Kasper Holten
Director

“Holten’s handiwork is unimpeachable, his images memorably wrought.” (Financial Times)

Contacts

Ian Stones +44 (0)20 3725 9104
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Biography

Director of Opera: Royal Opera House


Kasper Holten is Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, where his recent productions include Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni. This season Kasper Holten makes his debut at Wiener Staatsoper with Idomeneo and directs the Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Szymanowski’s Król Roger.

Internationally, Kasper Holten has staged Lohengrin for the Deutsche Oper Berlin and a string of productions for the Theater an der Wien including Rihm’s Jakob Lenz, Menotti's Goya,

Le nozze di Figaro and Johannes Kalitzke’s Die Besessenen. He also

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Director of Opera: Royal Opera House


Kasper Holten is Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, where his recent productions include Eugene Onegin and Don Giovanni. This season Kasper Holten makes his debut at Wiener Staatsoper with Idomeneo and directs the Royal Opera’s first ever staging of Szymanowski’s Król Roger.

Internationally, Kasper Holten has staged Lohengrin for the Deutsche Oper Berlin and a string of productions for the Theater an der Wien including Rihm’s Jakob Lenz, Menotti's Goya,

Le nozze di Figaro and Johannes Kalitzke’s Die Besessenen. He also directed Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt for Finnish National Opera. Last season saw an acclaimed staging of Cavalli’s L’Ormindo at the The Globe Theatre’s new Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Equally adept in the theatre, Holten's work includes Iphigenia at the new National Theatre in Copenhagen, A Clockwork Orange for the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, and Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew and Hamlet.

Kasper Holten has directed a contemporary and ground-breaking motion picture JUAN – an adaptation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, sung in a modern English translation and filmed on location in Budapest.

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Contacts

Ian Stones +44 (0)20 3725 9104
Catherine Znak +44 (0)20 3725 9105

Reviews

“Holten creates a striking visual framework: a permanent amphitheatre-like structure surround a monumental head that revolves to reveal Roger’s compartmentalised psyche…Holten throws in a few political glosses: the book-burning instigated by the Shepherd’s Bacchic followers seems to imply an identification with the rise of fascism in the 1920s, the era of the work’s genesis…it’s a tribute to Holten’s work that it asks pertinent questions, even if it can’t always supply answers about what remains one of the most enigmatic works in the repertoire.” (The Times, May 2015)

“the production

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“Holten creates a striking visual framework: a permanent amphitheatre-like structure surround a monumental head that revolves to reveal Roger’s compartmentalised psyche…Holten throws in a few political glosses: the book-burning instigated by the Shepherd’s Bacchic followers seems to imply an identification with the rise of fascism in the 1920s, the era of the work’s genesis…it’s a tribute to Holten’s work that it asks pertinent questions, even if it can’t always supply answers about what remains one of the most enigmatic works in the repertoire.” (The Times, May 2015)

“the production [is] directed with flair, clarity and intelligence by Kasper Holten.” (The Telegraph, May 2015)

“Religion, the pull between western and eastern cultures and the repression of sensuality provide the opera with a breeding ground of ambiguity and many an opportunity for rampant flights of directorial fancy. Holten has demythologised it in order to make King Roger’s dilemma unequivocally contemporary. He’s the individual in crisis, doubting his identity and his marriage to Roxana, and the triumph of Holten’s direction is that, despite his stripping away of ambiguity, the work still retains its elusive mystery…Holten’s direction is stunningly direct here.” (Classical Source, May 2015)

“Director Kasper Holten adopts a shrewd, at times restrained approach, more cerebral than sybaritic, as he translates the 12th century, Christian Sicily to the modern age.” (Opera Today, May 2015)

“Kasper Holten’s production, the first for the Royal Opera, accentuates the conceptual nature of the opera. Holten’s production does an impressive job of exploring its concepts – perhaps more psychologically than philosophically. It’s a production well worth exploring” (Bachtrack, May 2015)

“Kasper Holten’s production of Krol Roger is also the first by the Royal Opera, and easily the best thing Holten has directed since he became its head of opera.” (The Guardian, May 2015)

“Holten’s production, with designs by Mia Stensgaard, has the makings of a classic. Having shifted arias between the second and third acts, Holten has turned this opera [Idomeneo] into a dramatic showdown…A gripping production with strong images that will maintain it in the repertoire.” (Wiener Zeitung, October 2014)

“In Kasper Holten's graceful staging, wholly audible in Christopher Cowell's English translation and with gorgeous Venetian-Oriental costumes by Anja Vang Kragh, the opera came to sparkling life.” (Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, March 2014).

“Kasper Holten’s production of Cavalli’s rom-com is a delightful spectacle which had the audience purring with pleasure and roaring its applause.” (Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, March 2014)
 
“Holten stages it wonderfully well. Gods descend through the ceiling, and Amidas is conned into believing that spirits erupt through the floor. The servants trade amorous indiscretions with the audience, while their masters succumb self-pityingly to the vagaries of desire. A more exquisite evening would be hard to imagine” (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, March 2014)

"All this helps the film’s conviction. So does Holten’s stylistic treatment, reminiscent of the contemporary urban thriller...Holten has created a film that treats the opera with the respectful kind of disrespect that leaves the work’s core intact. " (The Times, September 2012)

“The Emperor’s Red Falcon has surely never been more convincingly done. His characterizations of the important figures of the drama were handled with a straightforward clarity that anyone without a detailed knowledge of the text would have been able to follow. In this opera that is an achievement. The staging looked beautiful, sometimes breathtaking.” (Die Frau ohne Schatten - Opera Magazine, September 2011)

“Holten’s handiwork is unimpeachable, his images memorably wrought.” (Tannhäuser - Financial Times, December 2009)

“This is a wonderful Ring to watch as well as to listen to, a must-have for Wagnerians anywhere.” (Opera Magazine, November 2008)

 

Discography

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