Stage director Claus Guth is widely recognised as one of the most esteemed artists of his generation. Born in Frankfurt, he completed his studies in Munich before embarking on a remarkable career directing productions in Munich, Mannheim, and Hamburg, which swiftly garnered international acclaim.
In 1999, Guth achieved international breakthrough status when he directed the world premiere of Luciano Berio's Cronaca del Luogo at the esteemed Salzburg Festival. Since then, he has become a frequent guest at the festival, delivering acclaimed productions such as Gluck's Iphigenie en Tauride, Mozart's Zaide, and the Da Ponte trilogy, which have been revived in prestigious venues across Europe and America.
Guth's work extends to other prominent opera houses, including the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, where he directed Luisa Miller, and the Bayreuth Festival, where he directed Der fliegende Holländer in 2003. He has also made regular appearances at the Zurich Opera, impressively directing productions such as Fierrabras and Parsifal.
Collaborating with the Frankfurt Opera, Guth showcased his talent through productions of Pelléas et Mélisande, Daphne, and Rosenkavalier. Additionally, he worked at Theater an der Wien, contributing to the Monteverdi trilogy and staging versions of Handel's Messiah and Schubert's Lazarus.
Guth's expertise in staging Richard Wagner's operas deserves special mention. His remarkable productions, including Lohengrin at La Scala in Milan, Tannhäuser at the Wiener Staatsoper, Tristan und Isolde at Opernhaus Zürich, and the complete Ring Cycle for the Hamburg Staatsoper, have solidified his reputation as a masterful interpreter of Wagner's works.
Furthermore, Claus Guth has demonstrated his interest in contemporary music theatre by directing several world premieres, such as Chaya Czernowin's Pnima, Ins Innere at the Munich Biennale, Peter Ruzicka's Celan in Dresden, and most recently, Aschemond or The Fairy Queen, featuring music by Helmuth Oehring and Henry Purcell, at the Berlin Staatsoper.
Recent highlights of Guth's extensive body of work include a co-production of Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten between Milan's Teatro alla Scala and London's Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In the 2016/17 season, he directed a new production of Jephta at De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam, followed by a revival of Lohengrin at the Opera National de Paris. Guth also made his debut at Teatro Real Madrid with a new production of Rodelinda, conducted by Ivor Bolton, and presented his new staging of La Clemenza di Tito at Glyndebourne.
Subsequently, his career continued to flourish with the revival of Frau ohne Schatten at the Staatsoper Berlin, conducted by Zubin Mehta, and a new production of Rigoletto at the Opera National de Paris. The following season commenced with the revival of Mozart's Lucio Silla, which originally premiered twelve years prior at Theater an der Wien, and a revival of his celebrated staging of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde in Turin. Guth returned to the Opera National de Paris for a new production of La Bohème, and his staging of Händel's Jephta, as part of a co-production with De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam. The season continued at Theater an der Wien with a new production of Händel's Saul, culminating with a new production of Die lustige Witwe at the Oper Frankfurt.
Season 2018/19 showcased new productions such as Berenice at Opera de Paris, Orlando at Theater an der Wien, Lullaby Experience (music by Pascal Dusapin) in collaboration with Ensemble Moderne, and Violetter Schnee at Staatsoper Berlin. In November 2019, he directed the world premiere of Heart Chamber by Chaya Czernowin at the Deutsche Oper, and in December 2020, Teatro Real in Madrid revived his production of Don Giovanni.
The year 2021 commenced with a new production of Salome at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, co-produced with the MET Opera in New York followed with Dialogues des Carmelites for Oper Frankfurt and Jenufa at the Royal Opera House (Olivier Award, Best New Production). The year 2022 commenced at Staatsoper Unter den Linden, where he directed The Makropulos Affair. In April, he revived Le nozze di Figaro at Teatro Real in Madrid. Further highlights included directing Bluthaus, featuring music by Georg Friedrich Haas, for the Bayerische Staatsoper, and directing the world premiere of Il Viaggio, Dante by Pascal Dusapin, at the Festival Aix En Provence.
Guth's directorial accomplishments also include the highly praised production of Don Carlo, which marked the opening of the 2022/23 season at Teatro San Carlo in Naples, as well as Elektra at Oper Frankfurt and Semele at Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. At Park Avenue Armory he reimagined Doppelgänger, Franz Schubert's emotive Schwanengesang in a production that is part performance and part installation performed by the world-renowned tenor Jonas Kaufmann.
His exceptional talent and contributions to the field have earned Guth the prestigious "Faust" prize on two occasions. Moreover, his production of Jenufa at the Royal Opera House was honoured with the Olivier Award for Best Production in 2022 and Bluthaus at the Bayerische Staatsoper was awarded the 2022 prize as Best International Production by the Musiktheaterpreis in Austria, and he received the Opera Award for Best Director in 2023.