Saturday, 13 December 2014

Max Hoehn awarded the 2015 Independent Opera Director Fellowship

Handel Furioso - devised and directed by Max Hoehn, photo Robert Workman
Handel Furioso - devised and directed by Max Hoehn,
photo Robert Workman
The young director Max Hoehn has been awarded the 2014 Independent Opera Director Fellowship. This consists of a director's stipend of £15,000 plus production costs of £28,0000 which will enable Hoehn to stage the UK premiere of Austrian composer Simon Vosecek's Biedermann und die Brandstifter at Sadler's Wells in 2015. Hoehn will receive mentoring from David Pountney and Welsh National Opera between January and June next year. The fellowship is part of Independent Opera's programme of scholarships, fellowships, partnerships and patronage which provides support for younger opera practitioners.

Vosek's opera Biedermann und die Brandstifter (Biedermann and the Arsonists) is based on Max Frisch's play of the same name and was written in 2005-2007. The opera was premiered in 2013 by Neue Oper Wien (see a review on I Care If You Listen). Frisch's 1950's play describes the decompositional process of a supposedly perfect world faced with real evil. Vosek's reflects this in the opera, as the music starts by adhering to classical rules but gradually more and more rules are lost until at the end the performers are rendered speechless reflecting the innate evil which invades Biedermann's world.

Max Hoehn translated Khovanshchina/Khovanskygate: A National Enquiry for Graham Vick's recent Birmingham Opera production on which he worked as Assistant Director. Max Hoehn has directed at the Tête à Tête and Grimeborn Festivals, including Handel Furioso, a newly devised piece based on Handel and presented by his own opera company Isle of Noise (see my review). As an Assistant Director, Max has worked at Opernhaus Zürich and Theater an der Wien, as well as at Grange Park Opera, Glyndebourne and the Edinburgh International Festival.

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