Luc Bondy

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Luc Bondy (2013)

Luc Bondy ( July 17, 1948 in Zurich - November 28, 2015 there ) was a Swiss theater , film and opera director . From 2002 to 2013 he was director of the Wiener Festwochen .


Luc Bondy came from a well-known theater and literary family; he was the son of the Austro-Hungarian publicist and essayist François Bondy and a grandson of the author and playwright NO Scarpi . Bondy had a difficult childhood, grew up temporarily in a children's home in southern France, attended a boarding school and came to Paris in 1967 to attend the pantomime School of Jacques Lecoq study. In 1969 he got a job as assistant director at the Hamburg Thalia Theater , where he assisted Gustav Manker and Boy Gobert, among others . The first own productions began in 1970: at the Düsseldorf Schauspielhaus Leonce and Lena by Georg Büchner , in Göttingen The Fool and the Nun by Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz and in Hamburg The Maids by Jean Genet (an empty, sandy battlefield in a factory with bald actresses). In 1973 he achieved his breakthrough with Edward Bond's Die See at the Residenztheater in Munich . Siegfried Lowitz and Walter Schmidinger played among others . The production was invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen .

Frankfurt, Hamburg and Paris

From 1974 he was engaged as in-house director at the Schauspiel Frankfurt and shaped - alongside Peter Palitzsch and Hans Neuenfels  - the style of the house and the ensemble. In 1975 he first presented a piece by the Rococo poet Pierre Carlet de Marivaux  , who was then completely forgotten in Germany, at this house - The Impermanence of Love  - and achieved great success with it. This production was also invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen, as did eleven other works by the director. He also directed at the Schauspiel Köln , the Hamburger Schauspielhaus and the Münchner Kammerspiele . In 1976 he began working with the Berlin Schaubühne am Halleschen Ufer , with Else Lasker-Schüler's Die Wupper . In 1977 Alfred de Musset's Man Does Not Play With Love .

In 1978 he made his debut as an opera director with the Alban Berg opera Lulu at the Hamburg State Opera , at that time still in the two-act version from the composer's estate. It was there that the other Alban Berg opera, Wozzeck, followed in 1981 . The stage and costume designers for both productions were Rolf and Marianne Glittenberg , who worked with Bondy in drama and music theater for many years. The director also succeeded immediately in the opera, his opera productions were to be seen in the following decades in Vienna, Munich, New York, Brussels and Paris, as well as at the festivals of Salzburg , Aix-en-Provence and Edinburgh .

His first direction in France followed in 1984 - Schnitzler's Das weite Land in Nanterre with Michel Piccoli and Bulle Ogier as the Hofreiter couple - and the great success of this production led to repeated invitations to Paris. Under the title Terre étrangère , the director filmed Schnitzler's work in 1987, in an Austrian-German-French-Italian co-production, again with Piccoli and Ogier (the Hofreiter couple), as well as with Milena Vukotic , Jutta Lampe , Wolfgang Hübsch , Dominique Blanc , Gabriel Barylli and Paulus Manker as composer Alexander Korsakow.

Schaubühne on Lehniner Platz

Schaubühne on Lehniner Platz

After Peter Stein's resignation from the management of the Berlin Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz , Luc Bondy - together with the dramaturges Dieter Sturm and Christoph Leimbacher - surprisingly was appointed to the management committee in 1985. Although he only remained co-director there until 1988, he continued to work at this house until 1995. In 1985 he brought out another Marivaux play in Berlin, Der Triumph der Liebe , again invited to the Berlin Theatertreffen - a performance that was also made into a film. The cast with Jutta Lampe , Corinna Kirchhoff , Thomas Holtzmann , Libgart Schwarz , Ernst Stötzner , Mathias Gnädinger and Paul Burian was top-class. Luc Bondy staged plays by Cami , Guitry , Handke , Molière , Ostrowskij and Shakespeare's seldom played winter fairy tale at the Schaubühne . He also dealt extensively with the dramatic oeuvre of Botho Strauss : Kalldewey (1982), The tourist guide (1986), The time and the room (first performance 1989) and the final choir (1992, awarded as production of the year by the critics' survey by Theater heute ) .

