Abbé Perrin (Director of...
Rolf Liebermann was born in a Berliner family. He studied both law and music in Zürich, and then learned conducting with Herman Scherchen and composition with Vladimir Vogel. He became Schechen’s assistant in Vienna then returned to Switzerland in 1945 as sound engineer for the Zürich Radio. In 1950 he took over the direction of the Radio Suisse alémanique orchestra (Zürich) until 1957, when he became Director of the Norddeutsche Rundfunk Music Department. He was appointed Director of the Hamburg Staatsoper two years later (until 1973) and contributed to the theatre reputation, renowned for its repertoire and new creations. In 1973 Marcel Landowski and Hugues Gall, urged by Minister of Culture Jacques Duhamel, asked Liebermann to take over the direction of the Réunion des théâtres Lyriques et Nationaux, RTLN. The government had to change the RTNL organization to be able to nominate a foreigner administrator. Liebermann was appointed General Administrator of the Paris Opera. The “seven-years-Liebermann area” (1973-1980) is known as a time of renewal. Liebermann brought a new repertoire to the theatre, starring the most famous singers, conductors, stage directors and choreographs. He presented famous works like The Marriage of Figaro (Georg Solti, Giorgio Strehler), Faust (Michel Plasson, Jorge Lavelli), The Tales of Hoffman (Georges Prêtre, Patrice Chéreau), Moses and Aron (Georg Solti), Pelléas et Mélisande (Lorin Maazel, Jorge Lavelli), Otello (conducted by Georg Solti and staged by Terry Hands, with Placido Domingo and Margaret Price), Boris Godounov (staged by Joseph Losey, with Ruggero Raimondi). He initiated the creation Lulu in three acts (conducted by Pierre Boulez, staged by Patrice Chéreau with Teresa Stratas.
Rolf Liebermann decided to present the operas in their original language and to film the performances for television and to produce movies, groundbreaking ideas at that time. He enriched the ballet repertoire with the works of artists like Jerome Robbins, George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, Carolyn Carlson, Rudolf Nureyev and Roland Petit. After his term, Rolf Liebermann worked on his compositions and conducted the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg (1983-1988). He then returned to the Hamburg Opera for three seasons (1985-1988). After his death, the Paris Opera hosted a commemorative evening in February 26, 1999 and programmed his Medea opera in 2002.
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