The 57-year will hold the position from 2009 to 2011, succeeding J‹rgen Flimm and replacing director-designate Mary Zimmerman, who died suddenly last spring (not to be confused with American theater and opera director Mary Zimmerman).
Decker is the former principal director of the Cologne Opera (1985-1993) and has staged such operas as the world premiere of Hans Werner Henze's Pollicino in Tuscany and Bernd Alois Zimmermann's Die Soldaten in Amsterdam. He attended the University of Cologne as a voice student of Josef Metternich, graduating with degrees in music and theater. His staging of Frank Martin's oratorio Le vin herb_ at this year's Ruhr Triennale was met with praise by audiences and critcs in September.
Located in the Ruhr Valley, the Ruhr Triennale was founded in 2002 by G_rard Mortier and offers innovative performances of music, dance, theater and opera, often synthesizing pop, classical, jazz and avant-garde genres. This season's festival was centered on myths of the Middle Ages.