Conductor dies after collapsing during performance in Munich
“He took this central German theater in Essen and he transformed it, in 17 years, into one of the best ensemble houses in Europe, and he transformed the Essen Philharmonic into a class orchestra Absolutely,” Australian opera director Barrie Kosky, who collaborated with Mr Soltesz on four productions at the Aalto Theater in the early 2000s, said on Saturday after learning of Mr Soltesz’s death. Mr. Kosky was speaking from Salzburg, Austria, where he was rehearsing a new production of Janacek’s “Kat’a Kabanova” which he is conducting next month at the Salzburg Festival.
During his career, Mr. Soltesz has also conducted shows throughout Asia, and in 1992 he made his United States debut with the National Opera with a performance of Verdi’s “Otello” at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Mr. Soltesz is survived by his wife, Michaela Selinger, a mezzo soprano.
“He was a very fine and refined musician, and the music, you know, was first. He came second,” said Mr Dorny, a Belgian impresario who said he had known Mr Soltesz since the 1990s on Saturday. he directed the Flanders Festival.
“He was the perfect diener for the art form,” Mr Dorny added, using the German word for servant.
On Friday evening, Mr. Soltesz was conducting a revival of Mr. Kosky’s 2010 production of Strauss’s rarely performed “The Silent Woman” as part of the Bavarian State Opera’s summer festival. Mr. Soltesz had previously directed other revivals of the production. And it was one of many projects all over Germany that he and Mr. Kosky had worked on together.
“He was an incredible musician,” Mr. Kosky said, citing Mr. Soltesz’s interpretations of Strauss for praise, adding, “He understood the idea of orchestral accompaniment and understood the idea of architecture of an act – or a three – act of opera. He understood it and he was at home in the stands. It was his house.
“In a world of dilettantes,” Mr. Kosky said, “he was the real thing.”