Lydia Steier (1978) was born in Hartford, Connecticut. After completing degrees in Vocal Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and in directing at Carnegie Mellon University, she moved to Berlin in 2002 on a William J. Fulbright award. She is acknowledged as one of the leading operatic stage directors of her generation.
Upcoming projects include a new production of Mozart’s Die Zauberﬂöte which will open the Salzburger Festspiele in 2018. She will also direct in Frankfurt, Tokyo, Düsseldorf, Geneva and Stuttgart in upcoming seasons.
Steier’s production of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s epic Donnerstag aus LICHT was selected as Opernwelt’s Production of the Year in 2016. Other honors include two nominations for Germany’s prestigious Faust-Prize: for her productions of Pascal Dusapin’s Perelà for the Staatsoper Mainz in 2015 and of Händels oratorio Saul for the Oldenburgische Staatsoper in 2012.
Her 2009 production of Busoni’s rarely performed Turandot, paired with I Pagliacci at the Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar launched her career and earned Steier the distinction of “new discovery of the year′′ by Deutschlandradio Kultur. Notable new productions in the intervening time include Berlioz’s Les Troyens at the Semperoper Dresden, Händel’s Jephtha at the Wiener Festwochen and Händel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto at Berlin’s Komische Oper and Alcina for Oper Basel, Lohengrin for the Los Angeles Opera, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail und Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo für Theater Bern, Verdi’s Aida and Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer in Heidelberg, Madama Butterﬂy for Oper Bremen, Lehár’s operette Die Lustige Witwe in Weimar, Katja Kabanova and Albert Herring in Oldenburg and acclaimed original version of Purcell’s Fairy Queen in Regensburg.
Steier’s work as a choreographer can be seen in productions of Platée and Der ﬂiegende Holländer (Director: Calixto Bieito) and La Juive (Director: Jossi Wieler/Sergio Morabito) at the Staatsoper in Stuttgart and the Semperoper in Dresden.
Also a busy teacher and academic stage director, Steier’s 2011 production of Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera for the students of Munich’s Theaterakademie August Everding (venue: Prinzregententheater) was revived at the Opera in St. Gallen, Switzerland. She directed Franz Xaver Kroetz’s play Desire (Der Drang) in fall of 2014 for the Graduate Acting program at New York University. She has served as instructor at both institutions, as well as for the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg, Ferienkurse für neue Musik, Darmstadt, and the Concerto 21 Program of the Alfred Toepfer Stiftung. Her articles on opera and culture regularly appear in publications such as Die deutsche Bühne and die neue Zeitung für Musik.
A passionate advocate for new music, Steier currently has work in development with Michael Wertmüller, Dai Fujikura, Hans Thomalla and David T. Little. In the past she has collaborated with Pascal Dusapin, Du Yun, Huang Rao and Dennis DeSantis. Steier has been involved in ICE (the International Contemporary Ensemble) since the groups inception. Her multimedia production of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King for the group has been presented in over ﬁfteen cities, including Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Michuacan, Mexico.
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