Luc Bondy, Swiss Stage and Opera Director, Dead at 67

“He exemplified the culture of Europe,” French President Francois Hollande says of Bondy, who was a force at theaters in Paris, Berlin, Vienna and Salzburg

Luc Bondy, Schweizer Theater-, Opern und Filmregisseur, bedankt sich beim Publikum fuer den erhaltenen Festspielpreis, am Freitag, 4. Juli 2008, im Rahmen eines Festaktes im Schiffbau in Zuerich. Der Zuercher und Europaeer Luc Bondy ist Intendant der Wiener Festwochen und lebt in Wien und Paris. Sein Einfluss auf das europaeische Theater ist bis heute ungebrochen. Er steht fuer ein intelligentes, poetisches, formenreiches Theater und fuer wunderbare Arbeit mit Schauspielern, Texten, Raeumen. (KEYSTONE/Eddy Risch)

Influential Swiss theater director Luc Bondy has died from complications due to pneumonia. He was 67.

The Odeon Theater in Paris, which Bondy ran for the past three years, made the announcement of his death Saturday.

Bondy was a force at theaters throughout Europe, including Berlin’s Schaubuehne, the Salzburg Festival and Vienna’s Wiener Festwochen, which he led until 2013. He also directed operas and films in a career that spanned more than four decades.

“Although ill from his early years, he gave up nothing, working tirelessly, suffering but still tirelessly at work,” French President Francois Hollande’s office said of Bondy, who was born in Zurich and raised in France. “He exemplified by his personal story and his outstanding work the culture of Europe.”

Austrian Culture Minister Josef Ostermayer called him “a special citizen of the world who worked at all the major stages … The theater world has lost a member of the avant-garde and an artistic free spirit.”

Bondy had eclectic tastes and his productions ranged from the classics and the modern.

“I hate directing people who have to prove their imagination every second,” Reuters quoted him as telling a magazine interviewer.