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Michael Brandstätter

When was the first time in your life that you were enchanted by (musical) theatre? And through what?

In the opera house in my home town of Graz. I don't remember the work, but I can still feel the mysterious atmosphere in the small, dark, plush red balcony box. I was enchanted by being in the midst of people and yet completely alone with the sounds of the orchestra, the singers and the colourful fantasy images of the stage.

Why do people sing and why don't they speak?

What you can't keep quiet about, you have to sing about.

What role can/should musical theatre play in today's society?

Musical theatre can and should take on as many roles as possible, preferably at the same time: Punch and crocodile, avant-gardist and conservative uncle. The more contrasting and imaginative, the better. Musical theatre should be made with dedication. Musical theatre should be touching.


Born in

Graz, Austria


Studied conducting and composing in St. Petersburg/Russland with Ilya Musin and in Graz with Arturo Tamayo, Wolfgang Bozić, Georg Friedrich Haas, Gerd Kühr and Beat Furrer 

Five to ten important engagements

  • 2000 - 2007: Conductor and solo repetiteur at the Graz Opera
  • 2007 - 2012: First Conductor at Stadttheater in Klagenfurt (Ariadne auf Naxos, L’incoronazione di Poppea, Tosca, Boris Godunow, Schlafes Bruder, ...)
  • seit 2012/13: First Conductor and Deputy Chief Conductor at Gärtnerplatztheater (Jonny spielt auf, Schuberts Reise nach Atzenbrugg, Così fan tutte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, La Cenerentola, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Aida, La Strada)
  • Guest engagements at Oper Leipzig, the Steirischer Herbst, at the Festival styriarte, at Theater St. Gallen and at Oper Erfurt. Numerous radio and CD recordings (Jonny spielt auf/Liliom/Die Faschingsfee/Momo). 

Formative collaboration with these artists

Emmy Werner, Brigitte Fasbaender,  Tatjana Gürbaca, Marco Goecke, Peter Konwitschny, Thorsten Fischer, Josef Ernst Köpplinger, Karl Alfred Schreiner

Debut and important works at Volksoper Wien

Conductor at Im weißen Rössl (season 2015/16)

* Use of photography (© Wolf Silveri) only for the purpose of current reporting on the Volksoper Wien