Background

Born in Tokyo to German parents, Julia grew up in Milan, Prague, Munich, Bonn, London and Hong Kong. Her interest in performance and directing developed early, inspired by an actress, chanson-singer mother and an operatic baritone grandfather. Alongside her studies, she attended performing arts school with a focus on dance and started directing and choreographing whilst at University College London, from where she holds a BA in History and History of Art as well as an MSc in International Public Policy. After working at the United Nations in Paris, she decided to return to London to focus fully on a directing career.

Opera Directing

Opera directing credits include Semele (Shanghai International Arts Festival), Die Walküre (OpéraNational de Bordeaux), Das Rheingold (Grimeborn Festival/ Nomination for 2020 OFFIE), The Rape of Lucretia ( Grimeborn Festival/ Winner of 2019 OFFIE), Tosca (Grimeborn Festival and Celebrate Voice Festival, Salisbury ), Madama Butterfly (Grimeborn Festival and Bury Court Opera), The Fairy Queen (Bury Court Opera and Kiez Oper at Wilde Renate, Berlin) and Il trionfo del tempo ( Kiez Opera at Alte Muenze, Berlin). Recent work as a revival director includes La sonnambula (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona), Tristan und Isolde, Ariadne auf Naxos, Il trovatore, La bohème, Carmen, Cosi fan tutte ( (Royal Opera House, London), Die Frau ohne Schatten (Staatsoper unter den Linden, Berlin) and La bohème ( Teatro Real, Madrid).

She was nominated in the category 'Best Newcomer' at the 2019 International Opera Awards.

Encounter with Opera

Julia’s first encounter with opera was as an observer for Christof Loy on the production of The Bassarids at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. She then joined Christof Loy as an assistant director and later revival director for productions such as Lulu (ROH),Tristan und Isolde (ROH, Houston Grand Opera), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Deutsche Oper am Rhein), Prinz von Homburg (Theater an der Wien) and Ariadne auf Naxos (ROH). While Christof Loy remains her greatest influence, Julia has since  worked with many other directors at numerous houses and international festivals. Most regularly she works at the Royal Opera House, where she is a resident Staff Director.

About

Born in Tokyo to German parents, Julia grew up in Milan, Prague, Munich, Bonn, London and Hong Kong. Her interest in performance and directing developed early, inspired by an actress, chanson-singer mother and an operatic baritone grandfather. Alongside her studies, she attended performing arts school with a focus on dance and started directing and choreographing whilst at University College London, from where she holds a BA in History and History of Art as well as an MSc in International Public Policy. After working at the United Nations in Paris, she decided to return to London to focus fully on a directing career.

Opera Directing

Opera directing credits include Semele (Shanghai International Arts Festival), Die Walküre (OpéraNational de Bordeaux), Das Rheingold (Grimeborn Festival/ Nomination for 2020 OFFIE), The Rape of Lucretia ( Grimeborn Festival/ Winner of 2019 OFFIE), Tosca (Grimeborn Festival and Celebrate Voice Festival, Salisbury ), Madama Butterfly (Grimeborn Festival and Bury Court Opera), The Fairy Queen (Bury Court Opera and Kiez Oper at Wilde Renate, Berlin) and Il trionfo del tempo ( Kiez Opera at Alte Muenze, Berlin). Recent work as a revival director includes La sonnambula (Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona), Tristan und Isolde, Ariadne auf Naxos, Il trovatore, La bohème, Carmen, Cosi fan tutte ( (Royal Opera House, London), Die Frau ohne Schatten (Staatsoper unter den Linden, Berlin) and La bohème ( Teatro Real, Madrid).

She was nominated in the category 'Best Newcomer' at the 2019 International Opera Awards.

Encounter with Opera

Julia’s first encounter with opera was as an observer for Christof Loy on the production of The Bassarids at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. She then joined Christof Loy as an assistant director and later revival director for productions such as Lulu (ROH),Tristan und Isolde (ROH, Houston Grand Opera), L’incoronazione di Poppea (Deutsche Oper am Rhein), Prinz von Homburg (Theater an der Wien) and Ariadne auf Naxos (ROH). While Christof Loy remains her greatest influence, Julia has since  worked with many other directors at numerous houses and international festivals. Most regularly she works at the Royal Opera House, where she was a resident Staff Director.

Before Opera

Before focusing on opera, Julia completed a short course at NFTS film school in London and worked in theatre, dance and film. She directed a variety of plays as well as pieces of new writing and worked as a choreographer and movement director, taking her to many of London’s Fringe and West End theatres as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In film she worked for Norma Heyman, directed shorts and small documentaries and worked as a production assistant. All these experiences influence her work and style as an opera director.

Upcoming

Future plans include directing Eugene Onegin ( Opera Holland Park), Die Walküre

(Icelandic Opera), Edmea ( Wexord Opera Festival), La bohème ( Oper Bielefeld) and completing the Fringe Ring Cycle for the Grimeborn Festival. 

International Opera Awards 2019

Best Newcomer (Director) - Nomination

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Interview Articles

"We bring the female perspective, but we also bring our personal perspective. It is not as easy as saying, every woman director is this and every man is that; I don't believe in that at all. I think it is much more complicated. It is always very personal of course, your gender, your history and your experiences play into all of that..."

"Es geht darum, dass man die Bühnenpraesenz der Künstler gut auf die Videoarbeit abstimmt. In gewissen Weise sind Video und Film eine Erweiterung des Bühnenbildes..."

"Music is such an emotional trigger for everyone in the audience- it doesn't matter about a person's experience or knowledge of opera or what their cultural background may be, the music will speak to you as a human being.."

"In erster Linie interessieren mich in meinen Erarbeitungen der ehrliche und ganz menschliche Ansatz der Figuren..."

"I believe that our main focus as directors should be to enable, enhance and explore the qualities of what it is to be human, and to communicate this to our audience..."

 © 2020 by Julia Burbach