Stage Director / Gremin


Maxim Mikhailov’s Priest (was) also superbly rendered.
Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Ionarts

NLMF 2010 production of Carmina Burana.

Maxim Mikhailov was born in Moscow to a traditional opera family. His grandfather Maxim Dormidontovich Mikhailov was one of the Bolshoi’s best Russian basses. In 1987 Maxim Mikhailov joined the Bolshoi Opera House as the principal soloist and soon after he won the Glinka Vocal Competition. Year later, in 1988 he graduated from the Russian Academy of Music with Master Degree as an Opera Singer, Vocal teacher and Actor. In 1991 he founded and was leading for 10 years as the Artistic and Stage Director The International Opera Festival of Maxim Mikhailov in the city of Cheboksary, where his grandfather was born. Year 1991 he began to study the opera direction as an auditor (special student) with Russian Academy of Musical Theatre Professor Boris Pokrovsky, one of the most remarkable opera staging directors of the last century. In 1993 he made his first work as the Stage Director – revival of the opera Gounod Faust for Mikhailov’s Opera Festival. His international career began in the same 1993 year when he won the International Belvedere Competition in Vienna. In 1994-1998 Maxim Mikhailov was invited to Salzburg Easter Festival for Boris Godunov under Claudio Abbado, was a personal assistant of Director Boris Pokrovsky and made his European debut as the Stage Director having staged in collaboration with Philippe Alraud Paisiello’s La Serva Padrona in Vienna Chamber Opera, Austria. The same year he began to take private lessons in stage directing by the General Stage Director of Viennese Volksoper professor Robert Herzl. In 1995 he made the revival of Borodin’s Prince Igor in Cheboksary. Year 1994-2000 Maxim Mikhailov appeared as the opera singer on the most major opera stages around the world –Volksoper (Vienna), Opera de Paris, Royal Opera House Covent Garden (London), Houston Grand Opera (Houston TX), Teatro Communale di Bologna, Teatro alla Scala (Milan), De Nederlandse Opera (Amsterdam) , La

Monnaie (Brussels), gave master classes as a vocal teacher and the Stage Director in Russia and Europe. In 1999-2003 he worked at the Summer Opera Festival in St. Margarethen, Austria as an assistant of the staging directors Robert Herzl and Gianfranco de Bosio in the productions of Magic Flute, Turandot and Otello.

In 2000 Maxim Mikhailov immigrated to the USA and continued his career as an opera singer and a vocal teacher. His repertoire at this time includes more than 50 major opera roles such as Philippo II in Don Carlo, Boris Godunov in Boris Godunov, Sarastro in Magic Flute, Golaud in Pelleas et Melisande, Ramfis in Aida, Mephistopheles in Faust (Gounod and Boito), Prince Gremin in Eugen Onegin and others.

Maxim Mikhailov appeared as an opera singer in Teatro San Carlo (Naples, Italy), German State Opera House “Unter den Linden” (Berlin, Germany), Gran Teatre del Liceu (Barcelona, Spain), San Diego Opera (San Diego CA), returned constantly to Opera de Paris, Covent Garden and other opera houses he already had sung with, and made his debuts at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, UK, and Metropolitan Opera, New York NY. During those years he worked with many stage directors, such as Francesca Zambello, Lotfi Mansouri, Richard Jones, David McVicar, David Pountney, Robert Wilson, improving skills of directing and dramatics couching. He was invited to Galina Vishnevskaya’s Opera Center in Moscow for several master classes.

Year 2010 Maxim started to work as an independent vocal teacher and couch for dramatics for Japanese company And-Vision Inc. (Tokyo) in the USA, Europe and Japan.

Since 2010 he cooperates with the Northern Lights International Opera Festival in Aurora MN as the Stage Director, vocal teacher, couch for dramatics, Set Designer and Recruiter for Opera Productions. The success of his first opera production on the festival stage Gianni Schicchi by G. Puccini in 2010 which Maxim Mikhailov had made as the Stage Director, Set Designer and also sung the title role, brought to the festval the new breath of interests from the native public and the officials of Saint Louis county, Iron Range region and the State of Minnesota. The next year Maxim made his second successful opera staging for the Northern Lights International Music Festival – Pagliacci by R. Leoncavallo. This production comfirmed the idea of annual opera performances within the festival frames that becomes one of the most popular events in the region.

Year 2014 Maxim Mikhailov made several concerts with the State Academic Orchestra of Russia, Staatskapelle Dresden, London Philharmonic, master classes at Antwerp Conservatory De Singel, Belgium and debut at Vlaamse Opera in the role of the Chief of Police in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk by Dmitry Shostakovich.

Maxim Mikhailov both directed and starred as the titular hero in Northern Lights’ 2011 production of Gianni Schicchi.