Peter Sellars

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Peter Sellars (2011)

Peter Sellars (born September 27, 1957 in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania ) is an American theater director.

Sellars graduated from the renowned Phillips Academy in Massachusetts in 1975 and then studied literature and music at Harvard University . In 1980 he made his debut as a stage director in New York. He traveled to Japan, China and India for further theater studies. In 1983 he was a MacArthur Fellow . In the same year he was appointed theater director of the Boston Shakespeare Company and in 1984 director of the American National Theater in Washington DC. In Boston he already made a name for himself as a director of modern interpretations of operas such as Così fan tutte , The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni . These productions were recorded for American television and made his name known. He also went on tour for the first time in Europe with these operas.

Sellars was a guest at the Salzburg Festival ( 1992 Saint François d'Assise ) and at the Glyndebourne Opera Festival. In 2000 he staged the world premiere of Kaija Saariaho's opera L'amour de loin at the Salzburg Festival. In 2004 his interpretation of Euripides ' The Children of Heracles was performed at the Wiener Festwochen . In 2006 he was commissioned by the Mozart Year boss Peter Marboe to organize the “New Crowned Hope” festival in Vienna as part of the Mozart Year.

In 2010 he staged a staged performance of the St. Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach in the Berlin Philharmonic together with Simon Rattle and Simon Halsey . The staging of the St. John Passion by JS Bach took place in 2014 in Berlin with almost the same cast. 2017 he is at the Salzburg Festival in La clemenza di Tito directing.

Sellars has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2006 .

In August 2014, Peter Sellars was honored with the Swedish Polar Music Prize alongside the US rock'n'roll pioneer Chuck Berry .


  • Gottfried Meyer-Thoss: Extracts. Peter Sellars - American World Theater , Parthas Verlag Berlin 2004

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Chuck Berry honored with the Polar Prize in his absence. Süddeutsche Zeitung , August 26, 2014, accessed on August 25, 2020 .