Opera Scotland

Göran Järvefelt Suggest updates

Born Bollnäs, Northern Sweden, 3 August 1947.

Died Stockholm, 30 November 1989.

Swedish actor and director.

Göran Järvefelt was a highly successful director of opera, who, in a short career, showed talent equally in simple but elegant Mozart stagings and highly dramatic Wagner ones. After studying languages at Stockholm University, he trained at Drama School in Stockholm from 1967 to 1970. He then worked for five years (initially as an actor) at the Stockholm Royal Dramatic Theatre. Plays he appeared in included Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman and The Lady from the Sea. As a young director in 1976 he assisted Ingmar Bergman on a production of Strindberg's Dance of Death.

His first experience of directing opera was at the Vadstena Academy in 1974, with Stradella's San Giovanni Battista. His first professional opera production was Verdi's Falstaff at the Hagen Opera in Germany, followed by his debut at the Royal Opera in Stockholm with The Barber of Seville in 1977. That year he began a three year engagement as chief opera director at Gelsenkirchen, where he directed several Verdi productions, including Don Carlos, Il trovatore and La forza del destino. He also worked on The Magic Flute. Ariadne auf Naxos, Hansel and Gretel and The Return of Ulysses. These were followed by Ariadne in Zurich and The Coronation of Poppea at Berlin's Komische Oper.

He first worked with Welsh National Opera on The Magic Flute in 1979, and followed that with Un ballo in maschera (1982), The Ring (1983-5), La bohème (1984), La traviata (1988) and Der Rosenkavalier. The Wagner was the solitary staging by him to be taken to Covent Garden. In the USA, he directed three rare Strauss works at Santa Fe: Die Agyptische Helena, Feuersnot and Friedenstag. He made his debut at the New York Met in 1989 with a double bill of Erwartung and Duke Bluebeard's Castle.

He never worked in Scotland and The Magic Flute is the only example of his output to have been seen here. Scottish Opera had arranged to borrow his staging of Don Giovanni from Oslo, but he was not able to direct it in person, and what went on stage was not really representative of his ideas.

Roles in Scotland

Zauberflöte 1979

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