Hans Neuenfels was born in Krefeld in 19541. He started publishing prose and poetry at an early age. In 1961 he met Max Ernst, who had a decisive influence on his artistic development. Neuenfels wrote a novel, stories, essays, libretti, film scripts and plays. His autobiography, »Das Bastardbuch«, appeared in 2011, and was awarded the Nierrheinischen Literaturpreis. Neuenfels studied acting and directing at the Max Reinhardt Seminar in Vienna. His early career included Heidelberg, Darmstadt, Basel and Cologne, after which he directed around a hundred plays at Schauspiel Frankfurt, which he influenced under theatre manager Peter Palitzsch, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Zurich, Paris and Vienna. From 1986-1990 he was general manager of Berlin’s Volksbühne. He made films about Kleist, Musil, Genet and Strindberg. In 1994 he was awarded the Kainz Medal of the City of Vienna. He began directing operas in 1974, and has directed 40 to date. For the 1995 Vienna Festival in cooperation with the Wiener Staatsoper he directed the world première of Adriana Hölszkys »Die Wände«, based on a play by Jean Genet, in 1997 he directed »König Kandaules« by Alexander Zemlinsky at the Vienna Volksoper, followed in 1998 by the Wiener Staatsoper production of Giacomo Meyerbeer’s »Le Prophète«, »Così fan tutte« at the Salzburg Festival in 2000, »Die Fledermaus« in 2001 and »Pique Dame« in 2018. Neuenfels is a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts and the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts, and was voted »Opera director of the year« in 2005 and 2008. In 2016 he received the Akademie der Darstellenden Künste »Der Faust award for his life’s work. He is married to actress Elisabeth Trissenaar. Cameraman Benedict Neuenfels is their son.