Anita Ammersfeld grew up in Vienna and Canada. She is a classically trained opera singer and her career began conventionally.
- 1963 - 1966 vocal studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada
- 1967 - 1970 vocal studies at the Vienna Conservatory
- 1970 - 1974 vocal studies at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna
- 1974 - She made her debut in the role of Cherubin in Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro", at that time as the youngest member of the ensemble of the Vienna Volksoper
- 1979 - She moved from the soubrette to lyric soprano roles for which she got known in the German speaking world
- 1967 - First TV appearance in Gerhard Bronner's "Show Fenster" in a duet with Georg Danzer and recording of her first record, also with Georg Danzer "Du suchst im Spiegel Dein Gesicht"
- 1973 - Recording of "Jedes Lied erzählt von Liebe", CBS
- 1977 - Complete recording of "Das Nachtlager von Granada" by Conradin Kreutzer, Preiser Records
Anita Ammersfeld has a diversified repertoire of opera and operetta roles. Her stage commitments have taken her to Mainz, Zurich, Munich, Lucerne, Würzburg, Wiesbaden, Paris, Brussels, Jerusalem, Braunschweig, Augsburg, Mannheim, St. Gallen, Graz and Klagenfurt. She also appeared in several TV shows in Austria, Germany and Belgium and presented numerous phonogram recordings.
SELECTION OF CDs
- 1999 - Anita Ammersfeld singt jiddische Lieder (Anita Ammersfeld sings Yiddish songs)
- 1999 - Ich hab kein scharfes Messer (I have no sharp knife) with Gerhard Bronner, Ethan Freeman
- 2000 - Anita Ammersfeld singt Liebeslieder (Anita Ammersfeld sings love songs)
- 2003 - Ich liebe Dich nicht. Eine Hommage an Kurt Weill (I don’t love you. A tribute to Kurt Weill)
When Anita Ammersfeld became a mother, she ended her "out of the suitcase" life to which her numerous engagements had "forced" her. However, it did not correspond to her nature, only to be restricted to the role of being mother. She always had her own vision of how musical quality should be and in order to implement her own high standards in this field, she founded the "Music Forum Ammersfeld" and started producing. She mainly focused on Jewish and Yiddish music and significantly contributed to give great Jewish artists of the interim and post-war period their meaning again.
With more productions - form musical satire, songs, operettas to drama - she served the most diverse artistic genres. operetta potpourri Guest performances of her productions led her across the Austrian Provinces to Prague, Berlin, Luxembourg, Jerusalem and the United Arab Emirates. Living out of the suitcase was reactivated.
Selection of her productions where she stood a protagonist on stage: Focus "Jewish themes and music"
- “Das Schtetl und so“ (The Shtetl and so on) (1995), written and directed by Heinz Ehrenfreund, also starring Heinz Ehrenfreund, Roman Grinberg und den Freijlachs and Elio Gervasi Dance Company, K & K Theater, Vienna
- “Oj, wie entfernt” (Oy, how remote) written and directed by Heinz Ehrenfreund, Theater Akzent, Vienna (1996) youTube
- “Eine schrecklich nette Mischpoche” (A terribly nice mishpokhe), written and directed by Michaela Scheday, also starring Roman Greenberg, Ensembletheater, Vienna youTube
- “Uj jessas, nur net schlag'n” (My goodness, just don’t hit) written by and co-starring Gerhard Bronner, directed by Michael Maurer, Rabenhof, Vienna (1997) youTube
- “Ocean of Crystals and Tears,” an installation by Bernd Fasching, also starring Michaela Scheday, Roman Grinberg, Adi Schober and Harald Haslinger in St. Stephen's Cathedral (west gallery), Vienna (2000)
- “Anonyme Jüdische Mütter” (Anonymous Jewish mothers), written and directed by Michaela Scheday, also starring Erika Deutinger, Felicitas Morawitz, Karoline Zeisler, Roman Grinberg, Ensemble Theater, Vienna (2001) youTube
- “Von Bis nach Seit - Eine Hommage an Erich Fried” (From Until to Since - A tribute to Erich Fried), directed by Michaela Scheday and Wolfgang Palka, written by Julia Patuzzi and Wolfgang Palka, also starring Michaela Scheday and Elio Gervasi, Festspielhaus St. Pölten and in old movie theaters, Vienna (2002) youTube
- “Ich liebe dich nicht - Eine Hommage an Kurt Weill” (I don’t love you - a tribute to Kurt Weill), directed by Elfriede Ott, written by Georg Markus, Haus der Musik, Festspielhaus St. Pölten, Theater am Steg in Baden (2002) youTube
