Magdalena FUCHSBERGER   Opera director


In 2023 MAGDALENA FUCHSBERGER made her directing debut at the Vienna State Opera. Her production of Poulenc’s “Le Dialogues des Carmelites” was a huge success, also in the revival in the season 2023/24.

Future productions bring her to the Aalto Theatre in Essen for a production DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, to the Würzburg Theatre for FALSTAFF, to the Chemnitz Opera House for LA BOHEME and to the Munich State Theatre am Gärtnerplatz for ALCINA.

Recently, her stagings of ONE TOUCH OF VENUS at the Opera House Graz, Schreker’s DER SCHMIED VON GENT, Krnek’s LIFE OF ORESTES at the Münster Theatre, A MIDSUMMER NIGH’T DREAM at the Giessen Theatre, SUOR ANGELICA (Puccini)/A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN (world premiere by Tarkiainen) at the Hagen Theatre, LA COSTANZA VINCE L’INGANNO by Christoph Graupner at the Darmstadt Baroque Festival in the Prinz-Georg-Garden and the world premiere of GERADE SEIN UND MENSCH WERDEN: SOPHIE SCHOLL by Karola Obermüller and DEATH IN VENICE at the Heidelberg Theatre enjoyed huge success.

At the occasion of the season opening 2018/19 the Austrian director Magdalena Fuchsberger performed SIMON BOCCANEGRA at the Hagen Theatre (dramatic composition Francis Hüsers) and Uwe Schweikert wrote in the opera magazine OPERNWELT: ‚This is one of the best Verdi productions, I have seen in the past few years at a German opera house. Hagen definitively is worth a visit! ‚ . In the Yearbook 2019 of OPERNWELT she was nominated Best Young Talent because of her radical perspective on Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra.‘

A co-production with the Lübeck Theatre as well as a SALOME production and L’isola disabitata (Haydn) at the Hagen Theatre were cancelled because of the COVID19 pandemic.
Before, she directed LA TRAVIATA at the Rostock Theatre.

In the season 2017/18 Magdalena Fuchsberger impressed with three completely different works: the premiere of the operetta DAS LAND DES LÄCHELNS at the Coburg Theatre, the Italian opera buffa DON PASQUALE at the Neustrelitz Theatre and the Chamber opera POWDER HER FACE at the Magdeburg Theatre.
Before, she produced Bernstein’s opera CANDIDE at the Pforzheim Theatre, I BARBIERI DI SIVIGLIA at the Vorarlberg Theatre and LA TRAVIATA at the Tirana National Opera.

In summer 2016 Magdalena Fuchsberger’s staging of THE FLYING DUTCHMAN at the Plovdiv Amphitheatre was the highlight of this year’s festival.
In summer 2014 the young Austrian artist made her directing debut in Germany. Her OTELLO production at the Music Festival at Gut Immling was hailed both by the audience and the press. ‘Captivating psycho thriller’ or ‘modern, courageous and poignant’ were just some of the review’s headlines.

From 2011 Magdalena Fuchsberger was assistant director and evening supervisor at the Stuttgart State Opera, where she collaborated with the director Jossi Wieler and regularly returned here to perform the revivals of LUISA MILLER, CARMEN, TOSCA.
In spring 2017 she directed the revival of NORMA at the Geneva Opera House.

Her first permanent engagement as an assistant director for Music Theatre, where she also got the opportunity to make her own productions, took the artist to Linz Municipal Theatre. Here, she staged a.o. Händel’s ‘Acis and Galthea’ (musical direction - Dennis Russel Davies) and Menotti’s ‘Amahl und die nächtlichen Besucher’, ‘The Telephone’ and the musicals ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ and ‘Kiss me Kate’. The artist’s own productions also include Vincenzo Bellini’s ‘I Capuleti e i Montecchi’ in Vienna.

Apart from her own stagings the young artist worked as an assistant director and guest a.o. at the Wiener Volksoper(Dominique Mentha), at the Theatre in der Josefstadt (Michael Gampe), at the Schlosstheater Schönbrunn (Reto Nickler), at the Lehár Festival Bad Ischl (Ulrike Beimpold and Leonard Prinsloo), at the Tyrol State Theatre (Reto Nickler and Matteo de Monti), at the Salzburg Festival (Claus Guth) and at the Bregenz Festival (Graham Vick).
In summer 2015 Magdalena Fuchsberger was the directing assistant of Stefan Herheim in the production „Les Contes d’Hoffmann“ at the Bregenz Festival.

