Vasily Barkhatov was born in Moscow. In 2005 he graduated from the Russian Institute of Theatre Art (faculty of musical theatre, department of stage directing and acting in musical theatre, workshop of Rosetta Nemchinskaya).
He has staged productions of The Diary of One Who Disappeared at the Helikon Opera (as both stage director and production designer, 2004), the operatic duologue The Music Director (Salieri’s Prima la musica e poi le parole and Mozart’s Der Schauspieldirektor at the Rostov State Musical Theatre in 2004 as stage director and production designer), the play The Brigands at the Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre (2009), the musical Les Parapluies de Cherbourg at the Karambol theatre, Die Fledermaus at the Bolshoi Theatre (2010), Perfidy and Love at the Comedian’s Refuge theatre (2011), Eugene Onegin at the Lithuanian National Opera (2012) and Die neuen Leiden des jungen W. (The New Sorrows of Young W.) at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre (2012) as well as the film Atomic Ivan (2011).
At the Mariinsky Theatre he has staged Dmitry Shostakovich’s operetta Moscow, Cheryomushki (as stage director and production designer, 2006) and the operas Jenůfa by Leoš Janáček (2007), Benvenuto Cellini by Hector Berlioz (2007), Otello by Giuseppe Verdi (2007), The Brothers Karamazov by Alexander Smelkov (2008), and Dead Souls by Rodion Shchedrin and Les Contes d’Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach (2011).
In 2015 the director staged Berlioz' La Damnation de Faust at the Nationaltheater Mannheim, Musorgsky's Khovanshchina at the Theater Basel and Tommaso Traetta's opera Antigona at the Wiener Kammeroper.
In 2016 the Internationale Maifestspiele Wiesbaden opened to Bernd Alois Zimmermann's opera Die Soldaten, staged by Vasily Barkhatov at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden.
In 2017 the director staged Aribert Reimann's opera L'Invisible at the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin.
Vasily Barkhatov has received several nominations for the Golden Mask theatre award. Barkhatov's production of the opera Dead Souls, staged in 2011 at the Mariinsky Theatre, was awarded St Petersburg's most prestigious theatre prize the Golden Sofit.