Josef Ernst Köpplinger

Stage Director

Josef E. Köpplinger was born in Lower Austria. He studied at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and attended seminars in New York and London.

He got his first permanent position from Marietheres List at the City Theatre in Regensburg. His directing career brought him from Vienna via Germany to Switzerland, to France, England, America and Japan. His repertory includes all categories of drama from opera to operetta and musicals. For the Musical Festival at Prugg Castle (Lower Austria) he was appointed as the youngest artistic director in Austria. In 2004-2007 he was drama director at the theatre in St Gallen. In 2005 he was able to initiate the St Gallen Authorsʼ Week drama competition and, in addition, helped to found the St Gallen Festival. From 2007 to 2012 Josef E. Köpplinger was artistic director of Klagenfurt Municipal Theatre. There he in 2009 founded the MUT competition for musical entertainment theatre and staged, among other plays, the premieres of Peter Turriniʼs »Sylvester« and from the missing Cherubini opera »Koukourgi« which was broadcast live by 3Sat. Among his other guest director productions were: »Show Boat« (Opéra National du Rhin, 2002), »Der tollste Tag« (Vienna Volkstheater, 2003), »Gräfin Mariza« (2004) and »Der Opernball« (2005) at Gärtnerplatztheater, »Il barbiere di Siviglia« (Tokyo National Opera, 2005), Kienzlʼs »Evangelimann« (Vienna Volksoper, 2006), the German premiere of Hans Werner Henzeʼs »LʼUpupa« (Hamburg State Opera, 2006), »Les Misérables« (2007), »West Side Story« (2008) and »Le nozze di Figaro« (2010) at Graz Opera, »Hello, Dolly!« (Vienna Volksoper, 2010), Schnitzlerʼs »Das weite Land« (Theater in der Josefstadt, Vienna, 2010), »La traviata« (Aalto Theatre, Essen, 2012) and »Der Gockel« (Theater in der Josefstadt, Vienna, 2015).

Starting with the 2012/2013 season, Josef E. Köpplinger assumed artistic direction of Gärtnerplatztheater and has since then staged, among other things, »Im weißen Rössl«, »Anything Goes«, the premiere of Friedrich Cerhaʼs »Onkel Präsident«, »Der Mann von La Mancha«, the continental premiere of »Chitty Chitty Bang Bang«, »Die Zirkusprinzessin«, »Cinderella«, the world premiere of the new musical »Gefährliche Liebschaften« by Marc Schubring and Wolfgang Adenberg, »Singinʼ in the Rain«, »A Little Night Music«, »Viktoria und ihr Husar« and the world premiere of Johanna Dodererʼs opera »Liliom« for which he also wrote the libretto.

In 2012 the Munich press designated him as the »Abendzeitung Star of the Year« and awarded his team the »Tageszeitung Rose Bouquet«. In 2013 Josef E. Köpplinger was awarded the Bavarian Culture Prize, and in 2014 he received a second »Abendzeitung Star of the Year« for »Die Zirkusprinzessin«.

Michael Gruber

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