“ Tobias Hoheisel’s Buehnenbilder sind nicht nur aeusserst inspirierend durch ihre starke Aussagekraft, sondern befluegeln auch die Phantasie von uns auf der Buehne, geben Denkanstoesse und Spielraum. Unvergessen die masstabsetzenden Buehnenbilder fuer L.Janacek’s Opern Jenufa und Die Sache Makropulos in Glyndebourne, bei denen seine innovativen Ideen einen ganz entscheidenden Beitrag zu dem grossen, internationalen Erfolg leisteten.”
‘ Tobias Hoheisel’s strong, meaningful sets are not only inspiring for that audiences, they also fuel the imagination for all of us on stage; they are thought provoking and provide space for us to perform. His sets for Glyndebourne’s productions of Janaceck’s operas Jenufa and The Makropulos Case were definitive; his innovative ideas were certainly amongst the reasons for thieir huge international success.”
Tobias Hoheisel has designed five operas for Glyndebourne in the years 1988 to 1999; three Janacek works, Britten’s Death in Venice and Smetana’s Bartered Bride. But it s the Janacek operas directed by Nikolaus Lehnhoff and designed by Hoheisel which above all stick firmly and most memorable in the mind. The staging of Katya Kabanova, the first of the team’s productions in Glyndebourne’s recent Janacek cycle, went to the heart of this opera(based on Ostrovsky’s play The Storm) with a simplicity of design in primal colours which totally captured the Slavic content and spirt of this masterpiece – a deeply distressing tragedy. The staging of Jenufa, the next in the cycle, similarly – through the economy of Lehnhoff’s production and Hoheisel’s penetratingly atmospheric designs and lighting – caught the essence of this heart rending piece. Audiences were simply left drained of the huge crecscendo of emotion generated by Lehnhoff’s, Hoheisel’s – and the singers’ – work. The production of Jenufa also had the special merit of designs which created perfect acoustic effect for the performers on stage and which paid punctilious attention to sightlines for maximum benefit of the audience – aspects of design which are woefully absent in the work of most designers. And finally the production of The Makropulos Case, the last of the cycle in designs of simple elegance (as against the rustic nature of the other two operas) struck upon the ingenious device to reflect the passage of time relating to the huge age (albeit ageless beauty) of Emilia Marty, the protagonist, by imperceptibly causing the scenery to move from stage left to stage right in each scene – a deus ex machina which held audiences in thrall. These three productions had enormous impact on and elicited correspondina encomia From audience and critics alike. Janacek is one of the greatest composers of any era – a composer whose music uniquely derived from no particular influence and germinated no perceptible school of followers. Hoheisel and Lehnhoff created for Glyndebourne three productions as definitive in quality as Janacek’s music is distinctive in the history of opera.
Sir George Christie January 2010
The prospect of photographing a show designed by Tobias Hoheisel always fills me with eager anticipation. He is a designer whose vision is always original and only predictable in that you can be sure you will be surprised and delighted. He seems to dig deep into his imagination, inspired by the music to which he is so sensitive, and produce design ideas that are exciting, challenging and which reveal yet another aspect of his highly creative mind.