Since September 2007, Laurent Brunner is director of Chateau de Versailles Spectacles. He has developed the company significantly in the last ten years, increasing the number of paying visitors by 100% with 1.600.000 tickets in 2016, reopening the Opera Royal, which has been offering a season of around 80 performances every year since 2009 and producing the major Versailles contemporary art exhibitions: from Jeff Koons in 2008 to Olafur Eliasson in 2016. The musical season offers concerts and operas with stars of classical music (Cecilia Bartoli, Philippe Jaroussky, Jordi Savall, John Eliot Gardiner, Raphael Pichon, William Christie….) in the most prestigious venues of the chateau: the Opera Royal, the Chapel and Hall of Mirrors.
Chateau de Versailles de Spectacles today is a company with an annual budget of 16M€ which receives no subsidies from the government. It has 30 permanent employees and 400 summer season staff.
Born in Lorraine in the east of France, Laurent Brunner grew up in Verdun, a landmark city where history and the French-German axis are deeply rooted. He chose Strasbourg for his history and history of art studies. This is where he discovered ancient music and the opera and he launched a festival in Verdun in 1990. Its success led him to the organization of a full season in 1991 and ultimately to a merger with the Theatre Municipal, which became an official state supported stage in 1992.
In 1996, Laurent Brunner became director of the Scène Nationale de Forbach et de l’Est Mosellan (national stage of Forbach and East Moselle), covering 23 cities of the Lorraine coal basin, which he modernised and renamed Le Carreau (The Pithead). The Scène Nationale set up camp in a former pithead (Carreau Wendel in Petite Rosselle) to present shows and performances, strongly developing the offer of classic music in very diverse settings. He developed a project for Mission 2000 en France, with the renovation of an industrial building for the exhibition L’Aventure du travail (The Adventure of Work), coproduced by the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Paris) and the Centro de Cultura Contemporanea (Barcelona), with a budget of 3 million euros and 5 million euros renovation works. In 2002 he became also director of the Festival Perspectives in Saarbrücken (Germany).
In May 2002, he joined the cabinet of the French Minister for Culture Jean Jacques Aillagon, as the minister’s technical adviser for performing arts. He was then appointed Cultural Attaché to the French embassy in Berlin (Germany), before moving to Versailles.
Evamaria Wieser was born in Vienna. She studied piano, singing and languages.
After a few years at the Holender Agency in Vienna, from 1980-1988, she worked as an artistic director at the Bavarian State Opera of Munich.
In autumn 1989, she was appointed arts administrator of the Salzburg Festival under the direction of Gerard Mortier, a position she then held until 2001.
From 2002-2004, Ms. Wieser worked with Gerard Mortier for the newly founded Ruhr Triennale (Germany) while preparing season programs as director of the Paris Opera.
From 2003 to 2015, she managed the opera production for the Salzburg Easter Festival under the artistic directions of Sir Simon Rattle (up to 2012) and Christian Thielemann.
From October 2004 to 2011, Ms. Wieser returned to the Salzburg Festival as the director of the artistic administration under artistic directors Peter Ruzicka, Jürgen Flimm and Markus Hinterhäuser.
Since 2008, she has been the European casting consultant for the Lyric Opera Chicago. She was artistic consultant for the Opera di Roma from 2011 to 2013.
In 2015, Ms. Wieser returned to the Salzburg Festival to manage the YSP (Young Singers Project), and since October 2016, she has been the director of the artistic administration of the Festival under artistic director Markus Hinterhäuser.
A musicologist, manager, promoter, and producer; artistic director of internationally acclaimed music festivals such as Actus Humanus, Opera Rara (2009–2016), Misteria Paschalia (2004–2016), Sacrum Profanum (2004–2015), and others. Each of the events he gives his name to has its distinctly defined profile.
Producer of albums by Polish musicians for the prestigious labels Nonesuch and Decca. Curator of spectacular music events including Penderecki//Aphex Twin, Penderecki//Greenwood, or Mikołaj Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 featuring Beth Gibbons of Portishead, held both in Poland – like the European Culture Congress or Open’er Festival – and abroad.
He graduated with distinction from the Institute of Musicology of the Jagiellonian University where he currently runs classes on ‘Project Management for Musicians’.
In 2002–2004 he worked for the Polish Music Publishing House and ‘Musica Iagellonica’ printing house.
Then in 2004–2007 he was employed by the Krakow Festival Office and Municipal Council of Kraków where he served as the Plenipotentiary of the President of the City of Kraków for Culture (2007–2010), and as a counsellor of the President of the City of Kraków (2011).
