A well-balanced singer/orchestra relationship is Johannes’ uppermost priority when conducting opera.
»I am a singer's-conductor. I was lucky to have spent countless hours with singers – coaching and conducting – to have learnt to breathe with them and to understand their needs. Singers know they can rely on me.«
In his function as long-term permanent conductor for the Aalto Theater Essen, the Oper Wuppertal and as guest conductor at opera houses throughout Germany, Johannes has conducted a wide repertoire, ranging from Scarlatti, Gluck and Mozart to Rossini, Bellini, Verdi and Puccini to Henze, Sciarrino, Jost and Hosakawa and operettas by Offenbach, Strauß, Lehár and Kálmán.
Johannes would like to see more pieces of our time being performed:
»The innovation happening in opera today is concerning staging, in the way we stage the 999th production of Carmen or The Magic Flute. There are so many contemporary operas still to be discovered and I think we need to dare ourselves to venture outside our comfort zone, in order to keep opera vibrant and relevant.«
»RELAX MAN, IT’S JUST BALLET!«
Johannes is passionate about dance as an art form. He is sure that inspired and well played music is essential for dancers to be able to perform their best.
»Being scolded by a musician for rehearsing a ballet score in too much detail, I thought to myself: Now more than ever! Of course that didn't lighten the mood in the orchestra rehearsal, but my point came through: Why should we perform ballet music – some of the most colourful music ever composed – with any less care and love for detail than, let’s say, a Brahms Symphony?«
Johannes conducts the classical ballets: The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Giselle, Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Boléro, Onegin, La Fille mal Gardée a.o. He is in demand as conductor for leading companies throughout Europe.
»Dancers have told me they sometimes feel like their needs are not taken seriously by conductors. As conductors for the ballet, we need to understand and appreciate how difficult dance can be. It is our job to support the dancers in every way we can.«
»Do not disturb.«
Johannes conducts a wide concert repertoire, ranging from early baroque music to compositions of our time.
»I do not willfully search for new and shocking interpretations of classical works for the sake of performing them differently. My goal when performing any type of music is to let the music find to itself, to not disturb its natural flow, to let it be the best version of itself and that this way it will hopefully speak directly to the hearts of the listeners.«
Johannes is meticulous about the programming of his concerts:
»I put a lot of time and care into creating my concert programs. A concert should be like a well balanced full-course dinner. All courses must give the others the space they require and none should overpower the other.«