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Aug. 7, 2015
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Germany’s Ruhr Triennale opens (Aug. 14 – Sep. 26, 2015)
The Ruhr Triennale is a festival held since 2002 in the Ruhr region in northwestern Germany that once prospered as the center of the country’s heavy industry. The festival was founded by the government of the German state of Nordrhein-Westfalen and Belgian opera’s Gerard Mortier. Its venues include unique performance spaces created by renovation of abandoned factories in the Ruhr region, and its programs consist of performances of about 30 productions each year.
From this year, the festival has a new director in Johan Simons, former director at one of Germany’s leading public theaters, Münchner Kammerspiele. He replaces outgoing Ruhr Triennale festival director Heiner Goebbels. On this year’s program, Simons presents a new music theater work titled Accatone that combines the film art of Pier Paolo Pasolini with the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and he also works with the young Greek conductor Teodor Currentzis and the Finnish experimental music duo Pan Sonic and Mika Vaini to present a new interpretation of Richard Wagner’s Das Rheingold in a fusion of opera, theatre, installation and ritual.
Other programs scheduled include theater by Ivo van Hove and Krzysztof Warlikowski, and dance by Meg Stewart, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Richard Siegal.

Festival Outline
Taking three years as one season, this festival is held annually since 2002 in the industrial city of Bochum and others in the Ruhr region of western Germany. The founder and first artistic director of the festival was Gerard Mortier, former artistic director of the Salzburg Music Festival and the National Opera of Paris. Based on the idea of connecting the industrial monuments of the Ruhr region with an international arts festival, former giant machining halls and coking plants were renovated to become innovative performance venues. Each year a new theme is chosen for a program of cutting-edge works of theater, dance, opera, jazz, pop music and fine arts. There is a change in the festival director once every three years. The festival’s director from 2006 to 2008 was theater director Jürgen Flimm, who served as the theater department director of the Salzburg Music Festival. From 2009 to 2011, theater director Willy Decker served as the festival director For the 2012-14 season the artistic director was the composer and director Heiner Goebbels. From 2015 the new director is Johan Simons, former director at one of Germany’s leading public theaters, Münchner Kammerspiele. Among the artists invited to perform at the festival until now are such names as Ariane Mnouchkine, Patrice Chéreau, Ilya Kabakov, Peter Sellers, Christian Boltanski, Patti Smith, Elvis Costello among others.
+Ruhr Triennale