Operatic highlights of Constantin Trinks’ 2020/21 season include Tristan und Isolde for Staatsoper Hannover, La Traviata for Oper Köln, The Fiery Angel for Theater an der Wien, and his debuts with Glyndebourne (Die Zauberflöte) and Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Don Giovanni).
Last season, Constantin Trinks made hugely successful debuts for Royal Swedish Opera/Kungliga Operan with Die Walküre, La Juive for Staatsoper Hannover and La bohème at Oper Köln. He also returned to Bayerische Staatsoper for Les contes d’Hoffmann, where he has previously conducted Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Arabella, the latter of which featured Anja Harteros with performances at the Münchner Opernfestspiele and Théâtre des Champs Elysées as well as at its home theatre.
Other operatic highlights from Constantin Trinks’ recent seasons include Seattle Opera (The Turn of the Screw), Teatro dell’Opera di Roma (Die Lustige Witwe), Theater an der Wien (Euryanthe), Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (Der Fliegende Holländer), New National Theatre Tokyo (Le nozze di Figaro), Opernhaus Zürich (The Turn of the Screw), Opéra du Rhin Strasbourg (Salome), Opéra National de Paris (Die Zauberflöte), Wiener Staatsoper, Oper Frankfurt, and Staatsoper Hamburg.
Acknowledged as a major Wagner conductor, Constantin Trinks celebrated the Wagner Bicentenary conducting Der fliegende Holländer in Dresden (in Spring 2013 – premiered there 170 years before), 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. Last season, he conducted Lohengrin for Prague National Theatre.
On the orchestral platform, Constantin Trinks’ plans this season include Weimar Staatskapelle, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, and Orchestre National de Belgique whom he will conduct both at Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg. With the Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien (ORF), he plans to make a New Year tour to China.
In recent seasons, Constantin Trinks has appeared with the Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Vancouver Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteum at the Grosses Festspielhaus in Salzburg and Dresden Philharmonic. He made his debut in 2016/17 with the Bayerische Rundfunk and, following an acclaimed debut with the Munich Philharmonic in 2015/16, he conducted their New Year Beethoven 9 concerts in December 2016.
His live recording of Hans Rott’s Symphony No. 1 with the Mozarteum Orchester received an ECHO Classic in October 2017 for Profil Edition Hänssler. On the same label, he has also recorded Weinberger’s Švanda dudák (Schwanda the Bagpiper) with Dresden Staatskapelle/Semperoper. With the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Trinks recorded Pfitzner’s Piano Concerto Op. 31 (with pianist Markus Becker) and Braunfels’ Tag- und Nachtstücke Op. 44 on Hyperion, which was selected by Gramaphone as an Editor’s Choice in October 2019. More recently, in February 2020 Naxos released a DVD recording of Theater an der Wien’s production of Weber’s Euryanthe for Theater an der Wien, conducted by Constantin Trinks and directed by Christof Loy, which was hailed by Gramophone (June 2020) as “the most approachable and effective Euryanthe yet in the current catalogues”. The CD recording of this same production was nominated in 2020 for the prestigious Opus Klassik’s award for the Best Recording of a 19th-century Opera.
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. Whilst there he conducted Nono’s Intolleranza 1960, La bohème, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Das Rheingold, Lohengrin, Salome, Carmen, Don Carlo, La traviata, Cavalleria rusticana/I pagliacci, Kullervo (Sallinen), and the European premiere of The First Emperor by Tan Dun, thus demonstrating his interest in wide-ranging repertoire. 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.
Constantin Trinks, born in Karlsruhe, studied conducting at the Conservatory of his hometown with Wolf-Dieter Hauschild, and piano with Günter Reinhold.
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...
Constantin Trinks to Make Opera Roma Debut with Damiano Michieletto’s Production of Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe 14 – 20 April
Constantin Trinks makes his debut with Opera Roma with Lehár’s Die lustige Witwe. Co-produced with the Teatro La Fenice di Venezia, the production is directed by Damiano Michieletto and opens on Sun 14 April at Teatro Costanzi with further performances on 16, 17, 18,...
Constantin Trinks conducts the premiere of Christof Loy’s production of Weber’s Euryanthe for Theater an der Wien on 12 December 2018, with performances which extend until the end of December. ORF Radio Symphonieorchester Wien is the pit band for this production, and...
“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)
“With conductor Constantin Trinks whipping up the dramatic power at big moments, this is a serviceable revival that never leaves Mozart feeling short-changed.”
“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.”
“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 ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra under Constantin Trinks fires the stunning score [of Prokofiev’s The Fiery Angel] with rousing skill.” (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)
“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)
“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)
“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]
“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 ]
“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]
“… 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]
“…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 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]
“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]
“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]
“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]
“…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]
“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]
“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]
“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]
“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.”
“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)
“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 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.”
“…[the Staatstheater Kassel orchestra] gives everything it has, musically, under the excellent direction of Constantin Trinks.” (translated from German)
“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 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)
“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.”