Already at the tender age of 9 the Salzburg-born Magdalena Fuchsberger started playing the violin. After graduating college, she first studied German literature and Philosophy in Vienna.

Subsequently, the artist graduated in Musical Theatre Directing with Prof. Reto Nickler at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

During her studies she was responsible for the compilation of the supertitles at the Wiener Volksoper. In 2004 she was awarded a scholarship by the Bayreuth Festival.

Since 2009 Magdalena Fuchsberger is the artistic organiser and associated partner of Salzburg Chamber Music Series “Musica sacra Salzburg”


Theater Münster – DER SCHMIED VON GENT
In the first act, Smee stands on a platform, on which a natural landscape is drawn. In the second act, when the forge is thriving again , Fuchsberger emphasizes the funny elements of the story, letting the blacksmith and his wife appear as tubbies and making them act like cartoons, which diminish the earnestness of the following scene with Saint Joseph. The producer also proves to have a great sense of humor in the scene with the plum tree, the armchair and the bag where Smee outwits the 3 devils, who had come to take his soul. The gate to heaven in the third act is behind a curtain on the background. Smee and his wife have their shape of the first act back, only they are much older now. Among the devils, that chase Smee away from the gate of hell, is one that carries a swastika band. This can be interpreted as an allusion to Schrekers’s biography and the end of his career...
Das Opernglas 12/2023 Th. Molke


Given the difficult conditions, one cannot but admire producer Magdalena Fuchsberger‘s courage to take the plunge. Fuchsberger thinks big and tries to refine the grotesque and political resistance potential against the paralyzing lead weights. Together with stage designer Monika Biegler she situates the action in a wood-panelled room, which darkly reminds of the room in the Münster town hall where in 1648 the Westphalian Peace was made. And she picks up Schreker’s wish for a rather plain décor, using tools of the epic theatre, especially in the pantomimically final act of the walk to the sky. Reality is not wanted. Everything is just a game, yes a game in a game. All played with a fascinating lightness, which suits particularly well in the burlesque transformation of Smee and his wife into bulky inflated puppets in the second act. Even the pastoral appearance of the Holy Family Maria and Joseph or the negotiation of Smee’s heavenly worthiness at the table in a pub is credible. Also the fact that Schreker himself watches the play from a small portrait at the backwall, and the videorecorded documentary of Schreker’s and his opera’s destiny , make sense. Here, Fuchsberger intention was to show the arrival in the year 1933. Brown shirts including Smee mingle with the colorfully costumed paradise masses. Which is understandable from today’s perspective but it surely wasn’t Schreker’s intention. The music even crosses it.
In her interpretation which reminds of a Punch and Judy show, Fuchsberger can vocally and actingly rely on the ensemble, which perfectly casted , even in the smallest roles.
OPERNWELT, 12 / 2023, Uwe Schweikert


There never is a dull moment. […] Heaven is a rather martial matter. Magdalena Fuchsberger has the excellent idea, to let even God Father fly the coop. He doesn’t at all likes to be in this paradise, populated by some dictators, also nazis, people with swastika bands […], what I very clever, subtle and witty.


Magdalena Fuchsberger’s direction is strongly focused on this fear. At first, five sinister figures move around the fragile nun Blanche, the central character of the story. Later, these demons of agony also visit the prioress Madame Croissy in her last hour. As an opponent we see a creature (Sofiia Stepura), that dances lightly across the scene. Half angel, half fighter, she seems to incarnate Blanche’s ideal of a holy warrioress…
Whereas the characterizations impress by the richness of details. A wide range of emotions and movements, from gentle gestures to heavy slaps, give the figures their necessary depth of character , reflecting their mesh of relationships. Also remarkable is the way the 16 women’s life come to an end: The nuns, liberal and coif-free dressed at the beginning, wrap themselves up in such an amount of protective coat cloth, you can barely see their faces as they are dying the martyrer death. Their longing for extremes has eradicated their individuality….
Consent without any turbidity by booing, also for the direction.
Wiener Zeitung


