Andrea Schmidt-Futterer was born in Mannheim in 1957. From 1980 to 1984 she worked as Moidele Bickel’s costume design assistant at the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin. In 1986, she took a permanent position as costume designer at the Schauspielhaus Bochum. She has worked freelance since 1995.
Designing for both theatre and dance, she contributed to productions directed by Gerhard Bohner, Andrea Breth, Jürgen Gosch, Leander Haussmann, Thomas Langhoff, Claus Peymann, Wolf Redl, Joachim Schlömer, Frank-Patrick Steckel and others.
In 1991, Schmidt-Futterer participated in an opera production for the first time, designing costumes for Leoš Janáček’s “From the House of the Dead”, produced at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels under the direction of Peter Mussbach. In the following years, Mussbach and Schmidt-Futterer collaborated on a number of opera productions, among them Alban Berg’s “Lulu” at the Salzburg Festival 1995, Ferruccio Busoni’s “Doktor Faust”, Giuseppe Verdi’s “Macbeth” at the State Opera Unter den Linden, Berlin, in the 2000/2001 season, “Arabella” by Richard Strauss at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, in the season of 2001/2002, G. Verdi’s “La Traviata” at the State Opera Unter den Linden, Berlin, as part of the FESTTAGE 2003 as well as “Moses and Aaron” by Arnold Schönberg at the FESTTAGE 2004. Additional productions were F. Busoni’s “Doktor Faust”, Alban Berg’s “Wozzeck”, Helmut Lachenmann’s “The Little Match Girl”, Franz Schreker’s “The Distant Sound”, Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” and the world premiere of Pascal Dusapin’s “Perelà, l’homme de fumée” in Paris, as well as W. A. Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” at the Milan Scala, Vincenzo Bellini’s “Norma” at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris, and Georg Friedrich Haas’ opera “Bluthaus” (Blood House) at the Vienna Festival.
Andrea Schmidt-Futterer has also worked extensively with Nikolaus Brieger since their first collaboration on a production of Hindemith’s opera “Cardillac” in Frankfurt in 2000. Subsequent collaborations comprised Olivier Messiaen’s “Saint François d’Assise” in San Francisco, R. Strauss’ “Salome” and Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s “The Dead City” in Geneva, Sergei Prokofiev’s “War and Peace” in Cologne, Johann Christian Bach’s “Amadis de Gaule” in Mannheim, Richard Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman” in Strasbourg, “Mitridate, re di Ponto” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Schwetzingen and G. Verdi’s “La Traviata” and “Hamlet” in Wiesbaden. Productions of “Don Giovanni” and “Nathan the Wise” are planned for 2018.
From 1999 until his death in 2015, Schmidt-Futterer regularly worked with Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Their first collaboration was with R. Wagner’s “Parsifal”, a production first presented at the English National Opera and also seen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera and the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona.
Subsequently, they worked together on productions of “The Flying Dutchman” in Chicago, GiacomoPuccini’s “Turandot” at the Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam, and the Milan Scala, R. Wagner’s “Tristan and Isolde” at Glyndebourne Festival and in Baden-Baden, Franz Schreker’s “Die Gezeichneten” (The Branded) at Salzburg Festival 2005, R. Wagner’s “Tannhäuser and the Minnesingers’ Contest at the Wartburg” in Amsterdam and Baden-Baden, “Dialogues of the Carmelites” by Francis Poulenc at the Hamburg State Opera, Hans Werner Henze’s “The Hoopoe and the Triumph of Filial Love“ at the Semperoper Dresden, R. Strauss’ “Elektra” at Salzburg Festival 2010 and lastly G. Puccini’s “La fanciulla del West” at the Nederlandse Opera, Amsterdam, and the Opéra Bastille, Paris.
Schmidt-Futterer’s design credits include an ongoing collaboration with Lukas Hemleb, for whom she initially designed the costumes for his production of “La Scala di seta” by G. Puccini in Mannheim in 2007. Subsequently, they collaborated on “Niobe, regina di Tebe” by Aostino Steffani, shown in Schwetzingen and at the Royal Opera House in London. In Geneva, she designed costumes to be integrated in the stage designs Alexander Polzin created for Hemleb’s productions of “Iphigenia in Tauris” by Christoph Willibald Gluck and “Falstaff ” by G. Verdi.
Schmidt-Futterer has been working with Reinhild Hoffmann since 1986, at first designing costumes for her dance productions and subsequently also for her operas.
In 2014, she started collaborating with Hans Neuenfels on a production of G. Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut” at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, also designing costumes for the world premiere of the opera “South Pole” by Miroslav Srnka, presented at the same theatre in 2016. Further productions on which she collaborated with Neuenfels were “Ariadne in Naxos” by R. Strauss at the Berlin State Opera (performing in the Schillertheater) in 2015, “Orest” by Manfred Trojahn at the Zurich Opera House in 2017 and “Lucio Silla” by W. A. Mozart in Basel in the same year.
Additional design credits include opera productions directed by Roland Aeschlimann, Pierre Audi, Regula Gerber, Bernd Eichinger, Bill Friedkin, Stathis Livathinos, Johannes Schaaf and Monique Wagemakers.