, London, Chicago, Brussels and Amsterdam (Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten), Dresden, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Geneva, Madrid, and Barcelona. He has also directed works at the Florence May Festival, the Drottningholm Festival, the Salzburg Festival (where he staged La Traviata with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon in 2005), and New York’s Metropolitan Opera (La Traviata). In addition, he staged the world premiere productions of Henze’s Pollicino in Montepulciano, Bibalo’s Macbeth in Oslo, and Reimann’s Das Schloss at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin and then in Munich. As the director of the Ruhr Triennale Festival, he began his tenure in August 2009 with a new production of Schoenberg’s Moses und Aaron and ended it with Tristan und Isolde in 2011. Since 2005, Willy Decker has been teaching musical theatre at the Hanns Eisler University in Berlin. He has directed numerous productions at the Paris Opera including Eugene Onegin (1995), La Clemenza di Tito (1997), Lulu (1998), Der fliegende Holländer (2000), and Die tote Stadt (2009). He has staged numerous productions over the last few seasons including Werther at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Der Rosenkavalier, Don Carlo and La Traviata in Amsterdam, Billy Budd and Lulu in Vienna, Peter Grimes in Tokyo, The Queen of Spades, Kátia Kabanová, and Pelléas et Mélisande in Hamburg, Don Giovanni and The Ring Cycle in Dresden, Tosca in Stuttgart, Il ritorno d’Ulysse in patria in Zurich, and Death in Venice in Madrid.
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