The première of Faust by Louis Spohr (Theater Koblenz, 19 january 2019) was received with enthusiasm by audience and press: “With stylized images, charged with high romanticism, Michiel Dijkema creates fantastic atmospheric worlds [...] This staging provides more than a contribution to the ancestral gallery of opera history.” (SRW2) “a beautiful Faust staging with great love and attention to the smallest detail [...] an extremely commendable result [...] an enthralling production in Koblenz” (IOCO) “This Faust is by no means Goethe’s hero, focussing on the whole creation, but an all-too-human man between two women [...] entertaining on the timeline of theatre and music history” (Rhein-Zeitung) “consistent, but with risk [...] gentle irony and civilized tension” (Frankfurter Rundschau) “a new inspired staging by Michiel Dijkema […] every time the show returns to the pressing pace of the picaresque tale of this unusual Faust” (Il Giornale della Musica)

Michiel Dijkema’s new production of The flying Dutchman (première: 30 March 2019) will be part of WAGNER 22. The Oper Leipzig has set the ambitious goal of having Richard Wagner’s entire operatic output in its repertoire by 2022. This will culminate in June/July of 2022, when all of Wagner’s operas will be presented in the city of his birth during a three week festival.
Saturday 30 June 2018, during the summer conference of Opera Europa in Zürich, Michiel Dijkema presented an award to Marja und Armin Kretschmar for their significant efforts for young opera stage-directing talents and for initiating and organizing the European Opera-directing Prize during the last twenty years.
Michiel Dijkema concluded his engagement as a guest professor for opera at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin with a masterclass for opera stage-directing students and with his staging of Haydn’s Il mondo della luna with opera singing students. The première of this production was received with great enthusiasm by audience and press: “A highly entertaining and extremely physical staging by Michiel Dijkema (who also designed the great set with its splendid enormous telescope tube) [...] goose bumps! Very atmospheric - yes, this Haydn MUST be seen and heard! Absolutely worthwhile, believe me!”
(Kultura Extra)
“Il mondo della luna [...] is overflowing with wit and charm. For a large part the intensive stage performances of the singers are to be thanked for this. With wonderful comedic acting and a great sense for the absurdity of the human body, they make the audience laugh every minute of the show. [...] Also great is the set design, which stage director Michiel Dijkema created for the studio hall of the music academy. First and foremost the telescope which Bonafede uses to see the moon, succeeds in an original way: From a barber chair, satellite dishes and toilet plungers a strange object emerges, which is hilarious to behold in its absurd quotidianity. [...] a dazzling evening”
The new volume on Strauss’ Salome of the book series “Opernführer kompakt” (Henschel / Bärenreiter, Ann-Christine Mecke, ISBN 978-3-89487-946-4 / ISBN 978-3-7618-2413-9) has a photo of Michiel Dijkema’s much praised Salome production (opera house Wuppertal 2015) on the cover. For more information see Salome production page of this website.


The Dutch opera stage director and set designer Michiel Dijkema studied classical piano at the Sweelinck Conservatory Amsterdam with Danièle Dechenne and at the Utrecht School of Arts with Alexander Warenberg and Alwin Bär. Subsequently he studied opera stage directing at the Academy of Music “Hanns Eisler” Berlin. He was active as a song accompanist and studied interpretation of song with Thom Bollen in Utrecht and with Wolfram Rieger in Berlin.

Since 2006 he directed and designed, among others, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (Dutch National Touring Opera), Bizet’s Carmen (Eisenach and Meiningen), Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (Dutch National Touring Opera), Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (Stockholm), Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (Rotterdam), Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (Eisenach, Moscow and Tallinn), Marschner’s Der Vampyr (Amsterdam), Rossini’s Il Turco in Italia (Leipzig), Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Gelsenkirchen), Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Tallinn and Dutch National Touring Opera), Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel (Gelsenkirchen), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Wiesbaden and Antibes), Puccini’s Tosca (Leipzig), Thomas’ Hamlet (Zagreb), Gassmann’s L’Opera Seria (Hannover), Smetana’s The Bartered Bride (Wiesbaden), Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (Darmstadt), Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer (Wiesbaden), Offenbach’s Orphée aux enfers (Kiel), Britten’s A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hannover), Gounod’s Faust (Leipzig and Bolzano), Offenbach's La Vie Parisienne (Volksoper Vienna), Strauss’ Salome (Wuppertal), the world première of Isidora Žebeljan's Nahod Simon (Gelsenkirchen), Lehár’s Die Lustige Witwe (Linz), Kálmán’s Die Herzogin von Chicago (Koblenz), Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Semperoper Dresden), Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Gelsenkirchen), Dvorák’s Rusalka (Leipzig), Haydn’s Il mondo della luna (HfM Berlin), Stephan Peiffer’s Vom Ende der Unschuld (Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden) and Spohr’s Faust (Koblenz).

Michiel Dijkema won several international opera directing prizes: the second European Opera-directing Prize 2005, the first Peter-Konwitschny-Nachwuchsregiepreis for his concept of Carmen and in 2007 the Eesti Teatrikunsti Muusikalavastuste Award for his production of La Cenerentola. This award is the most important Estonian music-theatre prize. The set design of Il Barbiere di Siviglia won 2011 the first Wizard-Award in Berlin.

Michiel Dijkema recently teached as a guest-professor to singing students and to opera stage directing students at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler”  Berlin. Among his future engagements are productions for the Oper Leipzig, the Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen, the Theater Magdeburg and the Theater Koblenz.

Michiel Dijkema lives with his wife and son near Amsterdam. He rode on his bicycle from Amsterdam to Rome, Santiago de Compostela, Venice, Vienna, London, Barcelona, Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and other destinations.

SEASON 2018-2019

Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart)
Semperoper Dresden
Tosca (Puccini)
Oper Leipzig
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten)
Staatsoper Hannover
Faust (Spohr)
Theater Koblenz
première: 19 January 2019
Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner)
Oper Leipzig
première: 30 March 2019
Rusalka (Dvorák)
Oper Leipzig
Svanda Dudák (Weinberger)
Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen
première: 15 June 2019


PHOTO © Jochen Quast 2017
(during a rehearsal of
“Die Entführung aus dem Serail”
at the Semperoper Dresden)