Tatjana Gürbaca, born in Berlin in 1973, studied directing in her hometown at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music. Her training was supplemented by master classes with Ruth Berghaus and Peter Konwitschny. From 1998 to 2001 she worked as an assistant director at the Graz Opera. After winning the Graz directing competition "Ring Award", she made her debut at the Graz Opera in 2001 with Puccini's "Turandot". Since then she has been working as a freelance opera director.
The spectrum of her work ranges from the baroque (including Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas" in Baden-Baden and Handel's "Alcina" at the Theater an der Wien) to the modern (including Reimann's "L'invisible" at the Staatstheater Braunschweig and Ligeti's "Le Grand Macabre" in Zurich). At the Staatstheater Mainz she staged Sciarrino's "Macbeth", at the Leipzig Opera Hersant's "Le moine noir". Other engagements have taken her to the Berlin State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Cologne Opera, the Aalto Theater Essen, the National Theater Mannheim, the Halle Opera, the Bremen Theater, the Schwetzingen Festival and the opera houses of Oslo, Novosibirsk and Bogotá. In 2010, she worked with Claudio Abbado on a semi-staged performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio" at the Lucerne Festival. From 2011 to 2014 Tatjana Gürbaca was opera director at the Staatstheater Mainz. The Zurich Opera House has been one of her important working venues since 2012. Her highly successful production of Verdi's "Rigoletto," which was also featured at the Zurich Opera's annual public viewing, was followed by Verdi's "Aida," Mozart's "The Magic Flute," Massenet's "Werther" in 2017, which is also available on DVD and has been adopted by the Opéra National du Rhin Strasbourg, Mozart's "La finta giardiniera" in 2018 and Ligeti's "Le Grand Macabre" in 2019.
A highlight of her career was her production of Wagner's "Parsifal" at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp and Ghent, for which she was voted Director of the Year in 2013 by the critics of Opernwelt magazine and received the International Opera Award in the category "Best Opera Production" in London in 2014. At the Theater an der Wien, Tatjana Gürbaca produced her own version of "Der Ring des Nibelungen" in 2017/18, which was a trilogy telling Wagner's story from the perspectives of Hagen, Siegfried and Brünnhilde. With her productions of "Salome" (2009) and "Arabella" (2015) at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein as well as "Capriccio" (2016) at the Theater an der Wien, she achieved three extremely high-profile contributions to a new Richard Strauss dramaturgy developed from today. Her recent productions include Massenet's "Manon" at the Staatstheater Nuremberg, Korngold's "Die tote Stadt" at the Cologne Opera, and Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" at the Zurich Opera House. In the 2021/22 season, she was responsible for directing Janácek's "Katja Kabanova" at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.
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