For his academic work, he received the Hieronim Feicht Award granted by the Polish Composers’ Union. He is also the author of scores of entries in the Music Encyclopaedia issued by the Polish Music Publishing House, musicological articles, and popular science publications.
Berkowicz has won numerous nominations for prestigious awards including the ‘MocArty’ award of RMF Classic in the ‘Man of the Year 2011’ category, the ‘Cultural Guarantee’ award of Polish Public Television, and the ‘NIPTEL’ Media Award. He was classified by ‘Polityka’ weekly as 8th of the ‘20 Most Influential Personages of Polish Culture’. He also received the ‘Honoris Gratia’ badge from the President of the City of Kraków (2011), and The Medal for Merit to Culture – ‘Gloria Artis’ – from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland (2015).
The son of a diplomat, Dominique Meyer was born in Alsace, France, in 1955 and spent his childhood in France and Germany.
In September 2010 he became Director of the Vienna State Opera.
Between 1980 and 1984 Dominique Meyer worked as a commissioner at the French Ministry of Industry, where he was in charge of the departments of electronics and computer industries; he was also involved in the planning and foundation of France’s first CD-factory (the second in the world), the MPO in Averton. From 1984 to 1986 he was an advisor in the cabinet of the Minister of Culture Jack Lang, where he was responsible for the film and cultural industries.
From 1986 to 1988 Dominique Meyer was an advisor to the presidents of the Paris Opéra Pierre Viot and Raymond Soubie.
In 1988 he joined the cabinet of the Minister of Culture and Communication with responsibility for film and television.
From 1989 to 1990 he was general director of the Paris Opéra (Palais Garnier and Opéra Bastille).
In 1991 he became a director in the cabinet of the Ministry of Communications and Media under Minister Catherine Tasca.
From 1991 to 1993 he worked as an advisor in the cabinets of Prime Minister Edith Cresson and Pierre Bérégovoy with responsibility for the areas of cultural affairs and communications, youth affairs, education and sports.
He subsequently held the position of general director of the Lausanne Opera from 1994 to 1999. From 1999 until the end of the 2009/2010 season he was general and artistic director of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
In the field of dance Dominique Meyer was from 1991 to 2007 president of the Ballet Angelin Preljocaj and was appointed honorary president in 2007.
From 1995 to 1999 he was a member of the board of the Maurice Béjart Ballet in Lausanne as well as of the Prix de Lausanne dance competition. From 2006 to 2010 he was cashier on the board of the Foundation Nureyev.
In the field of music he was president of the French Youth Orchestra from 2001 to 2010, since 2010 he has been the orchestra’s honorary president. From 1995 to 1999 he was a member of the board of directors of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra. As treasurer of the ProQuartet he organized chamber music concerts and string quartet performances. He was artistic consultant to Riccardo Muti during the founding of the Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini in Piacenza.
He is currently on the board of directors of the European Music Theatre Academy (EMA) of the University of Vienna as well as of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP).
In the fields of film and television Dominique Meyer was president of the committee “Television, drama and music” at the Centre National de la Cinématographie from 2000 to 2003 and is the author and director of the documentary film Eclats de Voix – Schallende Stimmen (Resonant Voices) about Wagner’s Ring-tetralogy, with Pierre Boulez, Patrice Chéreau, Jeffrey Tate, etc.
Furthermore Dominique Meyer was researcher at the Institute of Science and Research at Paris IX Dauphine University from 1979 to 1980, assistant in market economy at Paris XIII University from 1979 to 1982, professor and historian of economics and economic concepts at Paris III University – INALCO from 1980 to 1988, professor of economics at Lyons II University from 1986 to 1988 and lecturer for the course Master Professionel Administration de la musique et du spectacle vivant at the University of Evry, Paris until 2010.
French Journalist and Producer, he studied (seriously) political sciences and cultural management, as well as (but never with any professional aim !) piano and singing.
He has been writing for twenty years for Diapason, France’s leading music magazine. His large interviews of outstanding personalities are among the milestones of the magazine, as well as his investigations about international music life, the policies of music, or music education. Simultaneously, from 2003 to 2006, he has been Head of Music of the French Institute, the cultural branch of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in charge of promoting French repertoire and musicians abroad. From 2006 to 2015, he ran as Executive Director Le Poème Harmonique (Artistic Director Vincent Dumestre), one of the most acclaimed French ensembles in the field of baroque music internationally. From 2015 to 2017, he was Head of Production of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence one of the world’s leading opera festivals. He is presently working as independent producer (notably in partnership with Drottnigholm Festival), while preparing a book for Stock Publishing on the history of El Sistema and its adaptations around the world.