Premiere Bajazet (Il Tamerlano) postponed. The rehearsals are completed, we are ready for the premiere! But unfortunately, due to the extended lockdown, the premiere date remains postponed.

The concept fits in with our times: women around the world are imprisoned because they campaign for women's rights, democracy, and freedom of opinion. There is a top-class cast in the fast-paced production by Nina Russi. David DQ Lee, Florian Götz, Almerija Delic, Julia Grüter, Nian Wang and Maria Ladurner will sing under the musical direction of Wolfgang Katschner.

The production is expected to premiere in October 2021.

Until then, you can linger in the digital fundus of the Staatstheater Nuremberg.

July 2020

Bajazet (Il Tamerlano).
Nina Russi directs Antonio Vivaldis Pasticcio at Staatstheater Nuremberg.
The premiere is on November 7th 2020.

© Staatstheater Nürnberg

Nina Russi turns the momentous conflict of Osmanians against Tatares from the 15th century into a contemporary political thriller: A hymn into resistance against suppression, abuse of power and patriarchy. Right in the thick of it: A strong woman - Asteria, the daughter of Bajazet.
The successful creative team with the awarded Bernstein evening from Theater Aachen works together again for Staatstheater Nuremberg.

The premiere on November 7th 2020.

The production is postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

June 2020

Der herzlose Riese.
First release by Elena Kats-Chernin and Susanne Felicitas Wolf. Nina Russi directs for the first time at Philharmonie Luxembourg.

Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin and Austrian librettist Susanne Felicitas Wolf are writing a new opera after a Norwegian folk tale, commissioned by Philharmonie Luxembourg. Stage director Nina Russi creates for the firste time with Berlin based stage design duo Timo Dentler & Okarina Peter a multimedia-opera at Grand Auditorium of the Philharmonie Luxembourg.

The production is postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Ring Award 2020.
Semifinal in Graz, Austria: January 9th to 11th.
Nina Russi and Julia Katharina Berndt will present their staging concept for Mozarts «Don Giovanni».

November 2019

Premiere at Zurich Opera. November 16, 2019.
Nina Russi stages Mark-Anthony Turnages Fantasy-Opera as a Swiss first release.

© Herwig Prammer, Zurich Opera

Who does not sometimes dream of discovering a hidden door behind which a magical, completely different world opens up? The Fantasy-Opera by British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage is based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and tells the story of a courageous young girl whose unusual name shows that everything is not always as it seems. Coraline has to recognise that in a world in which every wish comes true she would lose not only her eyes, but also her ego…

More information and dates

September 2019

Götz-Friedrich-Prize 2019.
Nina Russi is the first Swiss stage director to receive the Götz-Friedrich-Prize, awarded by the German Opera Conference.

Von links: Kai Anne Schumacher (Preisträgerin Studiopreis), Viktor Schoner (Intendant Staatsoper Stuttgart), Karan Armstrong (Witwe von Götz Friedrich), Andreas Homoki (Juryvorsitzender), Nina Russi (Preisträgerin Götz-Friedrich-Preis 2019). © Bernhard Weis

The stage director Nina Russi receives the Götz-Friedrich-Prize 2019 for her staging of the Bernstein Operas "Trouble in Tahiti" and "A Quiet Place" at the Theater Aachen (Germany).

The Götz-Friedrich-Prize recognizes outstanding achievements by young stage directors in musical theater. It was founded in 1995 by the legendary director and intendant Götz Friedrich and is hosted today by the German Opera Conference. The jury consists of Andeas Homoki (Opernhaus Zürich, chairman), Barrie Kosky (Komische Oper Berlin), Birgit Meyer (Oper Köln) and Christoph Meyer (Deutsche Oper am Rhein), as well as Bernd Feuchtner (executive board). Former award winners are Sebastian Baumgarten, Stefan Herheim, Benedikt von Peter, Elisabeth Stöppler, Yuval Sharon, Nadja Loschky and Mizgin Bilmen.

The award ceremony took place on November 7 as part of the dok at the Staatsoper Stuttgart.

July 2019

Festival d'Aix-en-Provence.
Participation as Stage Director at
with Katie Mitchell

The Académie du Festival d'Aix is running an empowerment programme for female opera creators – composers, authors, directors and conductors – in the middle of their careers.
This programme is led by the stage director Katie Mitchell and aims to offer tools, support and advice for women working in the opera industry, in order to help them grow stronger in their art, improve their ability to communicate this art, and develop the skills needed to navigate a male-dominated profession.

