Stefan Herheim is one of the most highly sought-after opera directors of his generation. He has been named “Director of the Year” three times in the critics’ survey in Opernwelt magazine.
After training as a cellist and working in a range of roles in the field of opera, musicals and puppetry in his home town of Oslo, Herheim studied musical theatre direction under Götz Friedrich at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. Since then, the Norwegian director (who now calls Berlin home) has worked with Europe’s biggest opera houses, and teaches directing at various universities and academies.
Herheim has staged a repertoire that ranges from baroque opera through to contemporary musical theatre, working under the musical direction of figures such as Daniel Barenboim, Michael Boder, Daniele Gatti, Adam Fischer, Manfred Honeck, Mariss Jansons, Philippe Jordan, Andris Nelsons, Antonio Pappano, Simon Rattle and Christian Thielemann.
The repertoire includes Parsifal (Wagner) at the Bayreuther Festspiele, La forza del destino (Verdi) and Lohengrin (Wagner) at the Staatsoper Berlin, Giulio Cesare (Händel), La Bohème (Puccini) and La Cenerentola (Rossini) in Oslo, Der Rosenkavalier (Strauss) in Stuttgart, Rusalka (Dvořák) in Brussels, Dresden, Graz, Barcelona and Lyon, Les Vêpres siciliennes (Verdi) in London and Copenhagen, Eugene Onegin and Pique Dame (Tchaikovsky) in Amsterdam, as well as Lulu (Berg) in Copenhagen, Oslo and Dresden. At the Salzburger Festspiele, he staged The Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart) and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) – the latter as a coproduction with the Opéra de Paris. At the Bregenzer Festspiele in 2015, his Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Offenbach) was a hit, and early this season he caused a stir with Berg’s Wozzeck at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf, and beginning in 2020, Herheim will stage Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
With Offenbach’s Bluebeard, he returns to the Komische Oper, where his production of Xerxes has enjoyed great popularity since hitting the stages in 2012. In 2022, Herheim will take over the reins at the Theater an der Wien.