- “Heimat, sweet Heimat” (Home sweet home) musical revue by Charles Lewinsky, directed by Hans-Peter Horner, co-starring Helmut Wallner, Roman Grinberg and Benjamin Rufin, stadtTheater walfischgasse (2006) youTube
Subsequently, Anita Ammersfeld realised it would be time to face new challenges. She inactivated the "Musik Forum Ammersfeld", let singing be "dormant" and turned her interest exclusively to the "speaking" guild. She played with Felix Dvorak, Elfriede Ott, Fritz Muliar and subsequently in productions in her own theater in the Walfischgasse:
- “Drunter und Drüber” (Le Dindon) by Georges Feydeau, directed by Felix Dvorak, Sommerfestspiele Berndorf (2002)
- “Paris ist eine Reise wert” (“Mussote”) by Guy de Maupassant, directed by Felix Dvorak, Komödienfestspiele Mödling (2003) youTube
- “Frühere Verhältnisse” (past relationships) by Johannes Nepomuk Nestroy, directed by Elfriede Ott, Sommerspiele Burg Liechtenstein (2004) youTube
- "Heimat, sweet Heimat" by Charles Lewinsky, directed Hanspeter Horner, stadtTheater walfischgasse (2006) you Tube
- “Kleine Eheverbrechen“ (“Petits crimes conjugaux”) by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, directed by Thomas Schendel, stadtTheater walfischgasse (2009) youTube
- “Der Tod und das Mädchen“ (“Death and the Maiden”) by Ariel Dorfmann, directed by Thomas Schendel, stadtTheater walfischgasse 2012) youTube
- "Halbe Wahrheiten" (Relatively Speaking) by Alan Ayckbourn, directed by Carolin Pienkos, stadtTheater walfischgasse (2013) youTube
- „Doubt“ by John Patrick Shanley, directed by Christine Wipplinger, stadtTheater walfischgasse (2015) youTube
In 2005, Anita Ammersfeld took over the - extensive - renovation and then the management of the stadtTheater walfischgasse. Under her directorship the theater produced and presented mainly comissioned works by authors such as Charles Lewinsky, Peter Patzak, Peter Turrini, Lida Winiewicz and Felix Mitterer, premieres and Austrian and Viennese first premieres - to a large extent in regard to social and political events and developments.
Cabaret, a series of talks with distinguished guests interviewed by Peter Huemer (Prince Schwarzenberg, Joachim Gauck, Gregor Gysi, Arik Brauer, Harald Schmidt, Sophie Freud, Erika Pluhar, Hannes Androsch, Reinhold Messner and many others), and intelligent, often political and satirical pieces at a high end level completed the repertoire.
Anita Ammersfeld also managed to bring on stage in the Walfischgasse the singer poet Herman van Veen with his congenial partner Edith Leerkes, also the shrill, obliquely-macabre British trio "The Tiger Lillies" an the "Rock-Sex & Drug era" survivor Marianne Faithfull.
The theater in the Walfischgasse established itself under her leadership to one of the best facilities in Vienna's cultural landscape. After ten laborious years, Anita Ammersfeld decided to finish directorship. to rent the theater to the Vienna State Opera and to start into a new era of her life which does not preclude a comback in artistic terms.
stadtTheater walfischgasse in-house productions:
- "Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert" by Charles Lewinsky, starring Hannes Gastinger, Matthias Hacker, Johannes Seilern, Reinhardt Winter, Sebastian Eckhardt, Marcus Thill, Jörg Stelling and Patrick Lammer, directed by Charles Lewinsky
- "Zweifel" ("Doubt") by John Patrick Shanley, starring Anita Ammersfeld, Rachelle Nkou, Johanna Withalm and Alexander Rossi, directed by Christine Wipplinger
- "Der Beweis" ("Proof") by David Auburn, starring Eva-Christina Binder, Anna Sophie Krenn, Andrè Pohl and Michael Schusser, directed by Carolin Pienkos
- "Halbe Wahrheiten" ("Relatively Speaking") by Alan Ayckbourn, starring Anita Ammersfeld, Sophie Prusar, Hubsi Kramar, Matthias F. Stein, directed by Carolin Pienkos
- "Drei Mal Leben" ("Life x 3") by Yasmina Reza, starring Barbara Horvath, Sinikka Schubert, Oliver Baier, Nicolaus Hagg, directed by Michael Gampe
- "ENIGMA" ("Variations Enigmatiques") by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, starring Christian Pätzold and Alexander Rossi, directed by Isabella Suppanz
- "C(R)ASH" by Rupert Henning, starring Claudia Kottal, Stefano Bernardin and Cornelius Obonya, directed by Carolin Pienkos
