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 from 1986 to 1992. 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 2008 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, together with his designer Stefan Rieckhoff, he has staged al last „Nabucco“, „Gegen die Wand“ as well as „I Vespri Siciliani“. At last he performed for the first time in Germany of Jacobo Foroni´s „Cristina, Regina di Svezia“ at the State Theatre Oldenburg.
From 2007 to 2010 Michael Sturm was stage director at Oper Schloss Laubach (a summer academy for talented young opera singers), and since 2012 he is the artistic director of the International Theatre and Opera Company-„ITOC“. 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“
At last he performed for the International Opera Festival Wexford Jacopo Foronis masterpiece „Margherita“. His next work will be the first performance in Poland after WW2 with „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“ by Richard Wagner in Teatr Wielki Poznan.
„Opera is, for me, thought and feeling in musical dimensions, the experience of stories told in a sensual, poetic language of images which touches, moves and inspires both the people on the stage and in the Auditorium.
I believe in Art that can alter one’s perception of the world and in turn effect it; also in the intrinsic power of a single note, a single word, a musical line, the internalisation of which reveals the whole attitude of the person onstage, not only as figure, but to their instrument, to life.“ Michael Sturm
“… we need to create an atmosphere of understandability. Everything must be as convincing as possible, of course within the boundaries set by the composer.” Maria Callas