Even after his time at the Schaubühne, Botho Strauss was to remain an important axis in his work. For example, he staged the world premiere of Unexpected Return at the Berliner Ensemble in 2002 and there in 2005 - with Edith Clever and Jutta Lampe - Die one und die other . At the Théâtre de l'Odéon in Paris he presented - also in 2005 - Desecration , a Titus-Andronicus adaptation by Botho Strauss. Other contemporary authors for whom Luc Bondy was committed are the French Yasmina Reza and the Austrian Peter Handke . Bondy staged two world premieres of Reza - Drei Mal Leben ( Akademietheater Wien , 2000) and Une pièce espagnole ( Théâtre de la Madeleine in Paris, 2004) - as well as one by Handke - The beautiful days of Aranjuez (Akademietheater, 2012).

Vienna, Salzburg and Brussels

Bondy came to Vienna with Marivaux and Mozart. The then director of the Wiener Festwochen , Ursula Pasterk , issued two invitations: in 1985 the Berlin Schaubühne made a guest appearance in Vienna with Marivaux's Triumph der Liebe, and in 1986 the Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie with Mozart's Così fan tutte . With these two extraordinary successes of Bondy the basis for long-term cooperation in drama and opera was laid. In 1990 the Vienna State Opera invited Bondy to work together with GMD Claudio Abbado at the Theater an der Wien da Pontes and Mozart's Don Giovanni as part of the festival weeks.

He performed in parallel with his Berlin work continues at German and French stages and was founded in 1992 by Gerard Mortier invited at the Salzburg Festival , the Salome by Oscar Wilde and Richard Strauss with Catherine Malfitano to stage in the title role. It was conducted by Christoph von Dohnányi . The production was so successful that it was taken over by the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London and shown at La Scala in Milan in 2007 , now with Nadja Michael in the title role. The world premiere of Botho Strauss ' The Balance followed in Salzburg in 1993, and in 1995 a new production of da Pontes and Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro with Nikolaus Harnoncourt at the podium of the Vienna Philharmonic .

1993 began a long-term collaboration with the Belgian composer Philippe Boesmans and the Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie . Luc Bondy adapted and was responsible for the libretti of Shakespeare's Winter Tales and three modern classics - Schnitzler's Reigen , Strindberg's Miss Julie and Gombrowicz's Yvonne, the Burgundy Princess . Boesmans wrote the music and Bondy staged the premieres in Brussels and at the Opéra National de Paris . Julie (2005) was also shown at the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence , Yvonne (2009) also at the Wiener Festwochen .

Wiener Festwochen

Poster of the Wiener Festwochen 2010

From 1997 onwards, Bondy shaped the Wiener Festwochen in a management position for seventeen years and, together with his acting directors Marie Zimmermann (2002–2007) and Stefanie Carp (2008–2013), brought it to international recognition. From 1997 onwards, artistic responsibility lay with a three-man board of directors for five years, with Bondy responsible for the acting area, Klaus-Peter Kehr for music theater and Hortensia Völckers for dance and special projects. The appointment was made by Ursula Pasterk, who was now city councilor responsible for culture. From 2002 to 2013 Luc Bondy was solely responsible as artistic director.

Luc Bondy's relationship with Vienna was always ambivalent. On the one hand, his productions were quickly celebrated and cheered by the public and the press, on the other hand, he himself was heavily criticized because of his long absence from Vienna and had to accept a series of subtle and less subtle humiliations. The first took place after his first production in Vienna in 1990. Although his Don Giovanni was enthusiastically applauded by the audience and the press, only the six originally planned festival week performances took place . The production was neither resumed nor taken over to the Haus am Ring. They preferred to continue to play the conventional and agreeable version of Franco Zeffirelli from 1972. The last was that the Burgtheater only rarely started its highly acclaimed Lear production with Gert Voss from 2007, but immediately after the end of Bondy's Vienna contract Peter Stein and Klaus Maria Brandauer had a new Lear developed.

"I have a love-hate relationship with Vienna, but love is greater," he said two years before his death.

new York

Luc Bondy has only staged once in New York - Puccini's Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera in 2009 - but that staging became a veritable scandal. In and outside of the theater. The premiere audience whistled and booed the director mercilessly, and Franco Zeffirelli attacked his colleague massively: “He's not second rate. He's third rate. "Bondy countered:" I'm a third-rate director, and he is a second assistant of Visconti. "He also tried to explain to Zeffirelli" who an opera like Tosca belongs to. As I understand it, it belongs to Puccini, at a concert it belongs to the interpreter, in any case it does not belong to Franco Zeffirelli alone. ”Here the exponents of faithfulness to the work and directorial theater came into direct confrontation.

