Christian Schmidt studied set and costume design at the Academy of Arts in Vienna and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Since 1992, he has worked regularly with directors such as Claus Guth, Shirin Neshat, Hans Neuenfels, Amélie Niermeyer, Yona Kim and Christof Loy. With the latter, he previously worked for Dutch National Opera on a production of Verdi's La Forza del Destino and Mozart's Don Giovanni. He has also joined forces with choreographer and director Christian Spuck on more than one occasion. Besides Verdi's Messa da Requiem, they collaborated on a production of Orphée et Eurydice and Romeo and Juliet. The leading magazine Opernwelt has hailed Schmidt as set designer of the year (2003) and costume designer of the year (2005 and 2012).