General Director of the Opera Frankfurt
A native of Frankfurt am Main born in 1952, Bernd Loebe studied piano privately while still at law school in that city. From 1975 to 1980, he was a regular contributor to both the Neue Musikzeitung and the international opera magazine, Opernwelt, as well as to the music pages of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. It was also during this time that he began working as a freelancer for Leo Karl Gerhartz at Hessische Rundfunk, one of Germany's public radio and TV networks.
He joined HR's music department as an editor in 1979 and was later appointed Opera Editor, a position that entailed reporting on numerous international festivals, including Salzburg and Bayreuth, as well as assuming responsibility for various series devoted to classical music. It was under Bernd Loebe, for example, that the early-morning program, Musik vor dem Alltag, was transformed into a moderated magazine.
In November 1990, Bernd Loebe was appointed Artistic Director of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. Since then, he has sat on the juries of numerous international singing competitions (including Barcelona and Busseto) and in 1999 assisted the director, Keith Warner, and the conductor, Antonio Pappano, on the most recent Bayreuth producton of Wagner's Lohengrin.
Bernd Loebe became an advisor to Paolo Carignani, General Music Director in Frankfurt, in September 2000 and took up the post of Director of the Frankfurt Opera on 1 September 2002. Even after his first season there (2002/03), critics writing for Opernwelt declared Frankfurt "Opera House of the Year 2003" - much to the delight of opera-lovers both in Frankfurt and throughout the Rhine-Main region. The following season was also a great success: In a survey among German dramatists conducted by Die deutsche Bühne, a publication of the Union of German Theaters, Frankfurt Opera House was ranked first in the category "Best Overall Performance" - ahead of the Thalia Theater Hamburg. This achievement is all the more remarkable when one considers how spoken drama tends to take precedence over opera in media coverage of the German theater scene.
Bernd Loebe regards both this success and the approval his work has met with among opera-goers as confirmation of his commitment to making the Frankfurt Opera House successful not just by engaging international stars, but also by forging an excellent ensemble and by including in the program some of the repertoire's lesser known works.