Eleanor Bishop (New Zealand) — Stage director
Laura Bowler (United Kingdom) — Composer
Argyro Chioti (Greece) — Stage director
Karin Hendrickson (United States) — Conductor
Milica Ilic (Serbia) — Composer
Sanae Ishida (Japan) — Composer
Marta Kluczynska (Poland) — Conductor
Zoe Palmer (United Kingdom) — Author
Caterina Panti Liberovici (Italy) — Stage director
Sabryna Pierre (France) — Author
Nina Russi (Switzerland) — Stage director
Yalda Zamani (Iran/Algeria) — Conductor

APRIL 2019

Zurich Opera. Presentation 2019/2020 season.
Nina Russi will direct «Coraline».
Fantasy Opera by Mark-Anthony Turnage.
Swiss Premiere.

Nina Russi will direct for the first time on the main stage at Zurich Opera.

The family opera by British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage is based on the eponymous story by Neil Gaiman, of which there is already a very successful film version. It tells the story of a courageous young girl whose unusual name shows that everything is not always as it seems.

Premiere 16 November 2019

Further Performances
24. 29. November 2019
1. 10. 13. 14. December 2019
2. Januar 2020
1. 8. 16. 29. February 2020
17. 26. April 2020

More information

MARCH 2019

Trouble in Tahiti / A Quiet Place. Trailer.
Operas by Leonard Bernstein.
Theater Aachen.

MARCH 2019

Trouble in Tahiti / A Quiet Place. Press reviews.
Operas by Leonard Bernstein.
Theater Aachen.

A Quiet Place © Carl Brunn

«What an evening!»
Die Deutsche Bühne

«Every opera lover should have experienced this enchanting evening!»
Der Opernfreund

«A very, very grand directorial work!»
Online Merker Kulturplattform

«Enthralling music theatre at its best!»
Der Opernfreund

«Visiting this production can only be strongly recommended!»
Online Merker Kulturplattform

«An all-round successful production!»
Aachener Nachrichten

«Here was magic! A magnificent evening!»
IOCO - Kultur im Netz

«Look, look: a truly superb opera evening!»
Theater Pur in NRW

«Highlight of the Aachen programme!»
Aachener Nachrichten


Trouble in Tahiti / A Quiet Place. Press reviews.
Operas by Leonard Bernstein.
Theater Aachen.

A Quiet Place © Carl Brunn

Life a house
«Nina Russi's production thrives on the role portrayals and exceptional detail, never occluding the story, but rather further refined and enriched, with many small, never meaningless and always narrative-supporting images and gestures. Remarkably imaginative and full of sparkling wit, for example, is her handling of the vocal trio and quartet, who appear here as ironic mediators and suddenly sharply focus on the scenic processes several times with sublime timing.

For Nina Russi "A Quiet Place" is obviously not the silent garden that Dinah dreams of, but the house of the family. Therefore, she also locates "Trouble in Tahiti", which according to the script instructions plays in different places, exclusively within the house - Magic Realism as dream interpretation. That works, too, because Russi is never afraid to interpret text and music in small pieces and thus expose the network of impulses, feelings, thoughts and cravings that had caused the injuries of the characters and keeps them trapped within themselves.»

Andreas Falentin, Die Deutsche Bühne

Trouble in Tahiti © Carl Brunn

«The young director Nina Russi, together with her production team (stage: Mathis Neidhardt, costumes: Annemarie Bulla), devised a staging concept that interlocked the past and the present, linking feelings of yesteryear and now in an almost tender way. (...) With such cross-connections, which sometimes quite touch the heart, Nina Russi presents a very, very grand directorial work. (...) Sometimes one imagines attending a film with all these changes of scene. In addition, there is a lively and psychologically explosive role portrayal. (...) The audience in Aachen was visibly impressed by all these visual stimuli. Justifiably stormy applause. (...) A visit to this production (it remains on the programme until May) can only be urgently recommended.»

Christoph Zimmermann, Online Merker - Die internationale Kulturplattform


Trouble in Tahiti / A Quiet Place. Premiere.
Operas by Leonard Bernstein.
Theater Aachen.