In her Vienna State Opera debut, Magdalena Fuchsberger direction does not present any exceedingly dynamical scenic figures in Monika Biegler’s stage set. The open, cage-like construction, that gives the impression of an unfinished building, is only discreetly used for insignificant side scenes, that happen parallel to the main action. Sinister death creatures or king’s children walk around. And Blanche’s memories of her prior life, make her father (profound Michael Kraus) seem like some kind of sitting sculpture.
But the quality of the work rather shows in the nun’s duets, as the ambivalence of the characters is perfectly captured.
In the end, the drama around the individual figures remains scenically thrilling. Which is also the essence of this opera, which presents some kind of comprehensive study about faith’s dealing with death’s challenges.
In the end, as all the nuns, dressed like golden crowned martyries disappear one after the other in the fog, while the orchestra evokes the deathly noise of the guillotine, what remains is the realization to have seen an elegantly eclectic , yet never plagiarized work of extremely elegance and intensity of solid scenic shape.
Der Standard


In Magdalena Fuchsberger’s production, the opera really turns into a thrilling experience. The title – conversations of the Carmelites – is to be understood literally. There is a constant lively exchange between the nuns. Monika Biegler’s stage set, with its transparent wooden skeleton, allows both permanent interaction and parallel plots. All rooms can constantly be viewed and due to the revolving stage, they can be put in a new perspective time and again.


Magdalena Fuchsberger’s production – the epitome of a clever, smart, coherent and gripping direction, that doesn’t try to attempt assertion but puts the piece in the limelight, all in a very impressive way. Take a look at it yourself – Thumbs up.
Heinz Sichrovsky


Theater Gießen – Ein Sommernachtstraum
This piece by Shakespeare has often been set into music. Benjamin Britten’s 20th century version is musically particularly challenging. Gießen ventured an experiment, using nothing but lights to give way for all kind of phantasies, which was definitively a success. The staging even beats the confusion, which was also a success! Goblin Puck sings from behind the stage and is replaced by special effect, also a huge success! And there are some real marvelous voices,. All of this makes a visit truly worth while.


Opernhaus Graz – ONE TOUCH OF VENUS
Actually the producer Magdalena Fuchsberger succeeds in turning the opera „One touch of Venus“, written in 1943, into a modern, stage-suitable piece that is perfectly worth existing……
Time and again we can see a choir of male and female soldiers, appearing on the opulently designed rotating stage, equipped with set pieces of female body parts, presenting itself as a dungeon and finally as the Olympia. A hint that creates a direct connection to work‘s date of origin. The costumes, but also the abundant dance performances, entirely in Broadway style, which keep reminding of New York in the 40ies. It is exactly here that lies the charm of this production. The subtle playing with time atmosphere, in which one can anticipate the tragical happenings of World War II, but never really see them, makes this production so extraordinary and finally also worth seeing.
European Cultural News


Theater Münster - Leben des Orest
Magnificent Greek Fun
With Ernst Krndek’s „Life of Orestes“ the Münster Theatre offers more than just a fantastic rediscovery. Right from the start of Magdalena Fuchsberger’s production, the curtain is always slightly open. It only closes at the end. We can see the stagehands changing the stage, the curtain is always stays open. A trick, that never gets worn out here! Also Aron Kitzig’s the video projections are more than just a “addition”, they seem to be a pursuing picturization, a “ It may well be like this!” or “That’s the way it is!”. In one scene we can see a deceased dog, that is brought back to life hyperrealistically every few seconds. A Dog-in-the-Box, just like Orest.
King Thoas’ palace (stage set and costumes: Monika Biegler) actually comprises only a couple of headlamps. From time to time some helping hands carry a couple of discarded Greek pillars through the scene. These “ingredients” are dramaturgically so perfectly defined, they never disturb but masterly communicate with the happenings, loosen, comment, almost complete them complementary rhythmically. …
At the end there were numerous bravos, for an astonishing, original direction. Fulsome praise!
Opernwelt 11/22, Arno Lücker


