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Opéra de Lille Appoints New Director

Producer and journalist Barbara Eckle will step into the role in 2025


Marie-Pierre Bresson and the Board of Directors at France's Opéra de Lille recently announced that Barbara Eckle will be the company's new director, beginning in 2025. She succeeds Caroline Sonrier, who has been in the role since 2003 — and will be one of only two female directors at the helm of the major opera houses in France. 

Born in Zürich, Eckle studied the violin with Yuri Vodovoz at the Mannes School of Music in New York. She is also a graduate of Oxford University, where she studied literature and the humanities, and the International Film School in Prague.

She first began producing operas in New York, originally working on Britten's The Turn of the Screw with the Juilliard School Ensemble and conductor Lorin Maazel. Eckle continued working for Maazel on his opera 1984, which premiered in 2005 at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

An accomplished journalist, Eckle wrote for print and digital classical music publications in Germany for most of the 2010s, with a particular focus on contemporary music.

Between 2018 and 2020, Eckle was a dramaturg at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, and between 2020 and 2023, she served as director of dramaturgy for the opera and concerts of the RUHRTRIENNALE International Arts Festival.

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