Euronews mourns the death of Rudolf Herbert: ‘Theatre was his life’


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Euronews is mourning the loss of Rudolf Herbert. The highly esteemed and popular colleague, whom we all called Rudi, has died in Romania, where he was artistic director at the German State Theatre in Timisoara.

“A true gentleman”

Rudi – who impressed many with his knowledge of European history and culture – worked for Euronews for 17 years. He was first a journalist in the newsroom in Lyon, then the broadcaster’s German-language correspondent in Brussels. “A true gentleman, in the noblest sense of the word, curious about everything and infinitely gentle,” is how a former French colleague describes him.

“A wonderful, discreet man – and that voice,” adds another.

A Portuguese colleague remembers “how he memorised dozens of pages in French on stage to portray the characters in the plays of Olivier Mocellin’s theatre group on the Pentes de la Croix Rousse. It was amusing! He had a lightness…” Rudi also did  theatre in Lyon while working as a journalist.

Theatre was his life

“I did theatre as a schoolboy and as a student. At the same time, I regularly wrote theatre reviews. I was an actor for three years. When the theatre collapsed, I was offered a job as a cultural editor in Bucharest. I made it a condition that I was allowed to write about theatre.”

The fact that he has been able to organise a European theatre festival as artistic director since 2021, bring international artists to the German State Theatre in Timisoara and work with well-known authors was a stroke of luck for Rudi.

Last year, Rudolf Herbert gave numerous interviews as Timisoara was the European Capital of Culture. Together with the mayor of the city, Dominic Fritz, who comes from Germany, he was delighted with the interest shown by the media and the international audience.

“The DSTT is my place,” said Rudi, who had recently initiated “Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni under the direction of Niky Wolcz.

Rudolf Herbert was already too weak to attend the premiere at the end of March. He referred to his cancer as the “muddy evolution” of man. “If it’s about dying one day, then preferably behind the scenes!”

Rudolf Herbert turned 70 last October.

Rudis Kater Frodo

His tomcat Frodo, who Rudi bequeathed to a young colleague more than ten years ago, now lives on a farm in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

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