Theater Hagen - Suor Angelica/ A Room of One’s own
In director Magdalena Fuchsberger’s ingenious view, both pieces mutually comment themselves. … Here, the traditional setting, which strictly follows the guidelines of the Libretto, is not a conventional excuse. On the contrary, Fuchsberger shows the hostile rituals, that rule everyday monastery life, turning the sisters into prisoners and forbidding them their own desires. … Fuchsberger justly left out the mystic connotation with the appearance of the Virgin Mary, eliminating all kind of stage trash by doing so.
For the brainwaves of the merely actionless opera, Fuchsberger uses images that are both drastic and touching. They do not discursively assert the current relevance of the topic, they rather visualize in numerous, little spots, following in rapid succession. In doing so, she also cracks the pathos of Tarkiainen’s minimalism…
A splendid evening! If there were a distinction for opera houses outside the metropolises, Hagen surely would be its first aspirant.
OPERNWELT 7/22, Uwe Schweikert


Staatstheater Darmstadt – Barockoper im Park – LA CONSTANZA
"Constanza" isn’t exactly a piece, that develops dramatic effect, even less in its entire performance, which should take more than three and a half hours. Darmstadt’s new staging takes around 100 minutes. This is an extremely well chosen selection and quite a few single pieces are very powerful in the emotional compaction. Magdalena Fuchsberger’s staging makes use of this fact, without ever depriving the work of its plot structure…
Allgemeine Zeitung


Volkstheater Rostock – LA TRAVIATA
At the Rostock Popular Theatre stage director Magdalena Fuchsberger ( Ioco reported in 2018 on her Don Pasquale at the Theater Neubrandenburg Theatre in Neustrelitz, which plays in the Casa di Riposo, a retirement home for musicians and singers, founded by Giussepe Verdi ) tries to get to the bottom of the text’s and music’s edge zone. Without any acting exaggeration, she presents her own modern and yet credible interpretation of La Traviata. As to Magdalena Fuchsberger, Violetta Valéry isn’t just a victim of circumstances and a projection of male desires. She deliberately takes control of her own destiny. Facing her unavoidable death, Violetta starts to stage her own decease. Already in the first act, the entire furniture is covered up, everything is pointing to her ending. At the feast of the illustrious, but yet completely decadent society , scratching themselves to the blood as if they are in a drug high, she comes to know Alfredo closer. In his submissiveness, he seems to be the right person to accompany her grand departure. The fact that he isn’t her equal and that their love is not perfect and true, becomes obvious in the second picture, where he sings his aria, begging for self-affirmation, thwarted with Annina’s information, Violetta had left to sell her belongings. At the Popular Theatre in Rostock there the singers generally often sing forward, not together. Not only because it serves the acoustics of the house, but also as a stylistic device, an appeal to the audience and particularly as a device to emphasize their self-portrayal and self-adulation. The scene between Giorgio Germont and Violetta, in which the drug addictive courtesan per alter ego lounges herself in the background in seductive poses, is emotionally particularly intense. Violetta will never succeed in completely shedding her past. Supporting Alfredo’s father in his argumentation, Violetta wanders through the room. Yet, Violetta knows exactly that these disputes between father and son, who is a slave to her, will bring an often flint for conflicts at her return. And in appearing at Flora’s feast together with her former patron Baron Duphol ,she definitively carries it too far. When two men duel because of a courtesan, her social status is already much higher as the position that is due to her. In the fourth picture, Violetta sings : „so sterb‘ ich, umgeben von allen meinen Lieben“ , yet she stays alone at the right side of the stage. She tries to make reinsure the remorse of those who are left behind, while Alfredo, Germont and Annina merely pay lip services, sitting at the left side of the stage as in a row of church seats. It doesn’t matter whether this is part of the staging or not, the audience will always chose her side- so she definitively has achieved her aim: immortality in literature and music. The Popular Theatre and Rostock get a rock-solid Traviata. The timeless but empathetic stage set is completed by atmospheric background projections (Aron Kitzig), from an over dimensional camelia unto a dark blizzard on the country estate. This discreetly complements the whole, because it neither intervenes nor replaces lacking requisites. It merely underlines the moods. .. an extremely successful evening, that was completed with thundering applause and standing ovations. The following performances are all sold out.


