© Sebastian Fröhlich
© Sebastian Fröhlich
CROSS-GENRE

Nikolaus Habjan

Representation: World

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Graz in 1987, Nikolaus Habjan is one of the most versatile and sought-after (musical) theatre directors of his generation. Winner of no fewer than three Nestroy Awards, he is renowned not only as a director, but also as an actor and puppeteer, singer and art whistler, transcending genre boundaries with ease.

At the age of only 15, he began exploring puppet theatre, perfecting the use of hand puppets with mobile mouths during studies with Neville Tranter. To this day, he regularly uses this style of puppet in his productions. After studying musical theatre directing in Vienna, his first puppet theatre productions were shown at the Schubert Theater in Vienna, with his work F. Zawrel – erbbiologisch und sozial minderwertig earning him his first Nestroy Award in 2012.

Nikolaus Habjan and his productions have been invited to numerous renowned theatres in Austria and beyond, including Munich’s Residenztheater, the Bavarian State Opera, Vienna's Burgtheater, Theater an der Josefstadt, Theater an der Wien as well as Zurich’s Schauspielhaus. In 2019 The New York Times published a review in its print edition praising Habjan’s work Böhm at the Graz Theatre as a “startlingly… elaborate, virtuosic romp”. During the following 2019/20 season he was appointed “Director in residence” at the Theater an der Wien, where he staged Oberon, Gounod’s Faust and in 2020 Richard Strauss’ Salome, which was nominated in 2021 for the Austrian Musical Theatre Prize. In July 2021 he directed Rheingold – immer noch Loge, an opera by Gordon Kampe, at the Bayreuth Festival, before dedicating himself to Puccini’s Tosca at the Dortmund Opera, where he has been one of the ensemble directors since 2020. This production premiered in the autumn of 2021.

In the 2022/23 season, Nikolaus Habjan directed new productions at the Dortmund Opera (Magic Flute), the Theater an der Wien (La Périchole) or the Semperoper Dresden (L'Orfeo), among others. Together with the Musikbanda Franui and bass-baritone Florian Boesch, he staged Schubert's Die Schöne Müllerin in a scenic version at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, followed by further performances at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, the Bregenz Festival, the Gmunden Festwochen and the Musiktheater an der Wien.

Highlights of this coming season include the revival of Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Theater Basel, as well as new productions at the Dortmund Opera (Orpheus in der Unterwelt), the Theater an der Wien (Wo die wilden Kerle wohnen) and in Cleveland (Magic Flute). He also performs as an art whistler and puppeteer at the Wiener Konzerthaus, Musikverein Wien, Brucknerhaus Linz, Schauspielhaus Graz and Deutsches Theater in Berlin, where he can be seen in the plays Böhm, F. Zawrel - Erbbiologisch und sozial minderwertig and The Hills Are Alive.

In addition to his intense directing schedule, Nikolaus Habjan is an experienced and versatile actor and puppeteer, for example in his celebrated programmes with Musicbanda Franui from Eastern Tyrol, which have taken him to most major concert stages in the German-speaking region. With his passion for another, almost forgotten artistic genre of art whistling, he has been hailed as “Pavarotti and Bartoli in one person” (AZ), specialising in virtuoso coloratura arias, which he regularly performs to acclaim at such venues as Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, the Berlin State Opera and the Bregenz Festival.

2023 | 2024

www.nikolaushabjan.com

This biography is to be reproduced without any changes, omissions or additions, unless expressly authorized by artist management.

DISCOGRAPHY

Album Cover

FRANUI & Nikolaus Habjan: Kreisler-Lieder
On the occasion of his 100th birthday, the East Tyrolean Musicbanda Franui and the celebrated puppeteer and actor Nikolaus Habjan are dedicating an entire album to the great song composer and word acrobat Georg Kreisler, including songs like „Tauben vergiften im Park“, „Biddla Buh“ or „Der Tod, das muss ein Wiener sein“.
Label: col legno | 2022

More on www.col-legno.com

VIDEOS

CALENDAR

Nikolaus Habjan, puppeteer & staging

Qualtinger's text was first performed as puppet theatre with Nikolaus Habjan at the Schubert Theatre in Vienna. Now the award-winning evening, which was awarded the audience prize at "bestOFFstyria 2.10", is being shown at the Stadttheater Landsberg. With the help of his puppets, Nikolaus Habjan slips into a variety of roles, all of which together form "Mr Karl".

