QUIMPER, France - Klaus Michael Grueber, a German opera and theater director renowned for lyric elegance, has died in western France, officials said yesterday. He was 67.
Mr. Grueber died Sunday on the Brittany island resort of Belle-Ile-en-Mer, where he had a second home, officials in the town of Le Palais said, without specifying the cause of death.
In a statement, French Culture Minister Christine Albanel praised Mr. Grueber as "an artist and man of rare elegance, whose humanity made each direction an encounter, a story of love."
Mr. Grueber broke the boundaries of his craft by bringing imagery from poetry to the theater, and was "able to make water sing on an opera stage," Albanel said.
Mr. Grueber was born in 1941 in Neckarelz, Germany, and took up his career at age 23.
He often eschewed the limelight, deferring to better-known stars such as German actors Bruno Ganz and Bernhard Minetti.
Over the years, Mr. Grueber worked with the Berliner Schaubuehne in Germany, Piccolo Teatro in Milan and in Zurich for the Schauspielhaus.
Mr. Grueber's last project was the opera "Luci mie traditrici" by Sciarrino for this year's Salzburg Festival, which he was unable to finish.
"He was one of the most impressive artists of our time, whose every show demanded respect, whom every actor dreamed of working with," Albanel said.