- “Betrogen“ (“Betrayal”) by Harold Pinter, starring Nicole Beutler, Joseph Lorenz and Nicolaus Hagg, directed by Werner Schneyder
- “Der Vorname“ (“Le Prénom”) by Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patellière, starring Ildiko Babos, Catherine Solzbacher, Oliver Baier, Michael Rast and Alexander Rossi, directed by Carolin Pienkos
- “Lotti und Lilya“ (Lotti and Lilya) by Katrin Ammon (world premiere), starring Julia Gschnitzer and Elfriede Irrall, directed by Mathias Levèvre
- “Revanche” (“Sleuth”) by Anthony Shaffer, starring Rupert Henning and Cornelius Obonya, directed by Carolin Pienkos
- “Verklärte Nacht” (“Home Cinema”) (world premiere) by Joshua Sobol, starring Mercedes Echerer and Erik Jan Rippmann, directed by Joshua Sobol
- “Der Tod und das Mädchen“ (“Death and the Maiden”) by Ariel Dorfmann, starring Anita Ammersfeld, Hannes Gastinger and Willy Höller, directed by Thomas Schendel
- “The Cleopatra Club” (European premiere) by Paul Schrader, starring Thomas Anzenhofer, Bernd Schultze, Faris Endris Rahoma, Elsayed Kandil and Amira El Sayed, directed by Rupert Henning
- “Backstage” (“Headset – A View from the Light Booth”) (European premiere) by William M. Downs, starring Thomas Borchert, Alexander Strobele, Emese Fay, Daniel Keberle and Dirk Nocker, directed by André Pohl
- “Die Nervensäge“ (“L’Emmerdeur”) by Francis Veber, starring Hannes Gastinger, Fritz Egger, Alexander Strömer, Alexandra-Maria Timmel, Reinhard and Wolfgang Steiner Habitzl, directed by Thomas Schendel
- “Geisterbahn“ (ghost train) (world premiere) by Lida Winiewicz, starring Helmut Berger, Konstanze Breitebner, Nicolaus Hagg, Roswitha Szyzskowitz, Mehmet Sözer, Emilia Reif-Breitwieser, staged and directed by Niko Büchel
- “Die Liebe in Madagaskar“ (love in Madagascar) (premiere of the revised version) by Peter Turrini, starring Gerti Drassl, Wolfgang Böck and Sami Loris, staged and directed by Peter Patzak
- “Kleine Eheverbrechen“ (“Petits crimes conjugaux”) by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt starring Anita Ammersfeld and Hannes Gastinger, directed by Thomas Schendel
- “Cabaret der verlorenen Seelen” (“Le Cabaret des Hommes Perdus“) (German language premiere), a musical by Christian Simeon and Patrick Laviosa starring Hannes Gastinger, Martin Niedermair, Norman Stehr and Sascha Oskar Weis, directed by Thomas Schendel, musical director Daniel Large-Boyman
- “Best of Farkas & Co,” book and repartees: Georg Markus, starring Joesi Prokopetz, Sigrid Hauser, Clemens Schaller and others
- “Shakespeare Schwarz Weiß” (Shakespeare black & white), a co-production with Armes Theater Wien for children ages six and up
- “Der Patriot“ (the patriot) (world premiere) by Felix Mitterer, starring Thomas Kamper, directed by Werner Schneyder
- “Paradiso” (paradise) (world premiere) by Lida Winiewicz, starring Hilde Sochor and Katharina Scholz Manker, directed by Matthias Levefre
- “Akte - Im Schweigen vermählt“ (nudes - wedded in silence) (world premiere), written and directed by Peter Patzak, starring Gerti Drassl, Eva Herzig and Maddalena Hirschal
- “Ich, Hackl...“ (I, Hackl...) starring Karlheinz Hackl (world premiere), music and lyrics: Georg Danzer, screenplay: Joesi Prokopetz, musicians: Dieter Kolbeck, Christian Becker, Stephan Maass
- “Marlene Moves“ (world premiere), written and directed by Thomas Schendel, starring Sona MacDonald und Roman Frankl
- “Interview“ (Austrian premiere), starring Elke Winkens and Dieter Laser, directed and staged by Peter Patzak
- “Empfänger unbekannt“ (“Address Unknown”) (Austrian premiere) by Kressmann Taylor, edited and staged by Isabella Suppanz, starring Karlheinz Hackl and Peter Pikl
- “Baby Talk” (Austrian premiere), music: Thomas Zaufke, text: Peter Lund, director: Thomas Schendel, starring Nina Proll and Sascha Oskar Weiss
- “Heimat, Sweet Heimat” (home sweet home) (world premiere), musical revue by Charles Lewinsky, starring Anita Ammersfeld, Helmut Wallner, Roman Grinberg and Benjamin Rufin, directed by Hanspeter Horner
- “Freunde, das Leben ist lebenswert“ (friends, life is worth living) (Austrian premiere), written and directed by Charles Lewinsky, starring Hannes Gastinger, Johannes Seilern, Thomas Declaude, Sascha Oskar Weis, Marcus Thill, Sebastian Eckhardt, Jörg Stelling
The True Story more ...
