Constantin Trinks’ 2023/24 season opens with a return to the Royal Swedish Opera for a revival of Kirsten Harms’ production of Madama Butterfly. He also returns to Norwegian Opera for La Traviata, Teatro di San Carlo in Napoli for Don Giovanni, and Bayerische Staatsoper for Fidelio, Parsifal, and Die Fledermaus. He makes his long-awaited debut at Glyndebourne Festival, originally scheduled to take place during the pandemic, conducting Die Zauberflöte with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Juggling a busy diary of operatic engagements with symphonic performances, Trinks returns to Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg this season to conduct Nijinsky, a John Neumeier production featuring Shostakovich’s Symphony 11 and excerpts from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. This follows his hugely successful debut last season, conducting their Beethoven Project which included staged performances of Beethoven’s Symphony 7.
Recent orchestral successes include subscription concerts with Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini, National Orchestra of Belgium (concerts at BOZART Brussels and Grosses Festspielhaus Salzburg), George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra. Previous highlights include Dresden Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteum at the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, and Munich Philharmonic.
Highly regarded as one of today’s most prominent Wagner conductors, Trinks celebrated the Wagner Bicentenary conducting Der fliegende Holländer in Dresden, Tannhäuser in Tokyo, Strasbourg, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Frankfurt, as well as Wagner’s early opera Das Liebesverbot at the Bayreuth Festival and for Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg. In 2019/20, he conducted Lohengrin at Prague National Theatre. In 2021/22, he conducted Tristan und Isolde for Staatsoper Hannover, and returned to Bayreuth Festival for a gala concert. More recently in summer 2023, Trinks conducted the complete Der Ring des Nibelungen, Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal at Sofia National Opera.
Trinks is a very popular guest at Bayerische Staatsoper, where his titles over the years include Lohengrin, Parsifal, Les contes d’Hoffmann, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Così fan tutte, to name only a few. He also conducted their production of Arabella, starring Anja Harteros, which toured to the Münchner Opernfestspiele and Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris.
Recent highlights elsewhere include productions at Royal Opera House London (multiple revivals of Don Giovanni), Oper Köln (La bohème, Rusalka), Staatsoper Hannover (Tristan und Isolde, La Juive), Leipzig Oper (Lohengrin, La Traviata), Theater an der Wien (Fiery Angel, and Euryanthe), Royal Swedish Opera (Die Walküre), Seattle Opera (The Turn of the Screw), Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Die lustige Witwe), Teatro di San Carlo (Tristan und Isolde), Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (Der fliegende Holländer), New National Theatre Tokyo (Le nozze di Figaro, Salome), Opernhaus Zürich (The Turn of the Screw), Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg (Salome) and Opéra National de Paris (Die Zauberflöte).
His award-winning discography includes the world premiere recording of Wilhelm Petersen’s Symphony No. 3 with Frankfurt Radio Symphony on Profil label, which received an Opus Klassik award for Symphonic Recording of the Year in 2023. His live recording of Hans Rott’s Symphony No. 1 with Mozarteum Orchestra, also on Profil, received an ECHO Klassik award in 2017. Trinks’ other albums include recordings with Vienna Radio Symphony (Beethoven concerti with Michael Korstick), Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (Pfitzner’s Piano Concerto Op. 31 with Markus Becker, and Braunfels’ Tag- und Nachtstücke on Hyperion).
Trinks joined the Saarländisches Staatstheater in 2002 as Kapellmeister, ascending within a few years into the position of interim music director from 2006 to 2009. Between 2009-2012, Trinks held the position of Music Director at the Staatstheater Darmstadt, where his productions included not only his first critically acclaimed Der Ring des Nibelungen, but also Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Parsifal, Fidelio, Aida and the world premiere of Orff’s early work Gisei (available on DVD) in combination with De temporum fine comoedia.
Born in Karlsruhe, Constantin Trinks studied conducting at the Conservatory of his hometown with Wolf-Dieter Hauschild, and piano with Günter Reinhold.
Constantin Trinks’ 2023/24 season opens with a return to the Royal Swedish Opera for a revival of Kirsten Harms’ production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, featuring Eri Nakamura in the title role. The run opens on 25 August, with subsequent performances on 28, 31...
Jakub Józef Orliński, Jakub Hrůša, Constantin Trinks and Christian Immler Victorious at the 2023 OPUS KLASSIK Awards
Congratulations to countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński, conductors Jakub Hrůša and Constantin Trinks and bass-baritone Christian Immler, winners at the 2023 OPUS KLASSIK Awards. Winners of the prestigious German award are selected by a specialist jury, whose members...
