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Peter Kazaras

Director

Stage Director Peter Kazaras currently serves as Director of Opera at UCLA. Previously, he was the Artistic Director of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program. Earlier in his career, he received worldwide acclaim as an operatic tenor, performing at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Weiner Staatsoper, among many others. This season, Mr. Kazaras will be directing the southern California première of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park with Opera UCLA, a triple bill of La serva padrona/Sāvitri/The Bear with the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, Korngold’s Der Ring des Polykrates with Dallas Opera, and Il barbiere di Siviglia with Washington National Opera, as well as returning to Seattle Opera for An American Dream. He also serves as Artist in Residence for Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

Jun
2017

Jun-03
Mansfield Park
UCLA
Los Angeles, CA
Jul
2017

Jul-20
La Serva Padrona, Sāvitri, and The Bear
San Francisco Opera
San Francisco, CA
Sep
2017

Sep-09
An American Dream
Seattle Opera
Seattle, WA
Sep-15
Doming-Cafritz Young Artist Program Masterclass
Washington National Opera
Washington, D.C.
Feb
2018

Feb-09
Der Ring des Polykrates
Dallas Opera
Dallas, TX
Apr
2018

Apr-28
Il barbiere di Siviglia
Washington National Opera
Washington, DC
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…imaginative staging…
 Gianni Schicchi “By the time the piece has run its hour-long course, the audience has been wowed by the vocal and dramatic talents of a large ensemble of young singing actors, had its collective funny bone tickled in a hundred ways by director Peter Kazaras’ imaginative staging, and been reminded yet again that Puccini’s comic brilliance never got as much of an outlet as it deserved. If only all operas were as vivacious and irresistible as this one, attendance records would be topping out everywhere.” – San Francisco Gate
…a gripping, polished ‘Consul’…
 The Consul  “Seattle Opera revives a gripping, polished ‘Consul’…Peter Kazaras’ staging is both vividly realistic and imaginative, especially in dream sequences where he gets even more creative…And this is a production with dramatic ideas aplenty — just the right format for polishing up a seldom-heard gem for a new life on the stage again.” – Seattle Times 
…playful and poignant…
 Cendrillon “This production, directed by Peter Kazaras, revels in the dreamlike strands of “Cendrillon.” To focus on the private story of Cinderella, Mr. Kazaras, with the support of the veteran French-born conductor Emmanuel Villaume, “pared down” the score, as he put it, cutting some of the public scenes with courtiers and such, along with most of the dance music. To lend the tale immediacy, he sets the story in 1947 Paris…the updated production concept is both playful and poignant.” – New York Times
…nary a dull moment…
Volpone “Director Peter Kazaras maintained a breezy pace with nary a dull moment and put the singers through kinetic paces, with all sorts of finely timed physical comedy.” – Opera News Online
…powerful staging…
Turn of the Screw “There is also the powerful staging of Peter Kazaras… better known as a singer, is just now establishing his new career. Nothing previously revealed his talent as surely as “Turn of the Screw.” He makes compelling drama and real characters, even the ghosts.”Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Stage Director Peter Kazaras currently serves as Director of Opera at UCLA. Previously, he was the Artistic Director of the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program. Earlier in his career, he received worldwide acclaim as an operatic tenor, performing at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Houston Grand Opera, San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Weiner Staatsoper, among many others. This season, Mr. Kazaras will be directing the southern California première of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park with Opera UCLA, a triple bill of La serva padrona/Sāvitri/The Bear with the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, Korngold’s Der Ring des Polykrates with Dallas Opera, and Il barbiere di Siviglia with Washington National Opera, as well as returning to Seattle Opera for An American Dream. He also serves as Artist in Residence for Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

In addition to his work at UCLA, Mr. Kazaras recently directed La bohème for Los Angeles Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Washington National Opera; The Consul and the world première of An American Dream for Seattle Opera; Le nozze di Figaro with Washington National Opera; Cendrillon for The Julliard School; The Rape of Lucretia and a double-bill of Gianni Schicchi/The Medium for the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera; and La gazza ladra and the world première of a revised version of An American Tragedy for The Glimmerglass Festival. Additionally, he was invited to give master classes for the Washington National Opera Young Artists Program and Glimmerglass Opera.

Of a production of Norma with the Seattle Opera, The Seattle Times said “his direction was remarkably good, theatrical and natural at the same time.” Likewise, of a production of Le nozze di Figaro for the Seattle Opera Young Artist program, he was praised for his “robust and lively” direction and his “clever, fast-paced staging” with reviewers noting that “Staging [Le nozze di Figaro] is a considerable challenge, one to which Kazaras adroitly rises. A dozen sly little gestures quickly establish character — and you can see every one of those gestures in the intimate ambience of the theater.”

Over the past fifteen years, he directed over twenty productions for Seattle Opera’s main stage and Young Artists Program, plus productions for Opera Cleveland, Madison Opera, Eos Orchestra, Red: {an Orchestra}, the Santa Fe Pro Musica, and festivals at Cabrillo and Caramoor. He directed for educational programs such as Merola at San Francisco Opera Center, the Wolf Trap summer program, the Chautauqua Institute Voice Department, the Academy of Vocal Arts, the Hartt College of Music, and Florida State University. At UCLA since 2007, he has directed, supervised or produced over twenty-five productions during his tenure, most recently directing Cendrillon last season.

A frequent panelist on the Toll Brothers Metropolitan Opera Quiz, Mr. Kazaras is also in demand as a judge for international competitions. He has adjudicated all three iterations of the International Wagner Competition at Seattle Opera. He was a judge for the first Elardo International Competition in New York, Marilyn Horne’s competition at Music Academy of the West, the José Iturbi Voice Competition at UCLA, the Les Azuriales Festival in Saint-Jean Cap Ferrat in France, and has adjudicated twice at The Juilliard School. He has also served as a judge for District and Regional Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council. In the summer of 2015, he returned to Les Azuriales Festival as a Master Teacher. In 2016 he taught in Busseto, Italy at Aprile Millo’s Operavision Academy. Peter Kazaras is a member of the Glimmerglass Festival Artistic Advisory Board as well as the New York Festival of Song Advisory Board.

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