Zurich Opera: Matthias Schulz appointed as new director

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Matthias Schulz was introduced as new artistic director of the Opernhaus Zürich by the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Opernhaus Zürich AG, Markus Notter, at a press conference earlier today. The 44-year-old is to succeed Andreas Homoki, who has been heading the house since 2012 and is stepping down from the post by his choice in 2025. Matthias Schulz, current director of the Berliner Staatsoper Unter den Linden, takes office in Zurich with the start of the 2025/26 season on August 1st 2025. In the spirit of continuity, the Bavarian native will be available for a handover and introduction starting August 1st 2024. 

Markus Notter (Chairman of the Board of Directors of Opernhaus Zürich AG and Chairman of the finding commission): «With the decision in favour of Matthias Schulz, we have been able to win a very distinguished cultural mediator and experienced theatre director for the artistic leadership of the Opernhaus Zürich. After a targeted selective search process, the finding commission has unanimously decided in favour of the appointment of Matthias Schulz. We are very pleased to have found an excellent successor to Andreas Homoki and are certain that he will successfully lead Switzerland's largest cultural institution, a flagship of international music theatre, on the adopted path of opening up into the future».

Matthias Schulz (designated director of Opernhaus Zürich): 
«I am incredibly happy about my election as artistic director of the Opernhaus Zürich. Opernhaus Zürich, together with the Ballett Zürich, the Philharmonia Zürich and the Zürich Opera Chorus, stands for the highest musical and staging quality, a lively and diverse opera repertoire, impulses from modernity as well as the cultivation of historical performance practice. These essential components of the house are to be further developed and enriched through bold new perspectives. In the process, it is very important to me to show that artistic passion and economic expertise are not contradictory but go hand in hand.
The staff is the most valuable resource of an opera house and, alongside artistic development, future questions about how we are working together arise. In dialogue with the staff, the audience and the public, I would like to shape a cultural establishment in today's environment and will keep a firm eye on the development of the institution as an entity. Of course, one of the central tasks is to get inspire and win future generations for music theatre as an art form and to attract new audiences.
It is my conviction that everyone can experience fantastic things in opera, that this art form strengthens the capacity for empathy and that it can help us to better face the challenges and ambiguities of life. To be able to work on this in Zurich is simply a wonderful task with great prospects and I’m very motivated to take over the Opernhaus Zürich from the highly esteemed Andreas Homoki».

Andreas Homoki (Director of the Opernhaus Zürich since September 2012): 
«I am very glad for Zurich and for Matthias Schulz about his appointment. I hold Matthias Schulz in very high regard as a colleague and I am firmly convinced that he is with his unagitated and determined manner a very good choice for future of the Opernhaus Zürich. During the transition period, I will of course actively support Matthias Schulz and his team during the transition period».

Jaqueline Fehr (President of the Government Council, Head of the Department of Justice and Home Affairs, member of the finding commission): «Matthias Schulz will continue to develop the Opernhaus Zürich as an open and accessible opera house in the centre of a modern Europe. As a house, that has great appeal and radiance for Zurich audiences, but also for international guests and for many new visitors of all age groups. I am confident that with Matthias Schulz, the Opernhaus will continue to be an icon of Swiss culture anchored locally in Zurich and radiating far beyond the country's borders. With the 44-year-old new director the house will complete a generational change. For the important process of cultural change with topics relevant to society as a whole, such as openness, equality, diversity, inclusion, sustainability and participation, which the Opernhaus is already actively working on, Matthias Schulz will be an ideal player».

Matthias Schulz was born in 1977 in Bad Reichenhall (Bavaria) and studied piano in Salzburg as well as political economy in Munich. Matthias Schulz has had a long-standing relationship with the Salzburg Festival: From the age of 22, he was active in a wide variety of areas and was appointed from project manager, to concert and media officer, and in 2009 to head of concert planning. In this position, he was responsible for co-designing the programmes as well as scheduling and linking all Festival productions. A focus in the years of this collaboration was on contemporary music theatre.

In 2012, Matthias Schulz transferred to the Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg as joint Artistic Director and Commercial Director. In addition to programming the festival and concert programmes as well as other responsibilities in the two other core areas of the foundation, science and museums, his activities as head of finance and human resources also extended to fundraising, marketing, press relations and media productions.

In June 2015, Matthias Schulz was appointed as the designated artistic director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin. After a transitional phase as co-director, he is holding this post since April 2018. The reopening of and return to the building after seven years of renovation, the shaping of the programme with commissioned works and their premieres, the re-founding of the international festival «Barocktage» as well as the new series for experimental music theatre «Linden 21» were among his most important tasks and achievements. Promoting young talent and education programmes, such as the founding of an children's opera orchestra in cooperation with all of Berlin's district music schools, as well as the expansion of the Kinderopernhaus Berlin with broadcasting in ten Berlin districts, are among the central concerns of his work. Matthias Schulz was and is a board member of various festivals and a jury member of international competitions. He is married to a jurist and the father of four daughters and one son aged 9 to 21.

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