Today Saxony’s Secretary of Science & Arts, Dr. Eva-Maria Stange,
announced the decision that Mrs. Hessler will lead the house starting 2010,
succeeding current intendant Gerd Uecker.
Ulrike Hessler (52) has been working at the Bavarian State Opera since
1984, working her way up from assistant to the press spokesperson’s to
director for public relations and program development. When the Bavarian
State Opera was without a GM during the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons, she
formed an interim directorship with Music Director Kent Nagano, running the
day to day affairs of the opera house.
Before working in the world of opera, Mrs. Hessler, who wrote her Ph.D.
thesis about Bernard von Brentano’s literature of exile, worked as a
free lance journalists for Bavarian Radio and a has written for
Harper’s and Vogue. She is a frequent guest lecturer at Universities
abroad and has been an Overseas Member of the Board of Governors der Tel Aviv
University since 1990.
According to the Saxonian Ministry of Science & Arts, the factor
deciding in favor of Ulrike Hessler was “the way how Mrs. Hessler thinks
about the future of an opera house like this and how a very active
repertoire- and ensemble theater with such a long tradition will successfully
the tough international competition.” Another important factor was the vision
with which Mrs. Hessler has developed ideas for sharpening the company’s
profile and the importance she places on better communications of the house
both internally and externally. Not the least her extensive leadership
experience at the Bavarian State Opera and her range of contacts to singers,
directors, dancers, and musicians has played a role. The former Director of
the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera, and Bavarian State
Opera, Sir Peter Jonas, was among the advisers to the ministry in this
decision. The famous tenor and conductor Peter Schreier welcomed the
decision, describing his impressions of Mrs. Hessler as an “incredibly
creative and decisive” collaborator.
product_title=Dr. Ulrike Hessler First Woman Appointed Intendant to Semper Oper in Dresden
product_by=Above: Ulrike Hessler (Photo courtesy of Creative Consultants for the Arts)