Tatjana Gürbaca studied directing in her hometown of Berlin at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music. She supplemented her training in master classes with Ruth Berghaus and Peter Konwitschny, among others. From 1998 to 2001 she worked as an assistant director at the Graz Opera, where she made her debut in 2001 with Puccini's "Turandot". Since then she has worked as a freelance opera director. The spectrum of her work ranges from the baroque (including Purcell's "Dido and Aeneas" in Baden-Baden and Handel's "Alcina" at the Theater an der Wien) to the modern (including Reimann's "L'invisible" at the Staatstheater Braunschweig and Ligeti's "Le Grand Macabre" in Zurich). Engagements have taken her to the Aalto Theater Essen, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Theater Bremen, the operas in Leipzig, Cologne and Halle, State Operas in Berlin and Hanover, Deutsche Oper Berlin, the State Theatres in Mainz and Nuremberg, as well as the opera houses in Amsterdam, Oslo, Novosibirsk and Bogotá, the Schwetzingen Festival and the Lucerne Festival. The Zurich Opera House has been one of her most important working venues since 2012: Her highly successful production of Verdi's "Rigoletto" was followed by various other productions, including Massenet's "Werther" in 2017, which is available on DVD and has been adopted by the Opéra national du Rhin. Another highlight of her career was her production of Wagner's "Parsifal" at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp and Ghent, for which she was voted Director of the Year in 2013 by the critics of Opernwelt magazine and received the International Opera Award in the category Best Opera Production in London in 2014. In addition to her work as a director, Tatjana Gürbaca was opera director at the Staatstheater Mainz from 2011 to 2014. Her recent productions include Mozart's "Così fan tutte" at the National Theatre Prague, Dallapiccola's "Ulisse" at the Frankfurt Opera and Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra" at the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen.
At the Deutsche Oper am Rhein she has already been responsible for directing R. Strauss' "Salome" (2009) and "Arabella" (2015) as well as Janáček's "Katja Kabanova" (2022). In the 2023/24 season, her interpretation of Janáček's "Jenůfa" can be seen here.