Karajan, Portrait of a Maestro

2019, 52′, directed by Sigrid Faltin (French version)

Sunday 24 April at 20:00 Beirut / 19:00 CET
Online screening (Zoom Platform)
Followed by a discussion in English & French,
with Sigrid Faltin & Lama Tyan.
Online event


He is called the most significant musician of the twentieth century. Even those who have never attended a symphony concert know his name: Herbert von Karajan. His contemporaries describe him as a reserved but highly glamourous person, charismatic, power wielding, with native Austrian charm. Who was this Herbert von Karajan? What motivated him? What did he want with his art? Why is he today, 30 years after his death, still so present? A film that throws light on unknown facets of this artist and describes the highs and lows of a unique conductor.

Il est considéré comme le musicien le plus important du XXe siècle. Même ceux qui n’ont jamais assisté à un concert symphonique connaissent son nom : Herbert von Karajan. Ses contemporains le décrivent comme une personne réservée mais très glamour, charismatique, exerçant un pouvoir, avec un charme autrichien inné. Qui était Herbert von Karajan ? Qu’est-ce qui l’a motivé ? Que voulait-il de son art ? Pourquoi est-il toujours aussi présent aujourd’hui, 30 ans après sa mort ? Un film qui met en lumière des facettes inconnues de cet artiste et décrit les hauts et les bas d’un chef d’orchestre unique.


Sigrid Faltin studied English, German, and history in Bonn and Freiburg.  Her Ph.D. thesis was on the Emigration from the Palatinate to the United States in Modern History.  After training as a regional correspondent with the German TV station SWF, she worked as an anchor woman for radio and TV.  Today she is a documentary film director, writer and producer.  She has received several international awards for her films, among them a New York Film Festival award for her internationally produced film about Hilla Rebay, the founding director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.  She authored a widely respected biography of Rebay and another book on the history of the song La Paloma, about which she made a feature film as well, which was shown on film festivals and on TV worldwide. Her feature length documentary film Kids! Love! Hope! has been nominated for the German TV Award in 2013, the sequel Kids! Love! Future! has been awarded as well.
Dr. Sigrid Faltin is a member of the European Documentary Network. 
Frank Lloyd Wright. The Phoenix From the Asches (2020)
Karajan, Portrait of a Maestro (2019)
Kids! Love! Tomorrow! (2016)
Kids! Love! Hope! A Dramatic Year With A Patchwork Family (2013)
Final Season. When It’s Time To Die (2011)
La Paloma. The Melody of Longing. Worldwide (2008)
The Guggenheim and the Baroness – The Story of Hilla Rebay (2007).

Lama Tyan, interior designer, came to the opera house out of passion. Fascinated by this “total art”, she offers since 2003 a program of listening and appreciation of lyrical art and organizes cultural trips since 2013. Passionate about music and art, keen on culture and languages, chorister for her pleasure, Lama created OperaTrotter in order to share her passion.

In partnership with Goethe Institut – Beirut