studied law at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, before devoting his professional life to the theater as an actor, designer, writer and ultimately as a stage director. He assisted several renowned opera stage directors including Götz Friedrich, Harry Kupfer, John Cox, David Pountney, Lotfi Mansouri and John Copley and made his directing debut with the Netherlands Opera in 1979. His international career started in 1981 with the staging the USA premiere of Philip Glass' Satyagraha for the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York and the Art Park Festival (Lewiston, NY). After that he directed more then 80 productions around the world. He worked for L’Opéra de Nice in France, The Canadian Opera Company, San Francisco Opera, Manitoba Opera, L'Opéra de Montreal, Opera Colorado, Long Beach Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Western Opera Theater, Opera Omaha, Lincoln Center New York, Pacific Opera Victoria (Canada), Bangkok Opera and many other companies in Europe, Asia and North America.
Mr. Nieuwenhuis has collaborated with many renowned conductors, including Richard Bonynge, Christopher Keene , Edo de Waart, Hans Vonk, Nicholas McGegan, Jean Fournet and Ton Koopman. Recent projects include Dido and Aeneas for Opera Zuid in Holland and L’Opera Royal de Wallonie in Belgium, Le Nozze di Figaro for Hawaii Opera Theatre, Die Fledermaus for International Opera Projects in the Netherlands and Belgium and Cosi fan tutte for Opera Studio Nederland
Hans Nieuwenhuis has been a regular jury member of many renowned vocal competitions around the World.
During the last three decades Hans Nieuwenhuis has devoted himself to aspiring young opera singers. He was founder and, from 1992-2011, General Director of OPERA STUDIO NEDERLAND in Amsterdam. The Opera Studio, funded by the Dutch government, offered an extensive training program for a select group of young singers from around the world. Mr. Nieuwenhuis is currently General Director of the Orfeo Foundation, an international organization established to promote collaboration between young artists programs around the world and to advising young opera singers.
In April 2012 Hans Nieuwenhuis was appointed Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau by Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for his work in opera, theater and music.