Alexander Donath - Director

Photo of Alexander Donath
photo: Sabine Bergk

Visit the photo galleries of Alexander Donath's productions

The multitalented young stage director Alexander Donath is forging a distinguished international career. Most recently, he directed Il barbiere di Siviglia at Germany's Theater Hof and Der Rosenkavalier for Michigan Opera Theatre in the United States.

He staged his first production of Puccini's La Bohème in 1992 at Walnut Creek, California's Festival Opera. In 1997, he directed Mozart's Die Zauberflöte for Opera Româna Timisoara in Rumania.

From 1987 to 1992, he worked as assistant to Harry Kupfer on the now legendary production of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the renowned Bayreuth Richard Wagner Festival. Other productions with Mr. Kupfer include Mozart's Idomeneo and Bizet's Carmen at Berlin's Komische Oper, and Massenet's Werther at the Hamburgische Staatsoper.

He later served as assistant director at the Bath & Wessex Opera and contributed to new productions of Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and Puccini's La Bohème with renown soprano Renée Fleming. He also assisted on a new production of The Ballad of Baby Doe by Douglas Moore at Austin Lyric Opera in Texas, and participated in Germany's Spandau Summer Festival.

In addition to opera, Alexander Donath has worked in the legitimate and musical theatre, and regularly works on classical music programs for Germany's NDR television in Hamburg.

A man of many and diverse interests, Mr. Donath is a student of the Law and Business Administration, he holds graduate degrees in Theatre Science and Developmental Psychology, he has been an instructor of Theatre Science at the Institut für Theaterwissenschaft in Berlin. He is also co-author of the stage play, Speechless.


Strauss - Der Rosenkavalier:
"Alexander Donath broke with tradition and the libretto in several instances. The opening scene, for example, had the Marschallin and Octavian on the floor, post-coital; at opera's end, though an unpeopled stage is called for, the page enters with another servant, and together they scamper around the intertwined bodies of Sophie and Octavian, pre-coital. Is it an improvement? It is poetically apt, though just a bit blatant."
THE OAKLAND PRESS - Michael Margolin - April 2000
"Michigan Opera Theatre's current production of this bitter-sweet tale of romantic love is an entertaining gestalt, replete with many smart and lovely moments, most furnished by the leading female voices and deft stage direction of Alexander Donath…Alexander Donath's efficient direction nicely balances buffoonery with seriousness. There are many poignant details, including an inspired reflection of the Marschallin's lost youth as she sings of the inevitable march of time."
DETROIT FREE PRESS- Mark Stryker - April 2000
Rossini - Il barbiere di Siviglia:
"The director (Alexander Donath) was born in 1968, but that doesn't mean he mimics the 1960's criticism of capitalism. He does not ruin the opera by trying to use it to teach a lesson, he uses characteristically exaggerated scenes and situations to bring insight."
FRANKENPOST - Michael Thumser - March 2000
"This Rossini is absolutely modern - in spirit of the age…In addition, Alexander Donath set this masterpiece in a stylized present time…Time and again, there was applause for the staging and in the lively conclusion several 'bravos' were also mixed in for this animated production of a high level."
NORDBAYERISCHER KURIER - Alexander Dick - April 2000
"The talented young director, Alexander Donath, set Beaumarchais' 18th century Seville in a toy store. In addition, the movie projection that came on and off was a second unfamiliar device that served the staging well."
BAYERISCHE STAATSZEITUNG - Horst Pöhlmann - March 2000
Puccini - La Bohème:
"Director Alexander Donath emphasizes the youth of these characters with lots of pranks and games between Rodolfo and his attic roommates. Where it counts, though, Donath lets Puccini's music do the work."
CONTRA COSTA TIMES - Robert Collins - July 1992
Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at Bayreuth; Mozart's Idomeneo at the Komische Oper, Berlin; and Massenet's Werther at the Hamburgische Staatoper, Hamburg:
"Alexander Donath's active intelligence, his pleasant radiance, politeness in association with superiors and colleagues brings him rapidly to a special place with a director's team. I would appreciate the opportunity to work with Alexander Donath again at any time."
Harry Kupfer - 1991

Director Alexander Donath Prepares

2000 Der Rosenkavalier Michigan Opera Theatre, USA Director
  Il barbiere di Siviglia Theater Hof, Germany Director
1997 Die Zauberflöte Opera Româna Timisoara, Rumania Director
1991-Present classical music programs NDR TV Hamburg, Germany Assistant Director/Assistant Editor
  Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival
  Clara Schumann Portrait    
  Belcanto-Gala I Cestelli    
  Künstlerportraits Ning Liang und Simon Yang
  Recitals with: Jane Eaglen, Christoph Eschenbach, Renée Fleming, and Günter Wand
1996-7 The Ballad of Baby Doe Austin Lyric Opera, USA Assistant Director
1993-96 courses in Theatre Science Institut für Theaterwissenschaft Berlin University Instructor
1992 La Bohème Bath and Wessex Opera, UK Assistant Producer
1992 La Bohème Festival Opera, USA Director
  I'm Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road Open Air Musical Festival, Berlin Production & Directorial Assistant
1991-2 Dido and Aeneas Bath and Wessex Opera, UK Assistant Producer
1990-2000   Freie Universität, Berlin MA Theatre Science
    Freie Universität, Berlin MA Developmental Psychology
1987-92 Der Ring des Nibelungen Bayreuther Festspiele Assistant to H. Kupfer
  Idomeneo Komische Oper, Berlin Assistant to H. Kupfer
  Carmen Komische Oper, Berlin Assistant to H. Kupfer
  Werther Hamburgische Staatsoper, Germany Assistant to H. Kupfer
1989-90   Universität Bayreuth, Germany Cert. Law & Business Administration
1988-89   Military Service, Germany