The New York Tosca was a coproduction of the Met with the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and the Teatro alla Scala in Milan. It has proven to be extremely robust and durable since the scandal of the premiere night, is still on the repertoire of the three opera houses and was also performed on the anniversary of Luc Bondy's death in New York.

Théâtre de l'Odéon

Théâtre National de l'Odéon

In 2012 he took over the management of the Parisian Théâtre de l'Odéon and shifted the focus of his work to France. Bondy struggled with illness for many years. Nevertheless, he kept sitting at the control desk.

His last production was for Chekhov Ivanov , rehearsals had to start at Luc Bondy's home because he was convalescent after an operation. The premiere in February 2015 was received just as enthusiastically by the public and the press as many of his works before. Philippe Tessin, the critic of Le Figaro , headlined Ivanov in his brutal truth and praised the transience, melancholy and elegance of the performance. In the obituary of the same newspaper, the director is recognized as a Phoenix and his last work as a “masterpiece of delicacy and depth”.

Luc Bondy's last public appearance took place in mid-July 2015 as part of the Chekhov Festival in Moscow. His last Marivaux production - Les fausses confidences - with an exquisite cast ( Isabelle Huppert , Manon Combes , Louis Garrel , Yves Jacques , Sylvain Levitte , Jean-Pierre Malo , Bulle Ogier and Bernard Verley ) was invited to Moscow after a hundred sold-out Paris performances and was welcomed enthusiastically. This production was shown in Athens, Luxembourg, Lyon, Rennes and at the Ruhr Festival in Recklinghausen in 2014 .

The major new production of Shakespeare's Othello at the Théâtre de l'Odéon, with Philippe Torreton as Othello, Marina Hands as Desdemona and Micha Lescot as Iago, planned for January 2016 , was postponed to the next season a few weeks before his death. Bondy had refused to cast the role of the Moor of Venice based on the criterion of skin color: “Does nature have to coincide with the stage?” In 2014 he had already translated Shakespeare's text together with Daniel Loayza .

Again in Salzburg

Charlotte Salomon
Salzburg Festival 2014
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Director: Luc Bondy, stage: Johannes Schütz , costumes: Moidele Bickel , lighting: Bertrand Couderc , conductor: Marc-André Dalbavie

In summer 2014 he was the world premiere director of the opera Charlotte Salomon by Marc-André Dalbavie at the Salzburg Festival . Eleonore Büning praised this production in the FAZ as "a delicate total work of art" and as the "sparkling jewel of this year's festival". The opera was dedicated to the young Jewish artist Charlotte Salomon , who fled the Nazi regime to France with her grandparents, but in Nice in the south of France “in September 1943, newly married and five months pregnant, [...] denounced, arrested, after Auschwitz deported and murdered ”. Bondy, Dalbavie and the librettist Barbara Honigmann decided to cast the role of Charlotte Salomon twice - with the singer Marianne Crebassa and with the actress Johanna Wokalek . Both texts and gouaches by the artist were integrated into the production. Büning: "Yes, one can say without exaggeration: the audience was spellbound for almost two and a half hours."

In summer 2015 he was to stage Wolfgang Rihm's Conquest of Mexico in the Felsenreitschule at the Salzburg Festival . He had to cancel, his colleague Peter Konwitschny took over. Bondy was also to be the world premiere director of György Kurtág's only opera  - Fin de partie nach Beckett - which was planned for November 2016 at La Scala in Milan and was finally premiered there on November 15, 2018.


Luc Bondy died on November 28, 2015 at the age of 67 in Zurich. He leaves behind his wife Marie-Louise Bischofberger , who also works at the theater, and their twin children, a daughter and a son.


“What remains of a work of art is not an ideology, but poetry. A performance must assimilate a life experience that one can relate to, even if one knows that it is art. "

- Luc Bondy

“In Germany, the master (Peter Stein) was often chalked up for his search for harmony and beauty. Yes why? Why this masochistic longing for the broken, ugly in a country that still needs a lot of time anyway to learn something for the soul from the grace of the forms. I know that many believe that ugly and unpleasant things can be healed in the world with a mirror. But I mistrust this therapy. I don't even think there is one. "

- Luc Bondy : About Peter Stein

About Luc Bondy

“His productions demand from us today's horror, today's mercy, often today's laughter. They prevent us from making up for the plight of their creatures with those fake coins that we usually pocket for evening excursions to art and culture. "

- Ivan Nagel : About Luc Bondy

"I hate productions by people who have to prove their imagination every second," Bondy once said in the mirror . As a director he seduced and animated his actors. In his work, Ivan Nagel discovered a “disorder that forces us to look closely”, Bondy breaks open drawers and shakes off dogmas “through his human addiction”. Bondy was interested in people, not in theory. "

