Herz, Joachim, German opera director; b. Dresden, June 15, 1924. After training in piano, clarinet, and theory, he studied at the Dresden Hochschule für Musik (1945--9) and took courses in musicology at the Humboldt Univ. in Berlin (1949–51). In 1950 he began his career as an opera director at the Dresden State Opera, and worked with its touring company (1951–53). After serving as an assistant to Felsenstein at the Berlin Komische Oper (1953–56), he worked at the Cologne Opera (1956–57). In 1957 he became principal stage director of the Leipzig Opera, and later served as its opera director (1959–76). During his Leipzig years, he staged Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for the inauguration of the new opera house in 1960, and later staged a Ring cycle replete with social significance (1973–76). From 1976 to 1980 he was Intendant of the Berlin Komische Oper. He was principal opera director at the Dresden State Opera from 1981 to 1991. In 1985 he staged Der Freischütz at the inauguration of the restored Semper Oper in Dresden. His productions have been staged in various European and North American opera centers. Herz has lectured widely at home and abroad.
With W. Felsenstein, Musiktheater: Beiträge zur Methodik und su Inszenierungskonzeptionen (Leipzig, 1970; 2nd ed., 1976); Joachim Herz über Musiktheater (Berlin, 1974); Und Figaro lässt sich scheiden: Oper als Idee und Interpretation (Munich, 1985); Joachim Herz: Theater, Kunst des erfüllten Augenblicks: Briefe, Vorträge, Notate, Gespräche, Essays (Berlin, 1989).
H.-J. Irmer and W. Stein, /. H.: Regisseur im Musiktheater (Berlin, 1977); U. and U. Müller, eds., Opern und Opernfiguren: Festschrift für J. H (Anif, 1989); I. Kobân, ed., J. H: Interviews (Berlin, 1990).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire