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 premières of this production (26 and 27 April 2018) were received with great enthusiasm: “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!”
(Andre Sokolowski, Kultura Extra, 27 April 2018)
“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”
(Elias Pietsch, Tagesspiegel, 30 April 2018)
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 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) and Stephan Peiffer’s Vom Ende der Unschuld (Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden).
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 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.
Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten)
première: 19 January 2019
Der fliegende Holländer (Wagner)
première: 30 March 2019
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)