Conductor Constantin Trinks Makes UK Debut & Gerald Finley Makes Leporello Role Debut in the Royal Opera House’s Don Giovanni
Constantin Trinks will make his UK debut conducting Kasper Holten’s inventive and visually stunning production of Don Giovanni. It stars Gerald Finley in his role debut as Leporello. The production runs from 5 – 18 July, and will be livestreamed on 16 July. The cast...
“A very important and especially powerful constant at this festival was the orchestra of the National Opera Sofia, under the leadership of Constantin Trinks, who has been connected to this theatre for many years as a conductor for the German repertoire. He rehearsed and conducted all the works in an exemplary manner. Trinks, known for his meticulous and accurate conducting, managed an exemplary balancing act, resulting in a rich, resonant, but also smoothly-sculpted orchestra sound.”
“Magisterial and monumental are adjectives that come to mind. Skilful counterpoint gives the music direction and forward momentum. Petersen proves himself to be an accomplished and imaginative orchestrator. Constantin Trinks and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony give a performance truly worthy of this intriguing score, and they’ve been recorded in the best possible sound. Let’s hope some of Petersen’s other symphonies will be recorded by this illustrious group.”
“German conductor Constantin Trinks was invited for the first time onto the stage of the Athenaeum. He is a dynamic orchestra leader, firm in action, a musician with exceptional clarity of vision, every gesture recognizably supporting his artistic interpretation. He has a truly extensive artistic experience, both in the great opera houses of the current musical world and with symphonic institutions of important international renown. Certainly, the development of his connection to our premier orchestra is a great asset to our concert life.”
“[Trinks] conducted with such vitality, rhythmic precision and elegant roundness that you could literally hear the fun of everyone involved. That’s how it should sound at the Bavarian State Opera.” (translated from German)
“his fortepiano continuo flourishes are wonderfully conversational”
“This of course represents a special challenge for the Gürzenich Orchestra, which, however, had an internationally renowned conductor in Constantin Trinks who knew how to conjure up a fascinating soundscape from the score.” [translated from German; Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin at Cologne Opera]
“the main conductor was Constantin Trinks, who confidently held the helm in the mostly rustling waves between France and Tripoli.” [translated from German; Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin at Cologne Opera]
“With conductor Constantin Trinks whipping up the dramatic power at big moments, this is a serviceable revival that never leaves Mozart feeling short-changed.”
“Just like the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna under the more than accomplished direction of conductor Constantin Trinks, which ideally brings Prokofiev’s shimmering, beguiling sound cosmos to life. Conclusion: a drastic approach [to The Fiery Angel] that you won’t soon forget.” (translated from German)
“The fact that the musical side of the production [of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel] reached this intensity was also due to Constantin Trinks at the podium of the compact, precise Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, which made all the blazing depths of the score glow without losing balance or the masses of sound.” (translated from German)
“Conductor Constantin Trinks and the ORF-RSO-Vienna bring this dazzling, multi-layered score [of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel] to advantage. The piercing rhythms, the poetic melodies (delegated to the orchestra by the voices) or the dissonant tumult offered strong color contrasts. These were also designed as an emotional rollercoaster in the characters.” (translated from German)
“Best of all is the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and Arnold Schoenberg Chor under Constantin Trinks, a conductor who really gets the depth in Weber’s richly expressive score. Euryanthe relies on subtle shadings to bring out its colour, as well as punch and musical flare to prevent it seeming overlong, and Trinks is quite brilliant on all counts. The chorus, too, are very impressive, singing with focus and passion. First class all round.” [DVD Weber’s Euryanthe on NAXOS for Theater an der Wien ]
“… he makes the orchestra sound good. He pays careful attention to many details even in the loudest moments, animating individual groups to play louder or softer, and preempting elegant transitions with clear entries…This concert identifies Trinks as a conductor with whom the orchestra could cultivate its potential and even expand it.” [Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 with Hannover Staatsoper; translated from German]
“Conductor Constantin Trinks puts himself completely in the service of Weber’s score and proves a fine sense of their tectonics. As demanded by the composer, he uses his metronome details as suggestions, but does not subordinate his conducting to them slavishly. Rather, he responds with sensitivity to the vocal condition of the actors and proves to be an exemplary singer companion… Under his direction the delicate recitatives have an immediacy, as if they were spoken dialogues in musical exaggeration. His often minimal tempo gradations are extremely flexible, but never arbitrary; He creates a truly eloquent orchestral part down to the smallest musical gestures. He succeeds in creating an absolutely enthralling (and exhilarating) dramatic vivacity of the score.” [Translated from German]
“Marcus Becker proves an eloquent, visceral master of the notes, making for a thrilling premier recording. And in Constantin Trinks he has a dedicated partner, who takes an admirably collaborative view of events… the Berlin Radio Symphony supports characterfully, with a crisp sense of attack, ensemble and solo contribution. ” [Recording of Pfitzner & Braunfels with Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin]
“…a Die lustige Witwe to listen to… Trinks has the right balance, deep and light at the same time, depicting the contrasts of irony and nostalgia for a world at dusk” [translated from Italian]
“Constantin Trinks, handled the theatrical impact of this music [Strauss’ Arabella] perfectly, which was played by an orchestra (Bayerische Staatsoper) in whose veins this music runs. An evening one cherishes, where everything seems to converge towards a single goal: the perfection of a memorable interpretation… The orchestra of the Bayerische Staatsoper shows an indisputable empathy with the music of Strauss, the child of the country if any: wonderful sounds, transparency of the strings, softness of the winds, cohesion between the desks.” [translated from French]
“Britten’s superbly designed score for a small orchestra of 13 musicians has its own eeriness adding to the atmosphere and supporting the singers. It was superbly played by Seattle Symphony musicians and conducted in his Seattle Opera debut by Constantin Trinks. It’s one of the most memorable productions the opera has done, in that every detail is equally strong, equally riveting, the story gripping.”
