BASEL, Switzerland — Herbert Wernicke, a German avant-garde opera designer whose productions appeared in major theaters across Europe, has died. He was 56.
Wernicke died Tuesday in Basel, where he was working on the set for Handel's oratorio "Israel in Egypt" at the city's main theater. The cause of death was not given. The Austrian newspaper Salzburger Nachrichten reported that Wernicke collapsed in the street and could not be revived.
A prolific designer, Wernicke's current projects also included a production of Wagner's "Ring" cycle for the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Germany.
His production of Ernst Krenek's 1925 opera "Jonny Spielt Auf" was to open in Vienna in December.
Born March 24, 1946, in Augge in Germany's Black Forest, Wernicke studied piano, flute and conducting at the conservatory in Braunschweig, and then at the Fine Arts Academy in Munich.