Composer and conductor Roland Fister learned percussion at Stuttgart University of Music, before moving on to study conducting at Freiburg University, under Prof. Peter Gülke.
Since 2001 he has conducted more than 50 opera and musical productions at the Landestheater Coburg, becoming a prominent presence at the theatre, where his talents are valued by audiences and critics alike.
As a composer, he first drew attention nationally with the premiere in 2013 of his original opera/musical ‘Dorian Gray’, with staging by the Coburg theatre’s former artistic director, Bodo Busse.
The German press agency DPA called the production an “impressive musical theatre adaptation”, while broadcaster Bayerische Rundfunk said: “It is fascinating how Roland Fister manages to link the operatic and musical genres in a single song, how the rhythms change from one moment to the next and an aria suddenly becomes a jazz number.”
By popular demand, ‘Dorian Gray’ was revived for a second run in the following theatrical season.
In 2015, the Coburg theatre commissioned Mr Fister to compose the orchestral ballet ‘Alice in Wonderland’, which premiered in 2017 with choreography by Rosemary Helliwell.
Mr Fister later adapted the ballet into a symphonic fairytale for speaker and orchestra, in partnership with renowned children’s author Heinz Janisch. This adaptation became the first CD-recording by the Coburg theatre’s Philharmonic Orchestra, which was released by classical music label GENUIN. The German Music Schools’ Association nominated the recording for a Leopold media prize, praising the work as “good music for children”.
Since then, this symphonic fairytale has become a favourite for children’s concerts. Future scheduled performances include 2021 dates with the Jena Philharmonic Orchestra and the Göttingen Symphony Orchestra, both under the baton of the composer.
In early 2020, Coburg saw the premiere of another production from the partnership of Roland Fister and Heinz Janisch: the children’s opera ‘Die Prinzessin auf dem Kürbis’ (‘The Princess on the Pumpkin’). In its review of the show, the newspaper Coburger Tageblatt said: “As the composer, Roland Fister manages the feat of writing a children’s opera that quickly reaches its young audience with catchy motifs, while simultaneously holding the interest of well-versed opera fans with a variety of skilfully interwoven melodic references. ‘Die Prinzessin auf dem Kürbis’ [is] a thoroughly successful original production, which should also capture the interest of other theatres.”
Mr Fister has also been commissioned to compose a symphonic work for the Hamburg-based orchestra Orchester’91, set to premiere in early 2022 at the Musikverein Wien in Vienna, and at the Laieszhalle in Hamburg, conducted by Kiril Stankow.