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Martin Kušej



Austrian director Martin Kušej made his Royal Opera debut in 2014 directing Idomeneo.

Kušej was born in Carinthia and studied German, literature and sport sciences at the University of Graz, going on to take a Masters degree in theatre directing. He worked at the Salzburg State Theatre and the Slovenian National Theatre as an assistant director before becoming a resident director at Stuttgart State Theatre in 1993. He made his opera debut in Stuttgart with King Arthur in 1996 and has since worked prolifically in both opera and theatre. He was Artistic Director of the drama section at Salzburg Festival 2004–06 and is currently Artistic Director of the Munich Residenztheater. His many theatre productions have included Hedda Gabler and Woyzeck (Residenztheater), Der Weibsteufel, Glaube, Liebe, Hoffnung and Glaube und Heimat (Vienna Burgtheater), Hamlet (Salzburg Festival and Stuttgart State Theatre), Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald (Thalia Theatre, Hamburg) and Clavigo, Oedipus the King and Cleansed (Stuttgart State Theatre).

Kušej’s opera productions include La clemenza di Tito and Don Giovanni for Salzburg Festival, Die Zauberflöte, Elektra and Genoveva for Zürich Opera, Fidelio for Stuttgart Opera, Salome in Graz, Carmen for Berlin State Opera, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk for Dutch National Opera, Paris Opéra and Teatro Real, Madrid, Der fliegende Holländer for Dutch National Opera, The Rake’s Progress for Theater an der Wien and Macbeth, Rusalka and La forza del destino for Bavarian State Opera.

News and features

How to Stage an Opera: Characterization in Idomeneo

10 November 2014
How to Stage an Opera: Characterization in Idomeneo

By turning the screws on his unfortunate characters, director Martin Kušej offers a unique insight into their motivations and crises.

Opera Essentials: Idomeneo

24 October 2014
Opera Essentials: Idomeneo

Our quick guide to Martin Kušej's new production of Mozart's early masterpiece for The Royal Opera.