Podcast with ANDREAS MITISEK
Andreas Mitisek is currently Artistic and General Director of Long Beach Opera (LBO), which is well-known for its daring repertory and unconventional interpretations. Mitisek became LBO’s Principal Conductor in 1998 and Artistic & General Director in 2003.
His vision and leadership has helped LBO to double its budget ($430K to $1.3M), eliminate a longstanding deficit and to raise subscriptions by 500%. Mitisek transitioned the company from a festival format to a seasonal format of four productions a year. One of the artistic highlights included a newly-conceived production of The Ring Of The Nibelung presented in 2006.
Mitisek, who was appointed as Artistic & General Director in 2003, has further established LBO’s place as a leader in innovative and accessible opera. Southern California audiences have embraced LBO’s expanded artistic offerings as seen by a significant increase in ticket sales and first-time attendees.
LBO has presented one site-specific production per season since 2007, including performances in a popular night club, public parking garages, an Olympic swimming pool, the Ship hull of the Queen Mary, and a furniture warehouse. These performances have sold out each year since 2009 and audience demand has prompted LBO to provide additional performances.
During these years of growth, LBO has fostered collaborative partnerships with a number of Southern California arts organizations. Such partnerships have become the standard for LBO’s “Coincidence” series of insider season events (since 2009). In 2011, LBO forged a new partnership, co-hosting the Southern California Philip Glass Festival with Pacific Symphony Orchestra. In 2012, LBO will partner with the Aquarium of the Pacific by performing in the Aquarium’s Great Hall for the US premiere of The Paper Nautilus by Gavin Bryars. Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar is also part of the 2012 season, with an outdoor performance in downtown Long Beach, against the backdrop of a deserted six story office building.
From 1990-1997 Mitisek served as Founding and Artistic Director of the Wiener Operntheater (WOT) in his hometown of Vienna, Austria. He shaped WOT’s artistic profile of presenting 20th century and rarely seen works. He conducted premieres such as: John Adams’ Nixon in China, György Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre, Harry Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs. Kong, Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice, Krzysztof Penderecki’s The Devils of Loudun, and Aribert Reimann’s Das Schloss.
His work as guest conductor has taken him, among others, to Komische Oper Berlin (Fledermaus, Orpheus and Euridice), Wiener Volksoper (Guiditta, Midsummer Night’s Dream), Seattle Opera (Eugene Onegin, Der Freischuetz, Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni) Philadelphia Opera Company (Salome), Austin Lyric Opera (Salome, Rigoletto, Faust), Vancouver Opera (The Rake’s Progress), Opera Theater of St. Louis (American Premiere of Michael Berkley’s Jane Eyre), Santiago de Chile (Eugene Onegin), and Tokyo (Japanese Premiere of Minoru Miki’s Jouri).
In 2005 Mitisek extend his creative activities to include stage directing. He created and directed an award-winning version of Schubert’s Winterreise, with a new story combining Schubert’s song cycle and Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther. In 2006 another concept and treatment was the opera The Diary of Anne Frank by Grigori Frid, where Mitisek incorporated a Holocaust survivor and her memoirs into the story. It was performed in the transient space of underground parking garages as a metaphor for dislocation and abandonment. In 2008 he staged Ricky Ian Gordon’s Orpheus and Euridice in a 500,000 gallon Olympic size swimming pool. In 2009 he staged a double bill of Viktor Ullmann’s The Emperor of Atlantis and Carl Orff’s Die Kluge in the former engine rooms of the Queen Mary. In 2011 he conducted, staged and designed Medea by Cherubini in a furniture warehouse and conducted, staged and designed the West Coast Premiere of Akhnaten by Philip Glass.