The Scene


James Robinson

James Robinson

Stage director

American stage director James Robinson is Artistic Director at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis, where he has mounted productions including Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (American premiere), Ash’s The Golden Ticket (world premiere), Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (also presented at the Wexford Festival), and Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer and Nixon in China (a production seen throughout the United States and Canada).

Elsewhere, Robinson has directed new productions for Houston Grand Opera (Lucia di Lammermoor, Giulio Cesare and Abduction from the Seraglio), San Francisco Opera (Norma, Il Trittico and L’Elisir d’amore) and the Canadian Opera Company (Norma, Elektra and Nixon in China). For the Santa Fe Opera, he has directed new productions of Capriccio, Cosi fan tutte and The Rake’s Progress, and numerous productions for the New York City Opera (La Boheme, Hansel and Gretel and Il viaggio a Reims). His work has also been seen at the Australian Opera, the Washington Opera, the Los Angeles Opera, the Seattle Opera, the Royal Swedish Opera, the Dallas Opera, the Minnesota Opera and Chicago Opera Theater. Additionally, he has created productions for the London Symphony Orchestra (Bernstein’s Mass and Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher), the Hollywood Bowl (Amadeus), Carnegie Hall, and the Minnesota Orchestra.

Recent highlights include the critically acclaimed world premiere of Champion by jazz and film composer Terence Blanchard for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis: “Stage director James Robinson keeps it relentlessly interesting to watch throughout.” (Denver Post)

“In OTSL artistic director James Robinson’s production, with Allan Moyer’s simple black sets and projections and video by Greg Emetaz, the action moves fluidly and cinematically between the worlds of Old Emile, Lost in anxious dementia, and Young Emile, as he rises in the world of boxing and then falls, the victim of arrogance and too many blows to the head.” (St Louis Today)

He also directed the world premiere of Picker Dolores Claiborne for San Francisco Opera, a semi-staged Rusalka for Opera San Antonio, Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27 for Opera Theatre of St. Louis and the American premiere of Huang Ruo Dr Sun Yat Sen for Santa Fe Opera. In the 2014-15 season he directed Nixon in China at San Diego Opera and Cosi fan tutte for the Aspen Festival, and last season he directed L’elisir d’amore for the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Vanessa for Santa Fe Opera.

Highlights of the current season include Nixon in China in Houston, Champion at Washington National Opera, and Die Entführung aus dem Serail in both Houston and Los Angeles. Future plans include collaborations with Houston Grand Opera, Vancouver Opera, Washington National Opera, and the Canadian Opera Company.

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