Christoph Marthaler

Current as of August 2023

Christoph Marthaler was born in Zurich. After studying music and drama in Zurich and Paris, he worked as a composer and theatre musician in numerous German-speaking theatres. He also developed his first theatre productions, both in public venues and at Theater Basel. His innovative theatrical language became internationally known in 1993 with the production Murx den Europäer! Murx ihn! Murx ihn! Murx ihn! Murx ihn ab!, staged at the Berlin Volksbühne on Rosa Luxemburg Platz. In the years that followed he created productions for the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, Theater Basel and the Berlin Volksbühne. Regular invitations to the Berlin Theatertreffen followed, along with numerous awards such as the Konrad Wolf Prize, the Fritz Kortner Prize and the European Theatre Prize.

From 2000 to 2004 Christoph Marthaler was intendant of the Schauspielhaus in Zurich, which was named ‘Theatre of the Year’ in 2000 and 2001 by the magazine Theater heute. In the 2004/05 season he received the Nestroy Theatre Prize in the category ‘Best production’ for Schutz vor der Zukunft. He went on to direct Tristan und Isolde at the Bayreuth Festival in 2005, Wozzeck and La traviata at the Paris Opéra and Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Teatro Real in Madrid. In 2010 he was invited to be an associate artist at the Festival d’Avignon, along with Olivier Cadiot, and staged an evening under the title Papperlapapp at the Papal Palace there.

Recent engagements have taken him to the Schauspielhaus in Zurich, the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, the Zurich Opera House, the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and Theater Basel. His productions have been repeatedly staged at the Paris Festival d’Automne and the Wiener Festwochen. His production of Alban Berg’s Lulu for the Hamburg State Opera was named ‘Best Production of 2017’ by the magazine Opernwelt, and was awarded the German theatre prize Der Faust.

Together with Anna Viebrock and Titus Engel, Christoph Marthaler developed the Charles Ives project Universe, Incomplete for the 2018 Ruhrtriennale. In 2015 he was awarded the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. In 2017 he won the City of Zurich Art Prize, in 2018 he won the International Ibsen Prize and in 2020 he won the Nestroy Theatre Prize for his lifetime achievements.

Christoph Marthaler made his Salzburg Festival debut in 1996 with a production of Pierrot lunaire / Quatuor pour la fin du temps. He has returned to direct Káťa Kabanová (1998), Zur schönen Aussicht (1999), Le nozze di Figaro and Twelfth Night (2001), Sauser aus Italien (2007) and The Makropulos Affair (2011).

read more collapse

Photos and Videos

open gallery
open gallery