FURTHER INFORMATION & TICKETS

Nikolaus Habjan, puppeteer & staging

Qualtinger's text was first performed as puppet theatre with Nikolaus Habjan at the Schubert Theatre in Vienna. Now the award-winning evening, which was awarded the audience prize at "bestOFFstyria 2.10", is being shown at the Stadttheater Landsberg. With the help of his puppets, Nikolaus Habjan slips into a variety of roles, all of which together form "Mr Karl".

FURTHER INFORMATION & TICKETS

Nikolaus Habjan, puppeteer & staging

Qualtinger's text was first performed as puppet theatre with Nikolaus Habjan at the Schubert Theatre in Vienna. Now the award-winning evening, which was awarded the audience prize at "bestOFFstyria 2.10", is being shown at the Stadttheater Landsberg. With the help of his puppets, Nikolaus Habjan slips into a variety of roles, all of which together form "Mr Karl".

FURTHER INFORMATION & TICKETS

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, KV 620

Julian Prégardien, tenor (Tamino)
Ludwig Mittelhammer, baritone (Papageno)
Christina Landshamer, soprano (Pamina)
Kathryn Lewek, soprano (Queen of the Night)
Tareq Nazmi, bass (Sarastro)
Alexandria Shiner, soprano (First Lady)
Jennifer Feinstein, mezzo-soprano (Second Lady)
Daryl Freedman, mezzo-soprano (Third Lady)
Rodell Rosel, tenor (Monostatos)
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone (Speaker of the Temple)
Owen McCausland, tenor (First Armored Man and Second Priest)
Kidon Choi, baritone (Second Armored Man and First Priest)
Ashley Emerson, soprano (Papagena)
Manuela Linshalm, puppeteer
Angelo Konzett, puppeteer
Bruno Belil Espinos, puppeteer

Franz Welser-Möst, Conductor
Nikolaus Habjan, Stage Director
Heike Vollmer, Set Designer
Denise Heschl, Costume Designer
Paul Grilj, Light Design
The Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus

FURTHER INFORMATION & TICKETS

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Die Zauberflöte, KV 620

Julian Prégardien, tenor (Tamino)
Ludwig Mittelhammer, baritone (Papageno)
Christina Landshamer, soprano (Pamina)
Kathryn Lewek, soprano (Queen of the Night)
Tareq Nazmi, bass (Sarastro)
Alexandria Shiner, soprano (First Lady)
Jennifer Feinstein, mezzo-soprano (Second Lady)
Daryl Freedman, mezzo-soprano (Third Lady)
Rodell Rosel, tenor (Monostatos)
Dashon Burton, bass-baritone (Speaker of the Temple)
Owen McCausland, tenor (First Armored Man and Second Priest)
Kidon Choi, baritone (Second Armored Man and First Priest)
Ashley Emerson, soprano (Papagena)
Manuela Linshalm, puppeteer
Angelo Konzett, puppeteer
Bruno Belil Espinos, puppeteer

Franz Welser-Möst, Conductor
Nikolaus Habjan, Stage Director
Heike Vollmer, Set Designer
Denise Heschl, Costume Designer
Paul Grilj, Light Design
The Cleveland Orchestra
The Cleveland Orchestra Chorus

FURTHER INFORMATION & TICKETS
 

CONTACT

Representation: World

IN FOCUS

NIKOLAUS HABJAN - "Whistling-out 2023!"
30Dec2023
NIKOLAUS HABJAN - "Whistling-out 2023!"

Nikolaus Habjan brings 2023 to a close with a wonderfully entertaining evening in which he gives us an insight into the art of whistling!

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NIKOLAUS HABJAN & KATRIN WUNDSAM at MusikTheater an der Wien
16Dec2023
NIKOLAUS HABJAN & KATRIN WUNDSAM at MusikTheater an der Wien

In the Austrian premiere of Oliver Knussen's fantasy opera "Wo die wilden Kerle wohnen", directed by Nikolaus Habjan, Katrin Wundsam can be seen in the double role of Mother / Tzippie.

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FLORIAN BOESCH and NIKOLAUS HABJAN | Die schöne Müllerin comes to Bregenz and Gmunden
31Aug2023
FLORIAN BOESCH and NIKOLAUS HABJAN | Die schöne Müllerin comes to Bregenz and Gmunden

Florian Boesch and Nikolaus Habjan present Schubert's „Schöne Müllerin“ in a scenic version in Berlin, Hamburg, Graz and at the Bregenz Festival.

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