Heralded by Opera News for her “absorbing, provocative staging,” Louisa Muller makes her Houston Grand Opera debut in the 2022-23 season directing a new production of Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers. She also revives her production of Handel’s Amadigi di Gaula for Philharmonia Baroque and returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to lead its production of Ernani. Her future engagements include new productions with Santa Fe Opera, of Rinaldo for Pinchgut Opera, and in a return to Garsington Opera. Last season she returned to Garsington Opera to revive her production of The Turn of the Screw which, in its first outing, received the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award and was named by The Guardian as one of the Top Ten Classical Music Performances of the Year. She also created new productions of Amadigi di Gaula for Boston Baroque and The Rake’s Progress for The Juilliard School and returned to Los Angeles Opera to direct Tannhäuser and to the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Tosca; the latter title served as her debut with Opera Colorado as well.
Ms. Muller was a finalist in the “Newcomer” category of the International Opera Awards. She received rich critical acclaim for her staging of Das Rheingold with the New York Philharmonic, which the New York Times called “riveting…a remarkable evening of music theater” and named among its list of the Best Classical Music Performances of the Year. She also directed concert stagings of Ariadne auf Naxos at the Edinburgh International Festival and Don Giovanni at the Royal Conservatory Antwerp.
She made her debuts with Los Angeles Opera and Minnesota Opera, leading Don Carlo and La traviata, respectively, and has returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to direct Madama Butterfly after directing La bohème with the company. Ms. Muller has also led productions of Madama Butterfly for Opera Queensland, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Houston Grand Opera. As a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s directing staff, Ms. Muller has helmed revivals of Don Giovanni as well as Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci and L'elisir d’amore. Her production of Porgy and Bess for the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic as was a new production of Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath at the Aspen Music Festival in 2019.
She has been a frequent and beloved presence at Wolf Trap Opera, where she has directed new productions of Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles, called “a dazzling thing all around” by the Washington Post; The Rape of Lucretia, with the Washington Post again heralding her work as “an intense wallop of a well-sung production;” Tosca, praised as “searing summer verismo” by Washington Classical Review; and Roméo et Juliette, “the drama taut” and with “compelling stage pictures,” reported the Washington Post.
Invested in the dramatic training for singers, she has twice directed the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Rising Stars concert featuring its Ryan Opera Center and has collaborated with those singers in individual dramatic coaching tailored to their repertoire. She has given masterclasses and dramatic coaching at the National Opera Studio in London, Houston Grand Opera Studio and Young Artists Vocal Academy, Wolf Trap Opera, Baylor University, University of Wisconsin, Lawrence University, and the University of Texas and has been a faculty member of the Scuola di Belcanto in Urbania, Italy. She has directed scenes programs for Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera Studio, Wolf Trap Opera Studio, and Rice University.
She holds degrees from Lawrence University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is a citizen of the United States and Germany and makes her home in Vienna.