Martin Otava

Martin Otava

Biography

For more than two decades, the stage director Martin Otava has worked for Czech and foreign opera houses, and collaborated with prestigious festivals worldwide, including in Japan (Osaka, Tokyo – the complete Janáček cycle at the Orchard Hall, for instance), Germany (Bayreuth, Munich), Spain (San Sebastian, Mallorca), Austria (Wagner Festival in  Wels),  Monte Carlo, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland (Grand Theatre in Warsaw), Slovakia (Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava) and the USA. Hailing from a famous family of the legendary baritone Zdeněk Otava, he studied acting and opera singing at the Prague Conservatoire and opera direction at the Academy of Music in Prague. For several years, he was engaged as an actor at the East Bohemia Theatre in Pardubice, the Vinohrady Theatre in Prague, the Karlín Music Theatre, and in Kolín. From 1991 to 2006, he worked as a stage director at the State Opera Prague, where he created a number of acclaimed productions, among them  L’elisir d’amore, Lohengrin, La Gioconda, Faust, Die Fledermaus, Tosca, Il trovatore, Un ballo in maschera and Il barbiere di Siviglia. Martin Otava has also ample experience with staging operas in the open air – he co-founded and served as principal director of the Opera Prague – Open Air festival at the Liechtenstein Palace, was the chief stage director of the Loket Cultural Summer taking place at the amphitheatre beneath the Loket castle, created productions for the Open-Air Theatre with a Revolving Auditorium in Český Krumlov, and has co-operated with a number of summer festivals in France, Germany, Austria, and elsewhere. Martin Otava is the head of the opera studio at the Academy of Music in Prague, where he teaches opera direction and acting. Between 2009 and 2014, he was the director of the F. X. Šalda Theatre in Liberec. Since September 2014, he has been the director of the J. K. Tyl Theatre in Plzeň.