Guy Joosten started his career as a stage director and the artistic head of the Blauwe Maandag Compagnie theatre collective. He also directed plays at the NTG in Ghent, the KVS in Brussels and the Brussels Kamertoneel, as well as for various companies in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Groningen). At the age of 28 he made his debut at the Burgtheater in Vienna, and a year later he became the head director at the Thaliatheater in Hamburg. In 1989 he was awarded the Theatre Festival Prize in Rotterdam for his directing of Lars Noren’s play Nachtwake and received the Belgian Thalia Prize for his work with the Blauwe Maandag Compagnie. In 1999 the Flemish authorities honoured him by awarding him with the title of Cultural Ambassador of Flanders for his opera directing. In 2010 he received the Prix de L’Europe Francophone/Grand prix de la critique in Paris. In 2015 he was awarded the famous Italian Premio Abbiati. He received the award for ‘best director’.
In 1991, Joosten directed his first opera at the Opera Ballet Vlaanderen (Antwerp/Ghent). He has also directed works at the opera houses of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bern, Bologna, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Essen, Genève, Göteborg, Hamburg, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Leipzig, Lisbon, London (English National Opera), Liège, Madrid, Maribor, Marseille, Monte Carlo, Montpellier, Oviedo, Sankt Gallen, Rouen, Saint-Étienne, Seoul, Sofia, Vienna (Volksoper & Theater a/d Wien) and Zürich. In 2005 he made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York with Gounod’s Roméo & Juliette. In 2018 Guy Joosten made his debut in Asia with two new productions: one for the Korean National Opera (Seoul) and one for the Japanese National Opera in Tokyo.
In addition to his work as a director he was also professor at the University of Hamburg and lecturer at university colleges in Amsterdam, Saarbrücken, Eindhoven, Maastricht and Barcelona. He teaches opera courses at the Royal Flemish Conservatoire in Antwerp and founded the International Opera Academy. He gives regular masterclasses, e.g. in Sofia and Tel Aviv.