Tatjana Gürbaca, born in Berlin, lives in her hometown. She studied directing at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music and supplemented her musical, literary and dance training with master classes, especially with Ruth Berghaus. Her professional career began in Graz, where she worked as an assistant director from 1998-2001.
She was one of the finalists at the Ring Award Graz. Her directing debut was Turandot at the Graz Opera in 2001 and since then she has worked as a freelance artist. The stylistic spectrum of her productions ranges from Handel, Hasse and Kraus to Ligeti, Reimann and Sciarrino.
Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, which inaugurated a new artistic directorship in Lucerne in 2004, was an early highlight of her career, to which Don Giovanni, devised in Bremen in 2019, provided a counterpoint. Musically trained as a theatre-maker, Tatjana Gürbaca effortlessly transposes historical material and conflicts into the present. True to the texts, she shows ways into the here and now.
Tatjana Gürbaca has worked all over Europe, but Germany was and remained her artistic centre. Two highlights took her beyond the borders. She collaborated with Claudio Abbado in a semi-staged Fidelio at the Lucerne Festival in 2010, and the Vlaamse Oper in Antwerp was the setting for Parsifal, for which she was named Director of the Year in 2013.
She considers Richard Wagner's music dramas to be her greatest challenge. At the Theater an der Wien in 2014, she condensed the tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen into a trilogy to focus on the fates of the "second generation" in Hagen, Siegfried and Brünnhilde.
Zurich has been one of her favourite opera houses since 2013. She has already staged five productions in this house, with Werther setting a temporary high point.
This season she will be working on Janáček's operas Jenůfa and Katya Kabanova for Zurich and Deutsche Oper am Rhein and Dallapiccola's Ulisse for Frankfurt.