about me


“A strikingly profound and vivid production” Neues Deutschland – “This scenically extremely entertaining production was received with tumultuous and unanimous applause” NMZ Online“What a magnificent evening!” – Berliner Zeitung“impressive staging” Opernnetz “a complete triumph!” Deutschlandfunk“…the prolific fantasy and abundance of grotesquely inventive details.” Der Tagesspiegel
“Whoever finds concentrated listening a strain could feel relieved here, without betraying the music.“ Berliner Zeitung„Ninety minutes of music, full of variety and contrast.“ Der Tagesspiegel„Outstanding“ Opernnetz„…old and new music magnificently mixed…..exquisite performances.“Berliner Morgenpost“Derek Gimpel succeded in creating many intense moments and strong images.” Orpheus„Everything that can be done to show the plausibility of “La Clemenza di Tito” and its believability as a play about human emotions, has been achieved here.“ Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung –„Believable and riveting“ Sächsische Zeitung

A short biography

Derek Gimpel was born in Berlin where he studied history of art and history of music and began work as an opera director at the Staatsoper unter den Linden. As a freelance director he maintained his close relationship with the Staatsoper and amongst numerous other productions was working alongside Harry Kupfer and Daniel Barenboim on Wagner’s Ring Cycle, Parsifal, Tannhäuser, Die Meistersinger and Tristan and Isolde. Derek’s recent production of Harrison Birtwistle’s opera Punch and Judy at the Staatsoper am Schiller Theater was received to universal acclaim.

His repertoire as director/revival director to date encompasses over 70 operas and his work taken him to opera houses around the world including the Teatro Real Madrid, Palais Garnier and Champs Elysees Paris, New National Theatre Tokyo, Finnish National Opera Helsinki, Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona, National Opera Warsaw, La Scala Milan, Israeli Opera Tel Aviv, Zurich and Leipzig Opera and the Salzburg Festival. In 2017 his production of Verdi’s Don Carlo has its premiere in the National Theatre of Croatia in Zagreb.

He was the first to consider the then disused Postbahnhof am Ostbahnhof in Berlin as a venue and created for it a spectacular evening of music theatre entitled Schattenreich using music by Gérard Grisey and Alexander Goehr with the contemporary music ensemble Klangforum Wien.

He has directed Monteverdi and Handel with the historically informed Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin and plans an open air production of Monteverdi’s Orfeo in Siena for SienAgosto.

Derek regularly contributes articles and essays to programme books and has given workshops for young singers in Berlin, London and Tokyo. He directed his own translation of Donizettis Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali which was premiered by the Dresdner Philharmonie and Michael Sanderling.