Curriculum vitae

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Michael Sturm

I grew up in Hamburg, that’s where I did my high-school graduation that’s where the muses kissed me in concerts and operas, that’s where I joined the army and that’s where I also studied. Namely the subject „Musiktheater Regie” with Götz Friedrich at the University of Music and Performing Arts directly on the Alster. I expanded my training by working with Harry Kupfer, Ruth Berghaus and Achim Freyer, among others, whom I finally met as a participant in the stage class at the Bauhaus Dessau. I dedicated my first years in theater to the Hamburg State Opera and in particular to the Komische Oper Berlin in the old GDR.

Since then I have worked as an assistant director, author and dramaturge, but above all as a director.

Among my most important works I count “The Bartered Bride” in the former Theresienstadt concentration camp, “Brundibar” at the Wiener Kammeroper, the premiere of the contemporary opera „Gegen die Wand” by Ludger Vollmer at the Bremen Theater – the production received the “European Tolerance Prize” for this – and the Polish opera “Halka” at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern, for which I was able to successfully raise funds to bring the themed exhibition “Preserving Memory” from Warsaw to the theater.

As a director, I worked at the state theaters in Kassel and Saarbrücken, the state opera in Hamburg, and the stages in Linz, Bremen and Freiburg, among others. International guest performances have taken me to the National Theater in Prague, the Hungarian opera houses in Debrecen and Szeged, as well as to Poznan and Danzig. I was also able to get to know Albania and Macedonia through my work, but that was a long time ago.
Among my greatest international successes I can count Jacopo Foroni’s opera “Margherita” at the Irish “Opera Festival Wexford” and the Polish premiere of Richard Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg” at the Teatr Wielki in Poznan. I presented my third “Lohengrin” in Lemberg/Lviv, and Verdi’s “Aida” in Luxor in Egypt, but that’s a special story.

“Fidelio” for the Baltic Opera in Gdansk followed in autumn 2021, originally planned for October 3, 2020 as an anniversary work for 30 years of German unity and 40 years of the Polish trade union “Solidarność” and 250 years of Ludwig van Beethoven.

The following March in 2022, I initiated and organized the event “Between Apocalypse and Freedom” there. A scenic concert with Tomasz Konieczny was on the program for the apocalypse, my “Fidelio” for freedom and there were other themed events for the dialogue in between – all in the context of the Ukraine war that had just begun, including with the members of the German Bundestag and the members of the Music Academy in Gdańsk.

In the Cathedral of Havana I recently created a work entitled “Aurora”, it was about love, death and the eternity of hope with Bach’s “Magnificat”, the “Jauchzet frohlocket” cantata from the Christmas Oratorio, as well as Mozart’s “Maurerische Trauermusik” plus lots of rhythms a la Cubana and the set and costumes by Małgorzata Oleszkiewicz.

Connectedness in all times:

With the conductors José Antonio Méndez Padrón, Gabriel Chmura, Constantin Trinks and Jiři Bělohlávek

With the artists Stefan Rieckhoff, Matthias Engelmann, Małgorzata Oleszkiewicz and Sebastian Ellrich

With the countries of Israel and Poland – and the world.