A native of Hamburg, stage director Christian Räth is renowned throughout Europe, Japan and the USA. His work encompasses a large and diverse repertoire, ranging from Wagner, Strauss, Janácěk, Puccini, Verdi, Donizetti, Mozart, Britten and Bartok, through to musicals and contemporary creations. In addition to creative work on new productions, he is also responsible for the staging of many revivals. He is the collaborator of choice for several of the world’s leading directors, including Robert Carsen, Laurent Pelly and Francesca Zambello.
Engagements in the 2011/12 season included the design and direction of an acclaimed new production of Tristan und Isolde for The Dallas Opera, revivals of Laurent Pelly’s celebrated La fille du régiment at the Metropolitan Opera New York and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and collaborations on revivals of Offenbach’s La Vie Parisienne for Opéra National de Lyon and Massenet’s Manon at the Metropolitan Opera New York and at Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
Plans include Verdi’s Un Giorno di Regno for Glimmerglass Festival, Fidelio for Opéra National de Lyon, as well as revivals of La fille du regiment for l’Opéra National de Paris and Staatsoper Wien, and collaborations on Les contes d’Hoffmann for San Francisco Opera and Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona and Manon at Théâtre du Capitole, Toulouse, the Metropolitan Opera and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In September 2012 Christian was associate director in collaboration with Robert Carsen on the world première of JJR – Citoyen de Genève at the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
During the 2010/11 season Christian Räth was associate director for San Francisco Opera’s complete Ring Cycle (co-production with Washington National Opera), in collaboration with Francesca Zambello. That same season he directed revivals of her Billy Budd in Paris and Salome at the Saito Kinen Festival, and of Pelly’s l’elisir d’amore at Teatro alla Scala, Milan and at the Mariinskij Theatre, St Petersburg. Projects in 2009/10 included a new production of Falstaff in Washington, and Christian also staged Robert Carsen’s Ariadne auf Naxos at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and at the Royal Opera Copenhagen, and was associate director for Siegfried in Washington and for La traviata in Santa Fe.
Other productions include Die Zauberflöte at Cairo Opera House, Roméo et Juliette at Houston Grand Opera, Fidelio and Luisa Miller at The Dallas Opera, and Carmen at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. He also staged revivals of Il Trovatore and Westside Story on the floating stage at the Bregenz Festival, and other houses where he has worked include Théâtre Royale de la Monnaie, Brussels (Mithridate), the Raimund Theatre Vienna (Rebecca (world première)), and Teatro Real Madrid (Luisa Miller). Further recent collaborations include Porgy and Bess in Lyon, Das Rheingold and Die Walkϋre in San Francisco and Washington, Billy Budd in Los Angeles and Tel Aviv, Cunning Little Vixen in Saito Kinen and Platée in Santa Fe.
Christian Räth obtained a masters degree in Musiktheater-Regie from the Hochschule fϋr Musik und Theater in Hamburg. He studied musicology, literature and psychology at the University of Hamburg, and also participated in several masterclasses on opera directing with Harry Kupfer. In 1995 he was invited to join the Grand Théâtre de Genève, where he held the position of staff director until 2001.