All photos: Steve di Bartolomeo, Westside Studio Images
As the creative director and stage director for Opera Parallèle since 2007, Brian Staufenbiel actively works across a wide range of artistic disciplines. His progressive approach to stagecraft garnered critical acclaim for several of the company’s productions, including Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, the American premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s Heart of Darkness, John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby, Philip Glass’ Orphée, Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, Adam Gorb’s Anya 17, Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse, and Terence Blanchard’s Champion (in collaboration with the SFJazz Center). This season, Staufenbiel will helm two new productions for Opera Parallèle, Jonathan Dove’s Flight and Glass’ Les Enfant Terribles.
Other upcoming engagements include a new production of Das Rheingold for Minnesota Opera in Fall 2016, production design for ODC Dance company’s in Spring 2017, a world premiere production of Today it Rains with composer Laura Kaminsky and librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed for Spring 2019, as well as the world premiere production of a new work by composers Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch.
Recently, Staufenbiel directed the World Premiere of Angel Heart by Luna Pearl Woolf which was performed at Cal Performances in Berkeley, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and Festival del Sole in Sonoma. In addition to opera, Staufenbiel also brings his unique brand of experimental staging to theater, and has shared a residency at Banff with percussionist Krystina Marcoux to create an original theater piece, Mélange à Trois, premiered in Montréal.
Staufenbiel’s interdisciplinary approach to opera extends to his academic activity. He has directed the opera program at the University of California, Santa Cruz for over 17 years, where he has mounted a wide spectrum of award winning productions ranging from traditional operas to original works by contemporary composers. Staufenbiel holds a DMA from the Eastman School of Music and currently resides in San Francisco.