- Austria Press Agency : On the death of Luc Bondy, here quoted from Der Standard , November 28, 2015


In his obituary, Peter von Becker placed Luc Bondy in the league of seven most important directors from the 1970s onwards across Europe: “He was younger than Peter Brook , Peter Zadek , Peter Stein , Giorgio Strehler or George Tabori . But in this artistic league, like Patrice Chéreau, who also died too early two years ago . "

Important productions



Film direction and script

  • 1981: The Ortlieb women
  • 1987: The vast country
  • 2004: Let it be (Ne fais pas ça)
  • 2015: False Confidences (Les Fausses confidences)


Bondy with laudator Johanna Wokalek and presenter Sunnyi Melles at Nestroy 2013



Web links

Commons : Luc Bondy  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Gerhard Stadelmaier : On the death of Luc Bondy. The love player. Obituary in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung from November 29, 2015.
  2. You : To the Children: Conversation with Lillian Bondy, the wife of François , Heft 10, Volume 58 (1998)
  3. Süddeutsche Zeitung: The seducer of people. Retrieved April 19, 2020 .
  4. Bondy, Luc , accessed on June 14, 2020
  5. Felicitas Zürcher gives in Fifty Years of the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus: 1970 to 2020 on p. 71 the year 1972.
  6. ^ Gerhard Stadelmaier : Our bodies are still laughing , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , June 5, 2008, accessed on December 15, 2016.
  7. Theater director Luc Bondy has died. In: Der Standard , November 28, 2015, accessed November 29, 2015 .
  8. a b Peter von Becker : Like a late summer guest , Die Zeit , November 30, 2015
  9. Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz : On the death of Luc Bondy , accessed on December 6, 2015
  10. ^ Hamburger Abendblatt : As told by children , March 21, 1981
  11. ^ Manfred Brauneck: The world as a stage: history of the European theater . Fifth volume. Verlag JB Metzler, Stuttgart and Weimar 2007, pp. 363 to 367.
  12. Profile : Peter Stein fails because of & # 132; King Lear & # 147; in the Burgtheater , January 10, 2014
  13. ^ ORF : Luc Bondy: "Love-hate" in Vienna , November 28, 2015
  14. Die Zeit : "I've liked to get bogged down my life" , December 30, 2009
  15. Holde Kunst: Met “Tosca” Booed: Luc Bondy vs. Franco Zeffirelli , September 23, 2009
  16. a b c NZZ : Not every call is answered during the holidays , Luc Bondy in conversation with Barbara Villiger Heilig, September 1, 2015
  17. Ivanov dans sa vérité brutale. In: Le Figaro , February 13, 2015, accessed November 29, 2015 (French).
  18. ^ Armelle Heliot: Luc Bondy, la mort du phénix. In: Le Figaro , November 28, 2015, accessed November 29, 2015 (French).
  19. Facebook: Isabelle Hupert , with 29 scenes from Les fausses confidences , accessed on November 29, 2015
  20. Théâtre de l'Odéon : Report de la céation du spectacle à la Saison 2016–2017 , accessed on November 29, 2015
  21. Othello , accessed December 5, 2015
  22. ^ Eleonore Büning: Images become music. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , July 29, 2014, accessed on November 29, 2015 .
  23. Alexandra Kedves: The people addict . Obituary in: Tages-Anzeiger from November 29, 2015.
  24. ^ Barbara Villiger Heilig : On the death of the great theater director Luc Bondy. He captured life on stage. Obituary in: Neue Zürcher Zeitung from November 28, 2015.
  25. Luc Bondy: A doubter who says yes - Learning for the soul from the grace of forms: For Peter Stein's 60th birthday. In: Berliner Zeitung , October 1, 1997, p. 13.
  26. Both quotations from: Akademie der Künste Berlin : Directors: Luc Bondy , March 31, 2004.
  27. Shakespeare wave at the castle rolls on. In:
  28. ↑ The Volksbühne Berlin schedule ( memento of the original from 23 September 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  29. FAZ from October 1, 2010, page 36: Liebestrauerlustspiel under gallows knitting
  30. MetOpera  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  31. Gold Medal of Honor for Festival Director Luc Bondy. City hall correspondence of May 14, 2007; ( larger image ) Retrieved June 15, 2010.
  32. Spelling also Natasa Siuzulē (Greek art scholar).