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Press Releases

Cologne Opera mourns the death of Prof. Dr. Michael Hampe (1935 - 2022)

January 25, 2023 | By Marietheres Eicker
Press officer

Cologne Opera mourns the death of Prof. Dr. Michael Hampe (1935 - 2022)

Cologne Opera mourns the death of its long-time artistic director Prof. Dr. Michael Hampe. He passed away on 18 November 2022 at the age of 87 in his adopted home of Zurich. For 20 years, from 1975 to 1995, Michael Hampe shaped an entire era of the Cologne Opera as artistic director and style-setting director. From 1977 he was also a professor at the Cologne University of Music and Dance. Under his direction, Cologne Opera became one of the leading European opera houses and networked all over the world through guest performances and cooperations. His Cologne productions of Wagner and Rossini are unforgotten, as is his commitment to the operas of Britten and Janácek. As a trained musician, actor, director, author and doctor of musicology, Michael Hampe was an exceptional artist of distinction, his productions played on all the major international stages. His academic teaching activities, with which he passed on his knowledge to the next generations, also spanned the globe.

Michael Hampe remained artistically and personally connected to the Cologne Opera until the end. He returned to the house as a director with "La Bohème" (2015.16) "Fidelio" (2016.17) and "Die Zauberflöte" (2020.21). Even in his old age, he was tireless and put his heart and soul into his work and had almost inexhaustible energies. We will always remember his warm-heartedness and his work will always be a part of Cologne Opera. We will miss him very much!

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