RETURNRenato Mordo

Renato Mordo

Director
He was born on 03/08/1894 in Vienna, Austria. His parents were of Jewish descent – his father was from Corfu, his mother from Austria – and were killed in a concentration camp. He studied German culture, literature, art history and history of music at the University of Vienna and subsequently at the Vienna Academy of Music and Representational Arts (currently Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien) (1914-17). In 1917, he started his professional career as a director at the Katowice Municipal Theater in Poland. In 1920, he was appointed director of the Oldenburg Theater and Opera, where he modernized the repertoire and implemented innovative ideas (1920-23). Subsequently, he served in managerial posts at the German Popular Theater, Vienna, at the Lobe Theater, Breslau, in Dresden and in Darmstadt. With the rise of Nazism, he moved to Prague, where he became director of the German Theater (Deutsches Theater) and taught at the local German Academy of Music and Representational Arts. In 1939, after the German invasion and following an invitation from Kostis Bastias, upon Manolis Kalomiris’ suggestion, he came with his family in Greece, where he was hired as a key contributor in the newly founded GNO. From 1940 to 1957, he directed at the GNO 19 operas and operettas, in 35 productions and/or reconstructions, all of which were staged for the first time by the institution: The Bat (Die Fledermaus), Madama Butterfly, The Abduction from the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Rhea [Rea], Orient [Anatoli], Dido, The Tales of Hoffmann (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), etc. During the German Occupation, he had trouble working, and he was imprisoned in Chaidari; after the Civil War, he was laid off from the GNO on grounds of communist sympathies. He went in playwriting. From 1942 to 1946, he worked with the companies of Marika Kotopouli, Aroni-Manolidou-Horn and Moussouris-Mordo-Anemoyanni. In 1947, he left Greece and worked at the Ankara Opera (1947-51), in Tel Aviv (1951-52) and at the Mainz State Theater (Staatstheater Mainz) (1952-1955).