Michael Sturm hails from north Germany and grew up in Hamburg. He studied opera directing with Götz Friedrich at the University for Music and Performing Arts Hamburg. He supplemented his training through work with Harry Kupfer, Ruth Berghaus and Achim Freyer, whom he met in 1992 as a participant of the stage-class in the Bauhaus Dessau. Since then he has worked as a director, dramaturg and author.
As a dramaturg he worked in Ulm on Ligeti’s „Le Grand Macabre“, as an author his work can be seen as part of the text-collage „Götzendämmerung oder Selbstgespräche eines Irren“ for the Wolf-Ferrari Theatre in Ottobrunn. As a director he has worked in the state theatres in Kassel and Saarbrücken, the state opera in Hamburg and in the theatres of Linz, Bremen and Dessau.
Michael Sturm counts among his most important work „The Bartered Bride“ (1995) in the former concentration camp of Theresienstadt, „Brundibar“ (1999) at the Vienna Chamber opera, „Fidelio“ (2007) in Tirana, Albania and the world premiere of „Gegen die Wand“ (2008) in Theater Bremen. This production was nominated for the European Tolerance Prize
He staged „Lohengrin“ in Saarbrücken/Luxembourg with Constantin Trinks, his production of Cilea’s „Adriana Lecouvreur“ for MEZZO-TV met with great success. Together with Jiři Bělohlávek he staged „Cosi fan tutte“ at the National Theatre in Prague.
Most recently, he works regularly at Theater Freiburg. There he has staged „Nabucco“, „Gegen die Wand“ as well as „I Vespri Siciliani“.
From 2007 to 2010 Michael Sturm was stage director at Oper Schloss Laubach (a summer academy for talented young opera singers. He has given numerous masterclasses in the USA in universities in the states of New York, West Virginia and Alabama, as well as regularly working with the International Performance and Arts Institution -„IPAI“
2017 Michael Sturm performed with an outstanding success for the International Opera Festival Wexford Jacopo Foronis masterpiece „Margherita“. His next work was the first performance in Poland after WW2 with „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“ by Richard Wagner in Teatr Wielki Poznan.
In March 2022, Michael Sturm was the organizer and initiator of the event “Between Apocalypse and Freedom” in Gdańsk. A staged concert with Tomasz Konieczny at Opera Bałtycka represented the Apocalypse, the opera Fidelio represented freedom, and other thematic events related to the Ukraine war represented dialogue.