She studied dance pedagogy and music at the Brabants Conservatorium in Tilburg. She directed an internationally acclaimed production of Madama Butterfly (2006), for the Staatsoper Stuttgart, and working together with dramaturg Prof. Klaus Zehelein, she was nominated for Director of the Year by Opernwelt magazine. For her many stagings with the Nationale Reisopera, including Peter Grimes, Fidelio, La Traviata, I due Foscari and Un ballo in maschera, she was awarded the Friends' Prize (Vriendenprijs). Also for The Nederlandse Reisopera, Monique Wagemakers has directed the world premiere of Katibu di Shon, the first opera in Papiamentu by Randal Corsen based on a novel.
Since 1993 Monique Wagemakers has a long association with the Netherlands Opera, Amsterdam, where she made her directorial debut with Madama Butterfly, followed by Rigoletto, and more recently, a new production of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Muziektheater in Amsterdam. She has created productions in the Netherlands and abroad: including Madama Butterfly for the Staatsoper in Stuttgart (2006), Carmen for the Staatsopera in Hannover (2008), Rigoletto for Teatro Real in Madrid (2009) and Ariadne auf Naxos (2009) and Il barbiere di Siviglia (2010) for the National Theater Mannheim. She directed Lulu for Theater Augsburg (2011), La Traviata for the Nationale Reisopera Enschede (2012) and Tristan und Isolde for the Staatsoper Nürnberg (2012) and und La Bohème for the Staatsoper Mainz (2016) Rigoletto at Gran Teatre Del Liceu, Barcelona (2017).
From 1995 until 2009 Monique Wagemakers taught drama at The Utrecht School of the Arts. Since 2003 she teaches at the Amsterdam school of the Arts.
In March 2018 she'll stage Walküre for Theater Chemnitz.