“Trinks knew exactly how to capture this sound world with rousing energy from start until end. He drew out brilliantly nuanced phrases from the orchestra, allowing the plays and singers alike to breathe with the music, earning himself a mightily loud and rapturous applause from the house.” (translated from German)
“…[the Staatstheater Kassel orchestra] gives everything it has, musically, under the excellent direction of Constantin Trinks.” (translated from German)
“Constantin Trinks is truly a master of seamless transitions. The way he arouses excitement which spurs ecstasy, without deafening your ears and without straining the singers, by carefully shaping the phrases around climatic moments – that is great art.” (translated from German)
“…a performance with plenty of quality. There was a pleasing balance between the pit and the stage throughout the performance, even during its louder passages. The orchestra was never allowed to overwhelm the soloists. Crescendi were carefully and sensitively managed so that they emerged organically from the musical soundscape to fill the auditorium. The clearly defined dynamic contrasts were focused on supporting the drama rather than simply aiming at promoting effect. In particular, Trinks displayed particular skill in sustaining the musical arc so that each scene was musically integrated. The shape, pace, contrasts and detail were all carefully coordinated.”
“I was highly impressed by Trinks’ vivid and imaginative responses to Korstick’s playing… I found Korstick and Trinks’ great washes of adrenaline very exciting… exemplary musicianship of Korstick, Trinks and the Viennese players.”
“Conductor Trinks brings out the elegance and elasticity in both Frühlingsstimmen Walz and Kaiserwalzer by Johann Strauss II, two classic pieces from the genre […] a joy to listen to.” [translated from Norwegian]
“Constantin Trinks proves a sure hand at the desk of the Gürzenich Orchestra and makes Saariaho’s music shine. The performance of the orchestra, the choir and of course the three soloists cannot be praised highly enough.” [translated from German; Saariaho’s L’Amour de Loin at Cologne Opera]
“Constantin Trinks led the finest Mozart I have heard at Covent Garden since we lost Colin Davis…Trinks understands that Mozart’s music is ultimately founded on harmony—and knows how to communicate that. The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House sounded rejuvenated, responding in style and with seeming relish to a vision of the work both attentive to detail and cognisant of tonal-dramatic architecture… Trinks’s handling of recitative, both secco (from the fortepiano) and accompagnato, proved crucial both to musical and dramatic success, welding them together with that necessarily lightest of touches.” (Don Giovanni, 2021)
“Don Giovanni is a long opera, but Act 1 went by in a flash as Constantin Trinks gave the clearest of direction to his musicians and kept the momentum going through the sequence of hit numbers…each one played with poise, verve and a pleasant shape.”
“The ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra under Constantin Trinks fires the stunning score [of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel] with rousing skill.” (translated from German)
“One can really admire the RSO Vienna, which is directed by Constantin Trinks in a brilliantly melodious way throughout [Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel]… it is thrilling and terrific..” (translated from German)
“The one element that made the difference in this Hanover Tristan was the conductor Constantin Trinks. He is known by cognoscenti, who increasingly applaud his command of the German repertoire from Mozart to Strauss, and he conducts Wagner as few of his colleagues are able to… The Niedersächsisches Staatsorchester Hannover under Constantin Trinks produced an astonishingly full Tristan sound that can only be achieved through exact knowledge of the score and the ability to use the given forces effectively. Trinks instantly managed to absorb the listener, creating a theatricality which was lacking on stage. He is a true master of transitions and created a superb line of tension and relief in the Liebestod, excellently delivered by Hofmann. Trinks embodies the principle of the Munich Staatsoper: Mozart, Wagner and
Strauss are his personal Hausgötter, and he masters the three masters alike. This year, Goddess Corona permitting, he will mark his British debut by conducting – very fittingly – Mozart at Glyndebourne and at Covent Garden, but above all: he is a contender for Bayreuth.”
