Argentine Opera Director Roberto Oswald Dies

ArgentinaArgentina Argentine Opera Director Roberto Oswald Dies (JSJ)

Roberto Oswald (1933-2013)
Roberto Oswald (1933-2013)
(Photo Teatro Colón)

Argentine opera director and scenographer Roberto Oswald died on July 14 at the age of 80 years.

In a more than 50 year career, Oswald, who was born in Buenos Aires on March 21, 1933, became arguably Argentina’s best known and most highly respected director, particularly of the works of Wagner and Strauss.

Oswald started his career doing the sets for a 1962 production of Pelléas et Mélisande at theTeatro Colón. A decade later in 1972 he began what was to become a lifelong association with costume designer Aníbal Lápiz, as he also expanded his work to encompass the lighting. Then in 1979 he started to devote himself fully to stage direction, frequently also doing the scenography and/or lighting, mainly for operas but also ballets. Indeed in his over half century of uninterrupted work, he was involved in no less than 140 opera and ballet productions in Argentina and elsewhere including the US, Chile and Uruguay.

Among his most recent productions were the ill-fated Falstaff in 2010 (which had only one performance because of worker action) and Lohengrin in 2011 at the Teatro Colón, and Parsifal in May this year at the Teatro Municipal in Santiago. He was also the lighting designer for the Colón’s 2011 production of the ballet Le corsaire, which was recently put on at the Met as well as at the Kennedy Center in Washington and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.

Oswald received many awards for his work, including being named an Illustrious Citizen of the City of Buenos Aires.

Jonathan Spencer Jones