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Benjamin Spierman

Director

Benjamin Spierman’s work includes critically-acclaimed productions of both familiar and unfamiliar pieces. Of his recent direction of Lucia di Lammermoor for Opera San Jose, Opera Today hailed: “This was riveting stuff, and almost faultless in its dramatic shape and emotional impact. At the end of the day, Opera San Jose has produced a stylish, risk-taking rendition of a beloved warhorse that was spontaneous, thoughtful, traditional (in the best sense), and immensely crowd-pleasing.” Still to come this season for Mr. Spierman are Die Fledermaus with Opera Idaho, Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love with Bronx Opera, and Eugene Onegin with Utopia Opera.

Sep
2016

Sep-10
to
Sep-25
Lucia di Lammermoor
Director
Opera San José
San José, CA
Nov
2016

Nov-04
to
Nov-06
Die Fledermaus
Director
Opera Idaho
Boise, ID
Jan
2017

Jan-14
to
Jan-22
Sir John in Love
Director
Bronx Opera
Bronx, NY
Jun
2017

Jun-03
to
Jun-11
Eugene Onegin
Director
Utopia Opera
New York, NY
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…humor and wit…
 Die Zauberflöte “Benjamin Spierman’s savvy direction highlighted Mozart’s clever send-ups of the operas of his day, the elements of Freemasonry ritual and ideas, and the battle-of-the-sexes undertow with humor and wit. He also used the limited Egyptian stage space well, with a nicely curated chorus that made transitions flow better.” – Idaho Statesman 
…best-characterized production I’ve seen…
 Turandot“The Dayton Opera production of ‘Turandot’ proudly makes the list as the most intimate, best-characterized production I’ve seen. Under director Ben Spierman, Puccini’s characters approach each other, interact, and strike dramatic sparks many ‘Turandot’ productions leave unstruck…The production flies by, due to fast pacing, excellent staging, and superb performances by the cast, not to mention Puccini’s winning score. If you have a friend or well-behaved young person you’d like to introduce to opera, this production of Turandot presents a wonderful opportunity.”The New York Times 
…thoughtful staging…
 The Poisoned Kiss – “But oh, what strengths this playful comedy has, especially in a staging as thoughtful as the one provided here by Benjamin Spierman, the stage director…” – The New York Times 
…makes the opera’s flaws its strengths…
The Poisoned Kiss “A straight reading of The Poisoned Kiss would be a mistake. Rather than trying to avoid the inevitable campiness, Ben Spierman’s production makes the opera’s flaws its strengths. He is aided by an able cast of singers who manage to sing and emote with their tongues firmly planted in their cheeks.”QonStage 
…strong directorial hand…
Ariadne auf Naxos  “The singers all did justice to their roles and acted them convincingly; the strong directorial hand of Benjamin Spierman was evident.” – The Opera Insider 
Benjamin Spierman’s work includes critically-acclaimed productions of both familiar and unfamiliar pieces. Of his recent direction of Lucia di Lammermoor for Opera San Jose, Opera Today hailed: “This was riveting stuff, and almost faultless in its dramatic shape and emotional impact. At the end of the day, Opera San Jose has produced a stylish, risk-taking rendition of a beloved warhorse that was spontaneous, thoughtful, traditional (in the best sense), and immensely crowd-pleasing.” Still to come this season for Mr. Spierman are Die Fledermaus with Opera Idaho, Vaughan Williams’ Sir John in Love with Bronx Opera, and Eugene Onegin with Utopia Opera.

Before beginning work as a freelance director, Spierman worked for the Bronx Council on the Arts as their Grants Coordinator and as the Founding Director of their Business Center for the Arts. He subsequently began working across the country as a Stage Manager and Assistant Director. In those capacities, he worked for Central City Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Light Opera Oklahoma, Mississippi Opera, Mobile Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Palm Beach Opera, Rogue Valley Opera, and Virginia Opera. Most notably, he was the Assistant on the Saint Louis’s Lewis and Clark Bicentennial premiere production of Dream of the Pacific, and on Central City’s American première production of Britten’s Gloriana.

Spierman currently serves as Managing Director and Resident Stage Director at Bronx Opera, where he has directed numerous productions, included among which are critically-acclaimed New York première productions of Kirke Mechem’s The Rivals, Vaughan Williams’ The Poisoned Kiss, the Weber/Mahler posthumous collaboration Die drei Pintos, Marc Blitzstein’s American Verismo opera Regina, and Puccini’s Il tabarro in a joint production with North Shore Music Festival, where he also serves as Resident Stage Director and has led productions of Rigoletto, Don Pasquale, Pagliacci, Il barbiere di Siviglia, and a double-bill of Il tabarro and Gianni Schicchi. Also a frequent guest director at companies throughout the United States, Spierman’s recent engagements include Madama Butterfly and The Merry Widow at Indianapolis Opera; Turandot and Don Giovanni at Dayton Opera; Tosca and The Pirates of Penzance at Imperial Symphony Orchestra; Norma and Roméo et Juliette for St. Petersburg Opera; Die Zauberflöte for Opera Idaho; Carmen at Northern Lights Music Festival; Les contes d’Hoffmann and Die Fledermaus at Opera in the Heights; Hansel and Gretel and Gianni Schicchi / Buoso’s Ghost at Amarillo Opera; and La bohème with Syracuse Opera. Other work in and around New York City includes Verdi’s Falstaff and Massenet’s Cendrillon for Rutgers University (both winners of National Opera Association prizes); Amahl and the Night Visitors for Opera Company of the Highlands; and a blackbox production of Ariadne auf Naxos for the NYC’s dell’Arte Opera Ensemble (winner of the American Prize for Opera).

A sought-after dramatic coach, Spierman has worked with singers at the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute, the Buck Hill-Skytop Music Festival, and the Opera Breve Vocal Intensive, in addition to coaching privately. Also an adept singer and actor, his recent stage appearances include King Hildebrand in Gilbert & Sullivan’s romping comedy Princess Ida at Utopia Opera, and Reverend Hale in Arthur Miller’s The Crucible with the City Island Theater Group.

 

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