Opera Scenes (2016 - 2019)


Opera scenes are some of my most important work as a director so far. I directed my first scene during the final semester of my first Master's Degree when I staged the Prunier/Lisette scene from La rondine. I initially agreed to direct the scene out of pure curiosity, but eventually it became clear that this was something I would be interested in full-time. During that same semester, I interviewed for the directing program at Florida State and was offered an assistantship to stay and learn a completely new trade.

Directing opera scenes offers lots of room for experimentation and discovery. In many ways, directing scenes at Florida State and the Indianapolis Opera helped me know which complete shows I would like to direct, which operas I wasn’t quite yet ready for, and others that held less interest after prolonged exposure. More importantly, scenes often are the best breeding ground for young artists to work on featured roles in concentrated bursts. As the director of these scenes, it is often possible to lead the conception of a character in a singer’s mind and guide them through their own process of creation. A good director can also take cues from a smaller group of singers about which types of feedback are effective, and what prompts may need refinement.

As I’ve grown as an artist, I find myself pushing to make scenes even more special and more polished to the audience and performers. Scenes offer excerpts from a larger work and it should hopefully cause the audience to be curious to seek out the next full production they can find. I can’t say that I’ve always been successful, but I had a moment in Indianapolis after a performance of our scene of Dead Man Walking. A board member told me they were glad to have heard the scene because Lyric Opera of Chicago was presenting it in their next season, and she had never heard any of the music before or known how it was adapted as an opera. She became more interested in seeing an opera she was already going to see regardless. That is the power of the scene: the focus of artists attempting to faithfully bring the entire context and power of a story into a smaller window of time.


Directed Scenes (2016 - Present)

April 2019 (Indianapolis Opera Resident Artists - IORA)

  • Dead Man Walking (Act I, Sc. 2)

  • Susannah (Act I, Sc. 5)

  • Così fan tutte (“Che bella giornata” -> “Tradito schernito”

February 2019 (IORA)

  • Street Scene (“I don’t know Sam”)

  • Don Giovanni (“Ah! Del padre in periglio”)

  • l’Elisir d’amore (“La donna è un animale”)

  • Cendrillon by Massenet (“Toi qui mes apparue”)

  • Annie Get Your Gun (“Anything You Can Do”)

October 2018 (IORA)

  • Hansel & Gretel (Act I, Sc. 1)

  • The Abduction from the Seraglio (Act I, Sc. 2)

  • Candide (“We Are Women”)

April 2018 (Florida State Opera Workshop - FSOW)

  • Werther ("Werther! Werther!")

  • The Mikado ("Three little maids," "I am so proud," "Brightly dawns our wedding day," "The flowers that bloom in the spring," "There is beauty in the bellow of the blast!"

December 2017 (FSOW)

  • Roméo et Juliette ("Va! Je t'ai pardonné")

  • Die schöne Galathée (Ach mich zieht's zu dir)

  • La favorita ("Ah! Leonora, il guardo sì mesto a che piegar")

April 2017 (FSOW)

  • Alcina ("Le lusinghe gl'inganni"/"Non è amor, né gelosia")

  • Axur, re d'Ormus ("Du hast mir dein Eid gesprochen")

  • Candide (Finale)

  • La clemenza di Tito ("Quello di Tito è il volto!")

  • Falstaff (Act I, Sc. 2)

  • The Most Happy Fella ("Abbondanza")

December 2016 (FSOW)

  • Le nozze di Figaro ("Tutto ancor non ho perso"/"Via resti servita")

  • A Streetcar Named Desire ("Blanche!" "Stella, Oh Stella!")

  • Street Scene ("I don't know Sam")

  • Susannah ("Little Bat, what you doin' here?")

April 2016 (FSOW)

  • La rondine ("T'amo! Menti!")