“This shortened version [of Tristan und Isolde with Staatsoper Hannover] in particular shows that Wagner hardly composed a superfluous note in spite of his elaboration – you miss everything that cannot be heard here. Of course, this also applies to the extremely reduced orchestration – surprisingly, to a much lesser extent… But above all it is due to the performance of the Niedersächsischen Staatsorchesters and its guest conductor Constantin Trinks.” [translated from German]
“Constantin Trinks and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra capture all the depth and richness of orchestration that it such a large part of these two works.” [Recording of Walter Braunfels’ Tag- und Nachtstücke with Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin]
“…an ovation for the premiere performance in Hannover, one which made a musically powerful impression, as Constantin Trinks, with his wealth of Wagnerian experience, successfully led the Staatsorchester and magnificent chorus int this ambitious and spectacular achievement” [Halévy’s La Juive with Hannover Staatsoper; translated from German]
“Conductor Constantin Trinks, now known throughout the world as an accomplished Wagner and Strauss specialist, brought plenty of experience to The Tales of Hoffmann. At the Bayerische Staatsoper he has recently directed several productions to great success… Trinks presented a thoroughly exciting, focused interpretation… with consistently pleasing tempos and cleverly elaborated musical effects… it was fantastic. ” [Translated from German]
“The Sofia Opera Orchestra, already familiar with Richard Wagner’s music for years, on these two evening performances, was by far the best I’ve heard here in recent years. Trinks was able to animate the orchestra to display unbelievable musical sensitivity and transparency, with a virtually flawless and extremely engaged reading. The musical contribution was by far the best part of both evenings in addition to the two engaging and produced by the score Kartaloffs productions…. Under the baton of Constantin Trinks the orchestra impressed me even more than tonight’s “Tristan”. The sonorous “Parsifal” aesthetic, so specific, came to full bloom with Trinks’ sensitive and singer-friendly conducting, but also with his accentuation of dramatic moments, when no one else was on stage or had to sing, as for example in the transformation music in the 3rd act.” [Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, and Parsifal]
“The remarkable orchestra of finesse and power was placed under the energetic and subtle direction of Constantin Trinks… Dominating perfectly these sudden and delicate transitions, the baton of Constantin Trinks directs the orchestra with the hand of a master, until the last moment of this luxurious imaginary voyage.” [translated from French]
“the fabulous Bayerisches Staatsorchester responds perfectly to Constantin Trinks’ ample and elegant beat, assuming every bit of contrast required by this singular score which oscillates between musical dialogue and lyrical flights, turbulent emotions, and masquerades.” [translated from French]
“Conductor Constantin Trinks does everything right at the opera festival of the Bayerische Staatsoper: he keeps the orchestral playing fluid and the chamber excerpts light and playful, allowing that waltz and melody shimmers with delight” (translated from German)
“The sounds that emerged from the pit were seamless, as if released in a single, long, extended breath. The orchestra played splendidly. Immediacy was provided by trumpets placed in one of the side boxes and blazing brilliantly. The backstage orchestra, with those same trumpets doing double duty, provided grandeur to the pageantry, as did the luxury of an actual pipe organ. After the final notes had sounded, the woman sitting next to me turned and said, ‘Ich bin begeistert’. It is a phrase that I always have trouble translating into English from German. Somehow, delighted or thrilled does not quite capture its meaning, but I knew exactly what she meant.”
“Constantin Trinks’ sensitive conducting never overwhelms, a style characterised by his unique ability to evoke the most passionate emotions at even the most moderate tempi, allowing the music to naturally seep right under your skin.” (translated from German)
“Constantin Trinks’ love of Wagner came across right at the beginning of the concert in the famous Prelude to Lohengrin. The high strings were so tenderly shaped at the opening, creating just the type of inward restraint to permit a real ‘opening out’ when the lower strings entered… Trinks’ performance [of Schubert’s Symphony No. 9] was the most distinguished we have seen for years… I would very much welcome visits from this maestro on a recurring basis. He seems to challenge the orchestra to do things that they might not otherwise attempt, and gets absolutely inspired results.”