Rolf Liebermann, 88, a Swiss composer who led the Hamburg Opera for more than a decade before sparking the revival of the moribund Paris Opera, died Saturday in Paris. The cause of death was not made public.
Liebermann spent 13 years as head of the Hamburg Opera, from 1959 to 1972, before joining the Paris Opera as chief administrator at a time when it was being abandoned by the public and by stars.
The Liebermann years, from 1973 to 1980, "were those of revival, reform and a period of great splendor," Paris Opera Director Hughes Gall said. "The way of envisaging lyric music and opera in this second half of the century would not have been the same without him," Gall said.
French President Jacques Chirac said Liebermann was able to "return to the Paris Opera all of its brilliance, its prestige and its culture."
Born Sept. 14, 1910, in Zurich, Switzerland, Liebermann wrote numerous concertos, symphonies and operas, including "Eleonore 40/45," "Penelope," "L'Ecole des Femmes" and "La Foret."
Taking on the revival of the Paris Opera, Liebermann brought in some of the world's great conductors, including Karl Bohm, Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel and Georg Solti. He even tapped the film and theater worlds, bringing in directors like Joseph Losey.
Prime Minister Lionel Jospin noted that by rekindling public interest in the opera, Liebermann planted the seeds for the Bastille Opera, the ultra-modern house opened in 1989 with the aim of bringing opera to the people.
Tamara Dudko, 53, the deputy speaker of Belarus' upper house of parliament, died Saturday in a car accident near Minsk, the Belarusian capital. No other details were available.
Dudko, who was a member of the Supreme Soviet under the last Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, was an engineer by training and was general director of Belarus' largest brewery, Alivariya.
She was appointed to parliament by President Alexander Lukashenko in January 1997, after he pushed through a referendum creating a legislature to replace the one he dissolved.
Pub Date: 1/04/99