Just in: Opera giant is dead, at 67

Just in: Opera giant is dead, at 67


norman lebrecht

November 28, 2015

One of the most prolific and popular directors of opera and theatre productions, Luc Bondy, has died suddenly at the age of 67.

Luc Bondy

Swiss born, of Jewish parents, he stepped in 30 years ago as director of Berlin’s Schaubühne after Peter Stein’s resignation, earning widespread respect for both his imaginative and administrative brilliance.

He went on to work at Salzburg and headed the Vienna Festwochen until two years ago.

At the time of his death he was director of the Odean theatre in Paris.

A statement from President Hollande’s office said: ‘Although ill from his early years, he gave up nothing, working tirelessly, suffering but still tirelessly at work. He exemplified by his personal story and his outstanding work the culture of Europe.’

Luc’s opera journey started with a Vienna Don Giovanni conducted by Claudio Abbado in 1990. His Salome lit up Salzburg and Covent Garden and he was soon in demand the world over. His Tosca at the Met, loudly booed in 2009, was a cornerstone of the house’s move to modernise its production style.

His last opera premiere was Marc-André Dalbavie’s Charlotte Salomon at Salzburg in summer 2014.

May he rest in peace.



luc bondy1

(c) Betty Freeman/Lebrecht Music&Arts


A colleague’s tribute here.


Message from Dominique Meyer, Vienna State Opera:

„Mit Luc Bondy verband mich eine sehr vertrauensvolle Freundschaft. Sowohl als Mensch als auch als Künstler und Kollegen schätzte ich ihn sehr. Er war ein vielseitiger, universalgebildeter Theatermann mit einer ausgeprägten künstlerischen Bandbreite. Seine Inszenierung von „The Turn of the Screw“ etwa, die wir 2005 als Koproduktion des Théâtre des Champs-Elysées und des Festivals von Aix-en-Provence herausgebracht haben, ist eine meiner schönsten beruflichen Erinnerungen. Meine tief empfundene Anteilnahme gilt in diesen Stunden vor allem Lucs Frau Marie-Louise.“ Dominique Meyer



  • Marg says:

    I have enjoyed his productions incl his take on Tosca which continues to get criticised. A great loss to the Opera world.