With this complex, three act melodrama stage director Magdalena Fuchsberger ignites a captivatingly timeless question: What remains when the coquettish Violetta Valéry, her young love Alfredo Germont and his oh so concerned father Giorgio aren’t looked at through roses-colored glasses ? Quite simple: a grown woman, once desired by society but in the end abandoned, who sees – dying - her life pass like a movie in front of her mind’s eye. Even though Violetta and Alfredo get closer to each other, they can never love each other as equals. Consequently and precisely the Austrian stage director splits the unequal couple on stage from time to time to draw a better portrayal of the boy inside Alfredo and of Violetta, who became empathetic because of her life experience. ..In a nutshell: the standing ovations for the productions on the premiere night in the sold out house are well deserved.
Orpheus November/Dezember
Opera experts still consider Verdi’s “Simona Boccanegra” as an insider tip. It might be his most personal, at least his grimmest opera. All the more courageous is the Hagen Theatre`s decision to take the work in the program without shirking away from the essence of the piece: men make history and women are their victims. The young director Magdalena Fuchsberger finds impressive and at the same time oppressive images and spaces to demonstrate the game of power, that also corrupts the offenders, even destroys them. She doesn’t actualize superficially but exposes the emotions of the music, that are physically acted out on stage. Being shockingly radical but at the same time of an utmost precision, this leaves nobody in the audience cold. All the more so as all the participants – soloists, choir and orchestra – do full justice to the requirements of the music. This is one of the best Verdi productions , I have seen in the past few years in a German opera house. Hagen is worth a visit!
Uwe Schweikert (Opernwelt) im Oktober 2018
Landestheater Coburg – Land des Lächelns
In the Coburg production Magdalena Fuchsberger even goes a little bit further: Instead of an emotional piece play in an oriental scenery, she presents a psychoanalysis with music, already marking in the overture by scenic highlights. The Austrian producer gets to the bottom of this drama of renunciation. Underneath, she tells the story of a young woman’s failed self-liberation, using highly symbolic imagery, that immediately denies every form of false sentimentality. An ambitious and exciting approach and an imaginative and inspiring result.
Coburger Neue Presse – Dieter Ungelenk
Theater Magdeburg - Powder Her Face
Enthralling material, which the producer Magdalena Fuchsberger and the conductor Hans Rotman have consequently transmitted.
Mitteldeutsche Zeitung


But is it possible to set the notorious scenes in a way, they don’t seem disreputable? Yes it is, as the producer Magdalena Fuchsberger proves in many ways… .. „Powder Her Face“ produced by Magdalena Fuchsberger is a production which can absolutely compete with the great international opera productions. And if you want to know how to musically stage a fellatio, don’t miss this production.
Anna Lena Kramer


International Music Festival Immling - OTELLO

'Clearly, Magdalena Fuchsberger has intensively dealt with the literary background of 'Otello' and let herself inspire by Verdi's music. Doing so, new views and scenes arose, that don't correspond directly to the the libretto...And she succeeds in creating great magic opera moments, thanks to her delicate, well-thought-out direction...'


'The director, Magdalena Fuchsberger showed the audience a brandnew view on the play. Desdemona is the dominant character and Otello is weak and undecided. Already at his first appearance, she has to encourage him to greet the people and the impression arises that that he isn't quite sure if it was him, who countersank the Turkish armament or rather the storm. That's probably why Otello allows Jago, a rather repellent figure who is constantly scratching himself, to plunge him into misfortune. In the final sceneDesdemona doesn't come to death and when Otello in tends tio plunge the knife into his chest, she knocks the weapon out of his hand. This interesting direction -with its absolutely great role portrayals- obviously offes numerous interpretation possibilities. And so after the tumultuously celebrated premiere, you could hear numerous discussions on various views on the play. Come to Immling and look for yourself. And if you have the oppurtunity to buy some tickets, don't hesitate to visit this 'Otello'
Der neue Merker


"Ausbrechen aus dem Kreislauf der Gewalt"
Die Regisseurin Magdalena Fuchsberger im Gespräch