The family as the nucleus of all interpersonal relationships is the focus of Leonard Bernstein's operas Trouble in Tahiti and A Quiet Place. The two operas are an expression of Bernstein's lifelong search for a new genuinely American opera genre. Elements of jazz and light music combine with avant-garde to form a unique and captivating mix of styles.

The director Nina Russi examines the ambiguity and artificial backdrop of personal relationships as well as the social ideals and prefabricated life models, according to which the characters of these operas strive to live.

More information and dates


Aargauer Kuratorium.
Funding contribution for the director Nina Russi.

«The Aargauer Kuratorium is proud to present a promising music theatre director with a contribution to the steps towards artistic freedom and, as a result, to artistic development. Toi, toi, toi, Nina Russi!»

(from the jury report of the Aargauer Kuratorium)

JUNE 2018

Musik im Rausch.
Handel, Debussy, Shostakovich.
Scenic concert.

Is it white or black in heaven?
A playful round trip.

In the huge hall of the former metal workshop Manegg, arias and instrumental pieces by Handel, Debussy and Shostakovich are interwoven into a scenic concert as part of the chamber music series "Musik im Rausch.". Each piece of music gets its own island, free in space. In the wake of voice, play and movement, musicians and audiences are carried through the hall.

Nina Russi is responsible for the scenic conception and implementation of this site-specific production.


«Residency for a Stage Director» by ENOA.
Teatr Wielki, Polish National Opera Warsaw, Poland.
Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, France.

Swiss Stage Director Nina Russi is invited by the European Network of Opera Academies ENOA to a joint residency at the Teatr Wielki – Polish National Opera and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence to follow the creative process of the new production of Prokofiev's The Fiery Angel directed by Mariusz Trelinski in Warsaw and its revival in Aix-en-Provence.

Nina Russi also leads a scenic workshop for the Opera Academy, the Young Talents Development Programme of the Teatr Wielki Opera Narodowa Warsaw.

More information

The ENOA Young Opera Makers programme aims to offer the participants excellent training, with an interdisciplinary and contemporary approach to opera, enable them to perform and experience creative processes, and increase their visibility and access to international recruitment circuits.


Der Traum von Dir. World premiere.
Chamber opera by Xavier Dayer (*1972).
Zurich Opera, Studiobühne.

Set design model: Der Traum von Dir (© Barbara Pfyffer,

Nina Russi stages a world premiere on the studio stage of the Zurich Opera: Der Traum von Dir by Xavier Dayer (* 1972). It is a commissioned work of the Zurich Opera, a chamber opera adapted from a libretto by Claus Spahn based on the novel "Letter from an Unknown Woman" by Stefan Zweig.

This world premiere marks the beginning of a series of the Zurich Opera House with commissioned works by Swiss composers. The ensemble Opera Nova was recruited from the Philharmonia Zurich in order to devote itself to contemporary pieces in a chamber formation.

More information


Gold! Opera by Leonard Evers (*1985).
Stage director Nina Russi.
Zurich Opera, Studiobühne.

For the season opening 2016/2017 of the Zurich Opera, Nina Russi stages the contemporary children's opera Gold! by Leonard Evers on the studio stage.

In a poetic, visually stunning and energetic realisation, the director will once again devote herself to a work by the Brothers Grimm after her successful staging of Iris ter Schiphorst's Die Gänsemagd (The Goose Girl).

More information


Scholarship of the Swiss Richard Wagner Society.
Scholar’s programme at the Bayreuther Festspiele 2016.

The Swiss Richard Wagner Society has for the first time selected a female director as a scholarship holder for the scholar’s programme at the Bayreuth Festival. The scholarship programme aims to promote and deepen the Bayreuth Festival idea. To achieve this, talented aspiring musicians, singers or other stage performers can attend a number of performances, as well as an on-site work and exchange programme.

Furthermore, Nina Russi will direct and report live on the Swiss scholarship concert in the Minnie-Hauk-Saal of the Schlössli Wartegg in Tribschen, Lucerne.

MAY 2014

International Forum. Berliner Theatertreffen.
Participation as a Pro Helvetia scholar, the Swiss Arts Council.

Nina Russi was selected as a Swiss scholarship holder by Pro Helvetia for participation in the International Forum of the Berliner Theatertreffen.

More than thirty young artists from around the world take part in the International Forum in Berlin, watch theatrical productions together, put their heads together and work together in exclusive workshops on the future of the theatre.

More information