Ainars Rubikis to be Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin from 2018/19

Announced this morning, Ainars Rubikis will take over as Generalmusikdirektor (Music Director) of the Komische Oper Berlin starting with the 2018/19 season. Dr. Klaus Lederer, Berlin Minister for Culture and Europe and Chairman of the Foundation Oper in Berlin, and Barrie Kosky, Artistic and General Director of the Komische Oper Berlin, presented the Generalmusikdirektor designate at the signing of the contract on Monday morning.

Ainars Rubikis won both the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition of the Bamberger Symphoniker in 2010 and the Nestlé and Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award in 2011 – two of the most important competitions for emerging conductors. He served as Music Director and Chief Conductor of Novosibirsk State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre from 2012 to 2014, conducting a wide repertoire. He is a regular guest at the Latvian National Opera in his hometown Riga, as well as a guest conductor at opera houses world-wide. In the 2016/17 season, debuts have included Lyric Opera of Chicago (Carmen) and Theater Basel (La forza del destino) and he previously conducted Boris Godunov at the Bolshoi-Theatre in Moscow. In summer 2017 he will conduct a new production of Der fliegende Holländer at the Passionstheater Oberammergau. Ainars will make his debut with Welsh National Opera in autumn 2017, with a new production of Eugene Onegin to open the season.

Starting in autumn 2018, Ainars’ contract with the Komische Oper Berlin will run for three years with an option to extend until 2021/22, the final season of Barrie Kosky’s directorship. He will make his full debut with the company as early as summer 2018, taking over the musical direction of the production The Nose, staged by Barrie Kosky. The co-production with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and Opera Australia will premiere in Berlin on 16 June.

Ainars said: “Taking on the position of Music Director of the Komische Oper Berlin also means to me to manage the entire theatre collectively, and being held responsible for it, the joining together of the soloists, orchestra musicians, choral singers, stage workers, seamstresses, decorators, ticket vendors, to work together for all those who care about the theatre. It should be a cooperative effort towards a common purpose – to create a miracle for everyone including the audience. But not only this. The main joy for me is that I will meet a new creative family, where we will stand and fall together – heal heartaches and celebrate the successes together. In short, to be together in the joys and sorrows.”

Barrie Kosky, Artistic and General Director, said: “Ainars Rubikis is one of the most exciting young opera talents in Europe. After winning both the Bamberg (2010) and Salzburg (2011) conducting competitions, Ainars has embarked on a very successful opera career. He conducted a marvellous Onegin performance here in the Komische Oper Berlin in winter last year as well as a thrilling symphony concert in February. He is a smart, talented theatre man and a team player. I look forward to working with Ainars in the next years and am delighted that he will make his debut as our new Generalmusikdirektor with my production of The Nose in June 2018.”

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