Daniel J. Witzke
German stage director Daniel J. Witzke makes his company debut with OSJ, serving as director for Don Giovanni. Mr. Witzke works extensively in both opera and musical theatre in Europe and the United States. He was originally trained as a professional singer and actor in Vienna, Berlin and Hamburg, pursuing a career onstage.
As staff director at the Wiener Staatsoper he was responsible for directing, reviving and assisting on more than twenty productions including Nabucco, Tristan und Isolde, Tosca, Turandot, Aida and Die Fledermaus. International career highlights include Hamburgische Staatsoper (La Forza del Destino), Spoleto Festival USA (Don Giovanni), and the Bregenzer Festspiele (Tosca).
Mr. Witzke was appointed artistic director for the original German production of Elton John`s
Broadway-hit musical Aida in 2003.
Beyond his activities in opera and musical theatre, Mr. Witzke is one of the most respected
and accomplished producers for new American musicals in the German-speaking world. With his
former production company Big Fish Theatre Productions he has directed a number of highly
acclaimed German premiere productions such as Jason Robert Brown’s The Last 5 Years, Songs
For A New World and Maury Yeston`s December Songs among others.
He has worked as an audition and acting coach for over 15 years and has translated
a number of original Off-Broadway musicals into German. He has directed, conceived and written
charity galas, fundraisers, cruise ship shows and major special events for stage and television in the
US, Europe and North Africa.
Mr. Witzke is strongly dedicated to the development and nurturing of new works in both
opera and musical theatre and is collaborating with some of the most exciting young writers in the
country. He was appointed resident director for Seattle Opera in May 2012.
In the current 2013-14 season, he is collaborating with renowned Scottish stage director
Paul Curran on Baden-Baden 1927 for Gotham Chamber Opera, which recently opened to wide
acclaim at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater in New York City. In 2014 he will be directing The Magic Flute for West Bay Opera in Palo Alto, CA, and working on a new production of La traviata as well as directing in the Apprentice Artist program for Des Moines Metro Opera in Iowa. More productions for 2014 include Aida for Opera San Luis Obispo and Cole Porter’s Something for the Boys for 42nd Street Moon at the Eureka Theatre in San Francisco.
In the summer of 2014 he will direct Lee Hoiby’s one-woman opera Bon Appétit! for the Buck Hill
Skytop Music Festival in Mountainhome, PA. Internationally-renowned Metropolitan Opera
mezzo-soprano Victoria Livengood will star as the flamboyant master chef Julia Child. In 2015 he
will celebrate his Opera Colorado company debut with a new production of The Magic Flute.
Mr. Witzke is a member of AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists) and is currently residing
in Santa Cruz, CA, with his fiancee, Sara.