Elke Neidhardt is a freelance director, whose work has received acclaim both in Australia and overseas. In 2001 she directed the first Australian production of Wagner's Parsifal for State Opera of South Australia which prompted an invitation to direct Der Ring des Nibelungen for the same Company. Both productions were highly praised by critics writing for publications all over the world. While Wagner is one of her great strengths her repertoire spans all composers and periods and her creative approach to all the work she has undertaken is one of the talents that singles her out as a Director. In 2006 Elke participated in the ABC Television production of Operatunity Oz which was televised nationally and received very good critical reviews. Recent work for Opera Australia includes Mozart’s Don Giovanni and reviving her own productions of Werther, Il trovatore and Tannhäuser.
German-born, Elke graduated from the Stuttgart Drama and Opera School. Her first directing experience was as Assistant Director at Zurich State Opera, followed by engagements as an actress at Theater in der Josefstadt in Vienna as well as freelancing in theatre, feature films and television in Germany, Austria and France. In addition she worked as an Assistant Director on Festival productions of operas in Aix-en-Provence, Amsterdam, Salzburg and Vienna.
In 1977 Elke joined The Australian Opera as Resident Director where, until 1990, she directed and re-staged a wide variety of the Company's repertoire.
In 1990 she was appointed Principal Resident Director and Director of Productions at Oper der Stadt Köln in Germany. In this position she initially assisted and then restaged three complete Wagner Ring Cycles.
Opera credits include:
Opera Australia: Tannhäuser, Werther, La Cenerentola, Fidelio, Lohengrin, Salome, Andrea Chénier, Fidelio, Il trovatore and Don Giovanni
Opera Queensland: Il trovatore, Fidelio and Andrea Chénier
West Australian Opera: Il trovatore
Victorian State Opera: The Flying Dutchman, I puritani and Lohengrin
State Opera of South Australia: Salome, Parsifal, Il trovatore, Andrea Chénier and Der Ring des Nibelungen (Ring Cycle)
Oper der Stadt Köln: La Finta Semplice, Tosca, Die Fledermaus and La traviata.
Theatre credits include:
Bell Shakespeare Co.: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (National Tour).
Now based in Australia, Elke is in demand as a tutor and lecturer, having worked at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, among other leading institutions.