First Kapellmeister leaves Theater Erfurt

Yannis Pouspourikas bids farewell to Erfurt conducting the 30th anniversary of DomStufen-Festspiele

Since beginning of the 2020/21 season, Yannis Pouspourikas has been Theater Erfurt’s 1st Kapellmeister. The internationally renowned and successful French conductor moved from Zurich to Erfurt in 2020 for love. He has been enriching Theater Erfurt especially with his individual interpretations of well-known works such as those by Offenbach, Rossini and Berlioz. In order to understand music properly, one has to know the respective composer’s language and ideally speak it oneself. Thanks to his own Greek-Argentinean roots and his many language skills, from French to Spanish, German, English, Greek and Flemish, Pouspourikas not only understands many works in general, but also elaborates their corresponding characteristics. As musical director of the 30th anniversary of DomStufen-Festspiele with a new production of Faust's Damnation (La Damnation de Faust), Pouspourikas knows how to interpret the French composer Hector Berlioz's love of freedom. The audience can already look forward to an extraordinary variety of sounds with emotional depth.

Chorus director Markus Baisch describes Berlioz's stage work as a wonderful spectacle that will demand a great deal from Theater Erfurt’s opera chorus, Philharmonischer Chor Erfurt and guesting chorus members. "The music creates images that one can enjoy even with their eyes closed," Yannis Pouspourikas promise while Markus Baisch cites the drinking scene in Auerbach's cellar as an example, in which the music itself sounds drunk.

Pouspourikas was the first to conduct DomStufen-Festspiele “remotely” from the theater’s auditorium, due to the fact that since two years ago the music of Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt is being transmitted to the cathedral square via fibre-optic cables. As musical director of Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans (Орлеанская дева) as well as of Verdi's Nabucco, he mastered the challenge of not having direct eye contact with the singers in the cathedral square. They see the conductor only through the monitor. Consequently, Pouspourikas has to be particularly anticipatory in indicating musical entries and tempo changes so that everything sounds well together.

Yannis Pouspourikas' special bond with Theater Erfurt will accompany him on his professional path, which will initially take him back to Switzerland. First, however, we look forward to the 30th DomStufen-Festspiele in Erfurt – for the time being the last under his musical direction.

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