Heather Fairbairn

Heather Fairbairn

Heather is an opera and theatre director. She has worked with companies including Schaubühne Berlin, Royal Opera House, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Royal Danish Opera, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Finnish National Opera, Opera Queensland, Opera Australia, West Australian Opera, La Boite Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare and Sydney Theatre Company.

Her popular staging of Mozart’s The Magic Flute is regularly revived in concert halls around Europe, including Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel (Belgium), Grande Théâtre de la Ville (Luxembourg), Gulbenkian Foundation (Lisbon), and Escuela de Música Reina Sofía (Madrid).

Directing credits include: An Enemy of the People (Queensland Theatre); The Wolves (QUT); Elektra/Orestes (Metro Arts); The Alchemist, Women Beware Women directed reading (Bell Shakespeare); Silk Moth by Bushra El Turk at Arcola Theatre London for Grimeborn Festival (Ruthless Jabiru); Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again, The River, Die Winterreise (National Institute of Dramatic Art); Die Lustigen Weiber Von Windsor, and Ariadne Auf Naxos conducted by Simone Young (Queensland Conservatorium); The Mutant Man (The Space Arts Centre, London); Snappy Operas (Mahogany Opera Group); Sunnytown (La Boite Theatre Company), Little Nemo And The Ice Cream Witch (Bayerische Theaterakademie). In 2023, Heather directs Twelfth Night for Bell Shakespeare.

Heather regularly collaborates with director Katie Mitchell.  Heather directed the revival of Katie’s Ariadne Auf Naxos at Royal Danish Opera, Théâtre des Champs Elysées, and Finnish National Opera.  She also worked with Katie Mitchell on Ariadne Auf Naxos and Alcina (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence), Lucia Di Lammermoor (Royal Opera House), and Ophelias Zimmer (Royal Court Theatre & Schaubühne Berlin).

For Opera Queensland, Heather was associate director for Le Nozze Di Figaro directed by Patrick Nolan (also for West Australian Opera), and Orpheus and Eurydice directed by Yaron Lifschitz. For Sydney Theatre Company, Heather was assistant director for Lord Of The Flies directed by Kip Williams, and Accidental Death Of An Anarchist directed by Sarah Giles.  She was assistant director for Il Trovatore directed by David Bösch (Royal Opera House), and associate director for As You Like It directed by David Berthold (La Boite Theatre Company).

Among other projects in development, Heather is co-writing a new opera called O Segredo Do Rio with the support of ENOA and Gulbenkian Foundation.

Heather holds a Master of Fine Arts (Directing) from the National Institute of Dramatic Art and a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Drama & Creative Writing) from the University of Queensland, and regularly lectures on the NIDA post-graduate directing course.

Heather Fairbairn