Anita Ammersfeld's life plan was not to conduct a theater before. She was well aware that such a project would be far from easy and the days and nights due to working conditions very short. However, she had not reckoned with the "others"; the "others" were:
Robert Jungbluth, former Secretary General of the Federal Theatre Association and later Josefstadt-Co-Director; Gerhard Bronner, formerly director of the theater Walfischgasse when it still was called Theater am Kärntnertor; Ronald Leopoldi, son of Hermann Leopoldi, the author of numerous popular songs; and last but not least, Erwin Javor, the always active and innovative husband of Anita Ammersfeld. These gentlemen were extremely impressed b the idea to fill the former Theater am Kärntnertor and the subsequent - financially badly battered - "Little Comedy" again with a breath of life ... and performances.
Robert Jungbluth, passionate lover of the theater in general and of the former Theater am Kärntnertor in particular assured Ammersfeld eloquently how wonderfully she would handle it and that he is convinced of the enriching, valuable artistic vision she therefore would put into action. Gerhard Bronner said that he would never more manage a theater in a lifetime, but the notion that "his" theater could be brought back to life would please him exceptionally well and he would offer help and advice at hand how to accomplish it. Ronald Leopoldi saw the musical legacy of his father come back to life. And Erwin Javor, the successful entrepreneur, liked the idea for two reasons. First, the artistic director was already found. Second, the challenge to install a theatre successfully and economically well structured appealed to him, just because cultural institutions do not tend to be both.
And then one day it happened: The "Little Comedy", formerly Gerhard Bronner's legendary Theater am Kärntnertor went bankrupt and was ready for a takeover and reopening. The launch of the stadtTheater walfischgasse: Erwin Javor and Anita Ammersfeld invested heart, euphoria, mental and physical labor and especially private assets in the extremely extensive renovation and developed an ambitious artistic concept.
Anita Ammersfeld took under contract first class authors, actors, comedians, singers and musicians, and the theater has developed and established to be a fixpoint in Vienna's cultural scene - until Anita Ammersfeld ended her and the stadtTheater walfischgasse era with the final performance on May 8, 2015.
- 1995 - award of the "Honorary Cross for Science and Art of the Republic of Austria" by the then Federal President Thomas Klestil for her merits and her contribution to promote understanding of Jewish culture as well as in honor of her numerous concerts abroad.
- 2002 - award of the "Goldenes Verdienstzeichen des Landes Wien" by the Councillor for Culture Dr. Andreas Mailath-Pokorny
- 2008 - Award for her contribution to the Viennese leisure industry by Wirtschaftskammer Austria (Department of Commerce)
Review regarding "Der Tod und das Mädchen" (“Death and the Maiden”) at stadtTheater walfischgasse
“Anita Ammersfeld shines in the role of a goddess of vengeance in her own right... probably no one expected the stadtTheater’s artistic director Anita Ammersfeld to undergo such a transformation and self-renunciation: she endows Paulina with a truly spectacular demeanor and newly stupefying rage at every stage of the evening... playing the husband who doesn’t know what hit him, Hannes Gastinger is nearly as formidable as Ammersfeld.” (Die Presse)
“...A rousing performance of the difficult piece with sophisticated scenography and a superb cast: Anita Ammersfeld, Hannes Gastinger and Willy Höller.” “Lighting, sound, video contribute to the fact that an evening in this theater will likely be remembered for a long time to come." (Wiener Zeitung)
“The fact that she has the perfect touch for the corresponding piece shone through in artistic director Anita Ammersfeld’s performance in the political thriller “Death and the Maiden,” a title it shares with the Polanski film.” (Krone)
Review regarding "Kleine Eheverbrechen" (“Petits crimes conjugaux”) in stadtTheater walfischgasse
“Anita Ammersfeld and Hannes Gastinger are nearly ideal mates and performers... an enthusiastic applause from the stadtTheater audience.” (Kronenzeitung, October 2009)
“The audience went wild with happiness.” (Kurier, October 2009)
““Kleine Eheverbrechen” (“Petits crimes conjugaux”) by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt is now premiering in “stadtTheater walfischgasse” in a multi-faceted production by stage director Thomas Schendel. Supported by the tremendously harmonious scenography by Daria Kornysheva, he puts the audience completely under his spell and leads Anita Ammersfeld and Hannes Gastinger to acting excellence: the interpretation offers honesty a richness that excites from the first to last minute.” (Wiener Zeitung, October 2009)