Heralded by Opera News for her “absorbing, provocative staging,” Louisa Muller made her European debut last season directing a critically-acclaimed new production of The Turn of the Screw for Garsington Opera. In the 2019-20 season, she makes her debut with Opera Colorado leading Tosca, returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to direct Madama Butterfly and to again direct the annual Rising Stars Concert featuring the artists of the Ryan Opera Center, in addition to returning to the Metropolitan Opera roster for Akhnaten. Future engagements include a new production of a baroque title with Pinchgut Opera. Last season, she debuted with Minnesota Opera and Los Angeles Opera, leading La traviata and Don Carlo, respectively, and returned to the Metropolitan Opera for its revival of Don Giovanni. She also returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago to stage the Rising Stars Concert.
She received rich critical acclaim for her 2017 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. Since 2015, 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.
As a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s directing staff, Ms. Muller has helmed previous revivals of Don Giovanni as well as Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci and L'elisir d'amore. At the famed company, she has assisted directors such as David McVicar, Robert Lepage, Robert Carsen, Bartlett Sher, Michael Grandage, Stephen Wadsworth, Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, John Copley, and Giancarlo del Monaco.
Previously she was a staff director at Houston Grand Opera, where she prepared alternate casts of La bohème and Beatrice and Benedict and directed Theofanidis's The Refuge, Tosca, and Madama Butterfly at Miller Outdoor Theatre. She has also served on the directing staffs of Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Opera North (USA).
Invested in the dramatic training for singers, she has been a faculty member of the Scuola di Belcanto, Urbania and has worked regularly with the artists in the renowned Houston Grand Opera Studio. She has served as a guest dramatic coach at the National Opera Studio in London, Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists’ Vocal Academy, Wolf Trap Opera Studio, Lawrence University, and the University of Texas at Brownsville, as well as directing opera scenes for the Santa Fe Opera Houston Grand Opera Studio, and Wolf Trap Opera Studio.
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.
On The Rape of Lucretia
“…an intense wallop of a well-sung production.…this opera, as presented and gently updated by director Louisa Muller, was at times downright monumental in its statements, with even its whispers sheathed in iron.”
On Das Rheingold
“…the Philharmonic, Mr. Gilbert and the director Louisa Muller have stripped the work to its sinews. It is a stark vision—you might be reminded of Ivo Van Hove's scorched-earth approach to classic plays—that pares away almost everything but the music and the characters.…it was a remarkable evening of music theater.”
—The New York Times
On The Ghosts of Versailles
“It is a dazzling thing all around.…The opportunity to hear a modern work of this stature comes along all too rarely, a production of this quality still rarer.”
“The large contingent of vibrant singer-actors…burrowed into the plot's criss-crossed layers with great flair under the astute guidance of the director Louisa Muller.”
“Chances are that Wolf Trap Opera will be using its production of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles as a touchstone for a long time to come. The venture was satisfying on every level.…The complex layers…inspired deftly detailed stage direction from Louisa Muller, who kept the action fresh and involving." —Opera
“‘A deliberate, powerful and horribly successful study of the magic of evil,’ is how one critic described Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw on its publication in 1898. The same words very much apply to Louisa Muller’s new Garsington staging of Britten’s opera, a beautiful, unsettling piece of theatre that sifts through the work’s ambiguities with a subtlety that in itself has something of the complex finesse of James’s prose…A truly great achievement, devastating and unforgettable.”