Martin Otava graduated from the Prague Conservatoire in acting and opera singing and from the Academy of Music in Prague in opera direction. He worked as an actor for a short time at the East Bohemian Theatre in Pardubice, in the Karlín Music Theatre and Vinohrady Theatre in Prague, and in Kolín. In 1991–2006 he was working as a stage director at the Prague State Opera, where he directed, among others, Donizetti's L'elisir d´amore, Wagner's Lohengrin, Gounod's Faust, Strauss'Die Fledermaus, Puccini's Tosca, Verdi's Il trovatore and Un ballo in maschera and Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. He has collaborated with many Czech opera theatres such as the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň, the National Theatre Brno, North Bohemian Opera and Ballet Theatre Ústí nad Labem, the F.X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec, and in the Moravian Theatre in Olomouc. He has bees successful as stage director in opera houses and at festivals abroad, for example in Japan (Tokyo – all Janáček's operas in Orchard Hall with Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, and Osaka), Germany (Bayreuth and Munich), Austria (Die Walküre at the Wagner Festival in Wels), Spain (San Sebastian and Mallorca), in Monte Carlo, Italy (Janáček's Katya Kabanova at the Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania), Poland (Strauss'Salome in Warsaw National Opera), Norway (Tosca in Bergen), Luxemburg (Il barbiere di Siviglia in Esch-sur-Alzette), the USA (Mozart's Die Zauberflöte in Columbus City), and at the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava (Janáček's Jenůfa). He was the chief stage director and co-founder of the annual Opera Air Festival in the Prague Lichtenstein Palace, the chief stage director of the opera festival Loket Cultural Summer held at the open air theatre beneath Loket castle, and he has also worked with open-air festivals in France, Germany and Austria. He teaches opera direction and acting at the Academy of Music in Prague. Since September 2009 he has been director of the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec.