In memory of Andreas K. W. Meyer

2 June 1958 - 8 April 2023

Andreas K. W. Meyer unexpectedly died of heart failure on Holy Saturday, 8 April 2023.

Andreas K. W. Meyer was the head dramaturg at the Deutsche Oper Berlin under the directorship of Kirsten Harms from 2004 to 2012, during which time he played a major role in shaping the opera’s artistic oeuvre. He primarily focused on reviving unjustly forgotten, rarely performed works from among the repertoire, in particular works from the early 20th century that he knew like no other.

He had made a name for himself in this regard at the Oper Kiel. Meyer, born in Bielefeld, began his career as a dramaturg in Kiel in 1993 and, as of 2002, took on the role of chief dramaturg for music and assistant artistic director under Kirsten Harms. Andreas K. W. Meyer’s career began with his study of Music, Art History, and German Studies at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster and private composition studies with Rudolf Mors, followed by some years as a freelance critic for the Frankfurter Rundschau, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Bayrischer Rundfunk, and others.

Works that enjoyed great popularity nationwide during Meyer’s time in Kiel included a cycle with little known works by Franz Schreker, as well as a reimagining of Gian Francisco Malipiero’s I CAPRICCI DI CALLOT and Franco Alfano’s CYRANO DE BERGERAC.

After he relocated to the Deutsche Oper Berlin for the 2004/2005 season, Andreas K. W. Meyer continued this tradition and oversaw productions such as Alberto Franchetti’s GERMANIA and Alexander Zemlinsky’s DER TRAUMGÖRGE, Vittorio Gnecchi’s CASSANDRA, Ottorino Respighi’s MARIE VICTOIRE, Hermann Wolfgang von Waltershausen’s OBERST CHABERT, and Walter Braunfels’ SZENEN AUS DEM LEBEN DER HEILIGEN JOHANNA, which was deemed “Rediscovery of the Year” by the journal Opernwelt in 2008.

Numerous productions from those years also appeared on CD and DVD, including the Grammy-nominated DVD production of Christof Loys’ production of Leoš Janáček’s JENUFA from 2016, the DVD of Philipp Stölzl’s production of Richard Wagner’s RIENZI, DER LETZTE DER TRIBUNEN, CD recordings of MARIE VICTOIRE, OBERST CHABERT, and GERMANIA, as well as rarities such as a CD containing Lorenzo Palomo’s DULCINEA, CD recordings of the concert productions of Carl Orff’s GISEI – DAS OPFER created in cooperation with Deutschlandradio Kultur, and Felix Weingartner’s DIE DORFSCHULE.

Andreas K. W. Meyer relocated to the Oper Bonn to serve as opera director and assistant general artistic director in the 2013/2014 season, where he had a major impact on the productions hosted there. He brought such operas as DER TRAUM EIN LEBEN by Walter Braunfels and HOLOFERNES by Emil Nikolaus von Reznicek to Bonn, and initiated a series of events known as FOKUS ’33 – FORSCHUNGSREISE ZU DEN URSACHEN VON VERSCHWINDEN UND VERBLEIBEN that ran in parallel to productions like Rolf Liebermann’s LEONORE 40/45, Giacomo Meyerbeer’s EIN FELDLAGER IN SCHLESIEN, Alberto Franchetti’s ASRAEL, and Clemens von Franckenstein’s LI-TAI-PE. Andreas K. W. Meyer was most recently working on preparations for the first non-cancelled revival of Franz Schreker’s DER SINGENDE TEUFEL.

Andreas K. W. Meyer was an infectiously passionate lover of opera, and his passing marks his departure from a life filled to the brim with the theatre. Our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends, and long-time partner Claudia Gotta. The Deutsche Oper Berlin will keep his memory alive with the dignity owed to it.


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