Tatjana Gürbaca, Direction
Tatjana Gürbaca, born in Berlin 1973, studied opera direction in her home town’s Hochschule für Musik „Hanns Eisler“. Her studies of music, drama and dance were extended by master courses. Tatjana Gürbaca was the ultimate Meisterschülerin of Ruth Berghaus. From 1998 until 2001 she worked as a director’s assistant in Graz.
At the Ring Award, the Graz Competition for Stage Directors and Stage Designers, she was amongst the finalists in 2000. Her professional stage debut was Puccini’s Turandot at the Graz Opera. She has worked as a free lancing director ever since. Her stylistic range reaches from the pre-classical (Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Baden-Baden, Handel’s Jephtha) to modern repertory (Dallapiccola’s Il prigioniero at Vienna’s Volksoper, Hersant’s Le moine noir in Leipzig, Ligeti’s Le grand Macabre and Hartmann’s Simplicius Simplicissimus in Bremen, Sciarrino’s Macbeth in Mainz).
In 2004 Tatjana Gürbaca inaugurated the Lucerne Theatre’s season with a highly successful staging of Mozart’s Così fan tutte, that was presented in Munich and Cologne later on. Further engagements led her to Berlin’s Staatsoper and Deutsche Oper and to the opera houses in Oslo, Novosibirsk and Bogotá. In close collaboration with Claudio Abbado she presented a semi-staged production of Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Lucerne Festival in 2010.
From 2011 to 2014 Tatjana Gürbaca was Artistic Director of the Mainz Opera. The Zurich Opera has subsequently been one of her favorite working places. Her successful production of Verdi’s Rigoletto was followed by Aida, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte and Massenet’s Werther, a production that has been transferred to Strasbourg and recorded on DVD as well.
Highly profiled stagings of Salome (2009), Arabella (2015) and Capriccio (2016) in Dusseldorf/Duisburg and Vienna were seen and discussed as truly contemporary readings of Richard Strauss’ operas.
Wagner’s Parsifal, produced at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp and Ghent in 2013 and revived in 2018, marked a highlight of her career. She was named Director of the Year by the jury of Germany’s magazine OPERNWELT in 2013.
Wagner is placed at the center of Tatjana Gürbaca’s work. She has staged Der fliegende Holländer in Dusseldorf/Duisburg and Lohengrin in Essen. The most challening enterprise so far has been her new reading and directing of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the Theater an der Wien in 2017. With Bettina Auer at her side as dramaturg, she condensed the tetralogy to a trilogy, rearranging the sequence of scenes without touching Wagner’s music (in the so-called Coburg version) by focussing on Hagen, Siegfried and Brünnhilde, the protagonists of the „second generation“, and by therefore showing new perspectives and hidden contexts.