Michael Kraus | ©Susanne Diesner

Michael Kraus was born in Vienna. After finishing his vocal studies at the Academies of Vienna and Munich he set out on a professional career at the opera houses in Aachen and Ulm (Germany) and the Vienna Volksoper first.  In parallel he developed a busy guest activity, which has led him into many international opera houses and festivals, like the Teatro alla Scala/Milan, the State Operas of Vienna, Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Komische Oper Berlin, San Francisco Opera, Nederlandse Opera, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Vlaamse Opera, Zurich, Covent Garden London, Opera Bastille Paris, Glyndebourne Opera festival and many other opera houses and festivals around the world.

Michael Kraus’ repertory contains opera, oratorio and song and goes from baroque to contemporary music. He sang Stolzius in the Willy Decker-production of Bernd Alois Zimmermann’s „Die Soldaten“ at the Nederlandse Opera in 2010 and premiered several new operas, such as „Don Quixote en Barcelona“ of José Luis Turina with La Fura dels Baus, in which he sang the title-role in 2000 and „La Cabeza del Bautista“ of Enric Palomar in 2009, both at the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona. In 2012 Michael Kraus sang in the world premiere of Christian Jost’s opera „Rumor“ at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, directed by Guy Joosten.

At the beginning of his career Michael Kraus was singing the lyric repertory and many of the Mozart baritone parts, like Papageno which he recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Georg Solti or Leporello in „Don Giovanni“, a part he sang in Amsterdam with Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Over the past years he has extended his repertory towards more dramatic challenges, like Count Luna in „Il Trovatore“, Don Carlo di Vargas in „La Forza del Destino“, Beckmesser in „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“ or Faninal in „Der Rosenkavalier“, which Michael Kraus sang in Amsterdam and later Berlin Staatsoper under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.

2015 he was Thoas/“Iphigenie en Tauride“ at Salzburg Festival. His debut at Semperoper Dresden followed in 2016 – Donner/“Das Rheingold“ under Christian Thielemann.

The greatest personal success was his most recent debut as Alberich/“Ring der Nibelungen“ at Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Hilsdorf/Kober).

Michael Kraus can be heard in a number of recordings, among others in the title-role of Viktor Ullmann’s „Kaiser von Atlantis“ and various other recordings of DECCA’s series ‚Entartete Kunst‘.

Future projects include his return to Genève, Düsseldorf, Opera National de Paris and London Covent Garden.
Michael Kraus is director of the new established opera studio Staatsoper Vienna from September 2020 on.