Hakan Starkenberg got his breakthrough as a director with the highly acclaimed avant-garde production of “TOSCA or The Fascist” in the Reactor Hall, Stockholm. With this production he began his creative collaboration with his design team, Markus Granqvist and Marcus Olson.
Hakan has among others worked with singers like Emma Kirkby and Yaniv d’Or when he directed Handel’s oratorio Susanna, and also created an attended ”close up” production of Maria Stuarda.
Hakan has been professionally active as a singer since his debut at the Gothenburg Opera 1995. He has always had a passion for the theatrical expression, both the analytical and practical work.
A few years ago, Hakan had the opportunity to work as assistant director to Mellika Melouani Melani (now Artistic Director of Folkoperan in Stockholm) in a number of her productions. Together they created the experimental productions of Rigoletto at Uppsala Stadsteater and Carmen at Backa Theatre in Gothenburg. This also led to close collaboration with the composer and artist Dror Feiler.
Hakan’s own words about his artistry:
I wrestle with the question of how and why we need to relate to a tradition. When we created ‘TOSCA or The Fascist” it felt as if we kidnapped the opera, and there was a sort of Stockholm syndrome between us and the piece. A deconstructed but loyal approach, where we rediscovered the work itself. My motivation is that the performing arts can have an influence on society. The artists and the audience meet in a concentrated room where the artwork is created in real time, and we are affected together. For this purpose the piece is the springboard. For me, the dramatic language is music and the musical language is theatre. My goal is always to get all the artists desires and their passion to breathe with the music, the dramatic expression, and with each other. Then we’ve created the art machine that really can conquer our minds.