Julia Glesner

Opera for Everyone - The Biography of Sir Peter Jonas

(German title: Oper für alle)
ca. 630 pages
Julia Glesner
Foto: Julia Glesner
© Insel Verlag

Julia Glesner, born in Saarlouis in 1975, earned her PhD in Karlsruhe after reading Theatre Studies, Political Science and German Philology in Mainz and Paris. After working as the head of the PR department at Erfurt Opera and head of communcations and marketing for the Klassik Stiftung Weimar, she became Professor of Culture and Management at the FH Potsdam in 2017.

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A must for every opera fan!


Not only was he an opera star, he was also one of the most fascinating people of his time: Sir Peter Jonas, an impressive figure, elegant, quirky, funny. With a family story that exemplifies the turmoil of the 20th century.

His mother was born in Lebanon, his father was the son of a Jewish family from Hamburg. He himself grew up in England and with discipline and British coolness he made it to the best opera houses in the world, collaborated with Sir Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim. In 1993, he became intendant of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, where he was both praised and criticised for his productions. In 1999, he was knighted by the Queen.

His main concern was to make high culture accessible. His project »Opera for Everyone«, which saw the public broadcast of performances on Max Joseph Square in Munich, became an example for many other cities.

In April 2020, aged 73, Sir Peter Jonas died of cancer. In the two years before his death, he had many conversations with author Julia Glesner. »Write quickly,« he asked her before he allowed her to learn more about his breath-taking life.