The première of Rusalka (3 December 2017) at the Oper Leipzig was received with great enthusiasm by the audience and the press. “Rusalka-triumph […] This staging is world-class! […] fantastic, immensely sad” (Bild) “Dijkema ends with a fantastic theatrical image [...] It moves us to tears in its sadness. […] surely there will be a run on the tickets for this Rusalka” (Leipziger Volkszeitung) “simply perfect […] brilliant staging ideas […] this production sets new standards” (O-Ton Magazin) “a witch house, which can stand and walk on two chicken legs, so that the program booklet will fall from your lap out of sheer delight” (Mitteldeutsche Zeitung) “Dijkema tells the fairy-tale coherently, comprehensibly and with a stage direction of the characters, based on the music with great precision [...] already the set design by itself is a true experience” (Oper Aktuell) “free fairy-tale poetry, created with a great eye for detail, elaborate in the optical realization [...] far beyond the Bohemian fairy-tale” (MDR-Kultur) “A fantastic fairy-tale spectacle. [...] Great theatre.” (Tamino Klassikforum) “a dream of nature-atmospheric miracles in swirling mists [...] unanimous cheering” (Neue Musikzeitung) „a magnificent coup de théâtre […] sensually enchanting imagery“ (Der Neue Merker)
The premiere of Les Contes d’Hoffmann (10 June 2017) at the Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen was received by the audience with standing ovations and highly praised by the press: “a coup [...] so catching, so charming, so witty, so dark [...] a true masterstroke [...] splendidly precise stage direction of the characters”  (WAZ) “the opera stage as a magic box [...] a fantastic set design [...] opera as beautiful theatre that delights the audience [...] Bravo!”  (Der Opernfreund) “a highlight within the art of stage directing [...] in the past few years I have rarely heard such unanimous applause and so many bravos for a production team [...] a perfect opera evening, thanks to a stage director with a heart for opera”  (Musenblätter) “thrilling world-theatre [...] a striking solution”  (Ruhr-Nachrichten) “a sparkling firework of the most exuberant brilliance [...] cleverly reflecting [...] a visually powerful staging”  (Recklinghäuser Zeitung) “an entertaining evening [...] full of fantasy and ironically fractured demonic nature […] vital and direct theatre in abundance […] an exciting picture book full of poetry and absurdity [...] unclouded enthusiasm”  (Opernnetz) “wonderfully filigree and comical choreography [...] cheering storms”  (IOCO) “an absolute must for all opera lovers [...] received with standing ovations”  (Sonntagsnachrichten) “truly fantastic moments [...] also humour hasn’t been missed out with Dijkema [...] A must-see, not only for experienced opera lovers!”  (Lokalkompass Gelsenkirchen) “visually overwhelming, content-rich, profound music-theatre, as conclusive and beautiful as it gets”  (Revierpassagen)
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) and Dvorák’s Rusalka (Leipzig).

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 teaches 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 Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden/Camerata Nuova, the Theater Koblenz, the Oper Leipzig and the Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen.

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 2017-2018

Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart)
Semperoper Dresden
Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Offenbach)
Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen
Rusalka (Dvorák)
Oper Leipzig
première: 3 December 2017

Tosca (Puccini)
Oper Leipzig
Die Zauberflöte (Mozart)
Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen
Il mondo della luna (Haydn)
Hochschule für Musik Berlin
première: 26 April 2018
Vom Ende der Unschuld (Peiffer)
Camerata Nuova / Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden
première: 30 May 2018
Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner)
Staatstheater Wiesbaden


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