Accessibility links


Sign In

Barrie Kosky



Australian director Barrie Kosky made his Royal Opera debut in the 2016/17 Season directing The Nose. He returned in the 2017/18 Season with Carmen, in a production originally created for Frankfurt Opera. In the 2019/20 Season he directs Agrippina for the company, in a co-production with Bavarian State Opera.

Kosky was born in Melbourne. He was Artistic Director of Gilgul Theatre Company 1990–97, of the 1996 Adelaide Festival, Co-Director of Vienna Schauspielhaus 2001–5 and is currently Intendant and Artistic Director of Komische Oper Berlin, a position he has held since 2012. His productions for Komische Oper Berlin include La bohème, Candide, Pelléas et Mélisande, Semele, Die Zauberflöte, The Fair at Sorochintsï, Rusalka, Moses und Aron, Die Perlen von Cleopatra, Le Grand Macabre, West Side Story, Eugene Onegin, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Ball im Savoy, Rigoletto and La Belle Hélène. His productions for other companies include Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Bayreuth Festival, Saul for Glyndebourne Festival, Carmen for Frankfurt Opera, Macbeth, Eugene Onegin, La fanciulla del West and Die Gezeichneten for Zürich Opera, Les Boréades for Opéra de Dijon and The Fiery Angel and Die schweigsame Frau for Bavarian State Opera. Other projects in the 2019/20 Season include The Bassarids for Komische Oper Berlin, Prince Igor for Paris Opéra and Orphée aux Enfers for Salzburg Festival.

His awards include the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production for Castor and Pollux (English National Opera), Best Director at the 2014 International Opera Awards, Best Opera House (Komische Oper Berlin) at the 2015 International Opera Awards, the 2015 Gold Iffland Medal from the Berliner Theater Club and the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Opera and Music Theatre for Saul (also nominated for a 2016 International Opera Award). In 2016 he was named Director of the Year by Opernwelt and in 2017 Kosky’s production of Saul won six out of seven categories at the Helpmann Awards, including Best Opera and Best Opera Direction. In 2018 Kosky’s Bayreuth Festival production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg was announced as Production of the Year by Opernwelt.


News and features

How do you begin to make sense of The Nose?

1 November 2016
How do you begin to make sense of <em>The Nose</em>?

Audiences and academics have long tried to understand the Gogol tale that inspired Shostakovich's opera – is it satire taken to extremes, or is it something else entirely?

Opera Essentials: Shostakovich’s The Nose

27 September 2016
Opera Essentials: Shostakovich’s <em>The Nose</em>

Our quick guide to Shostakovich’s surreal and brilliant first opera, in a new production by acclaimed Australian director Barrie Kosky.