Born in Prague, Barbora Horáková Joly lives in Biel, Switzerland. She studied voice at the music academies in Basel and Geneva. As a member of the Swiss International Studio, she garnered accolades at several competitions, before deciding to switch from singing to opera directing, which she went on to study at the Bayerische Theaterakademie in Munich. Her close collaboration with the Spanish director Calixto Bieito began with Hector Parra and Klaus Hendl’s opera Wilde (world premiere at the Schwetzingen Festival in 2015). Subsequently, she worked on a number of Bieito’s major production in Munich, Oslo, Basel, London (English National Opera) and Zurich, which she then trasferred to Nuremberg, Venice, Bilbao, Leipzig and Madrid. They included Britten’s War Requiem, Janáček’s From the House of the Dead, Wagner’s Tannhäuser and Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten. Poulenc’s La voix humaine, premiered in Neuchâtel, marked Barbora Horáková’s debut as a director in her own right. She staged Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges in Basel, Pflüger’s Romulus der Grosse in Neuchâtel, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in Oslo and Basel, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Bilbao, Verdi’s Un giorno di regno in Heidenheim, Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco in Lyon, Verdi’s Luisa Miller in Wuppertal and at London’s ENO, Eötvös’s The Golden Dragon in Dresden, and the double bill made up of Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and Offenbach’s Olympia at the Theater an der Wien.
Barbora Horáková’s meteoric rise was underlined by her receiving two prestigious prizes. She won the Ring Award in Graz in 2017 for her staging concept of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, and in 2018 she was honoured as Newcomer of the Year at the International Opera Awards in London.