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 première of Die Entführung aus dem Serail (15 April 2017) at the Semperoper Dresden was  received with much enthusiasm by audience and press: “an entertaining Mozart with lots of theater and stage magic” (Sächsische Zeitung)
“very spectacular” (DNN)
“a great Entführung” (Neues Deutschland)
“tongue-in-cheek and with double meaning” (NMZ)
“a fun production with depth” (MDR Kultur)
This première was the opening production of the Mozart-days 2017. The Semperoper is celebrating the 2017 anniversary:
350 years opera in Dresden.


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) and Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Gelsenkirchen).

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.

Among his future engagements are productions for the Oper Leipzig,
Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden/Camerata Nuova, the Theater Koblenz 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.


Oper Leipzig
Première: 3 December 2017


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