The director Lydia Steier was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Following singing studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, she moved to Germany as a Fulbright scholar.
Early highly-acclaimed productions included The Lesson – an English-language production of Ionesco’s La Leçon – at Berlin’s HAU, and a multimedia production of Peter Maxwell Davies’s Eight Songs for a Mad King, shown in Chicago, Cleveland, New York and Mexico. Productions of La clemenza di Tito and Hans Krása’s Brundibár at Opera Theater Pittsburgh, Lohengrin at Los Angeles Opera, Madama Butterfly in Bremen and Die lustige Witwe at the Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar followed. She was also invited to take some of her productions to festivals in Hong Kong, Dublin and New York.
Lydia Steier was named New Discovery of the Year by Deutschlandradio Kultur for her 2009 production in Weimar of Busoni’s Turandot in a double-bill with Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci. Her production of Handel’s Jephtha received much acclaim both in Potsdam and at the 2015 Vienna Festival. The critics’ survey of the magazine Opernwelt named her 2016 production of Stockhausen’s Donnerstag aus Licht as Production of the Year. Her productions of Handel’s Saul at Oldenburg State Theatre and of Pascal Dusapin’s Perelà, uomo di fumo at the Mainz State Theatre were nominated for the prestigious theatre prize Der Faust.
Important productions in recent seasons have included Giulio Cesare at the Komische Oper Berlin, Turandot and Carmen at Cologne Opera, Les Troyens at the Semperoper in Dresden, Oedipus Rex and Iolanta at Frankfurt Opera, the world premiere of Michael Wertmüller and Dea Loher’s Diodati. Unendlich at Theater Basel, The Queen of Spades for Deutsche Oper am Rhein, La Juive and Alcina at the Hanover State Opera, Les Indes galantes at the Grand Théâtre de Genève and the world premiere of Dai Fujikura’s A Dream of Armageddon at the New National Theatre in Tokyo. In June 2021 Lydia Steier celebrated her debut at Berlin State Opera with a highly-acclaimed production of La fanciulla del West.
In the 2022/23 season she will direct Salome at the Paris Opéra and Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Festpielhaus Baden-Baden.