Jennifer Williams, Director
Praised by The San Francisco Chronicle as an "imaginative" director of "particular ingenuity," director Jennifer Williams has garnered attention for her innovative interpretations of classic operas and bold productions of contemporary works. Ms. Williams has worked throughout the U.S. and Europe, including at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper Stuttgart, Komische Oper Berlin, Oper Frankfurt, The Glimmerglass Festival, Boston Lyric Opera, Central City Opera, and Cincinnati Opera. She is the founding Artistic Director of DC Public Opera, an experimental company that produces opera in site-specific spaces in Washington, DC. She recently directed acclaimed new productions of Mohammed Fairouz's Sumeida's Song and Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek's 27 for Pittsburgh Opera and "consistently imaginative" and "extraordinarily beautiful" new productions of Les contes d'Hoffmann and La bohème for Miami Music Festival. Recent and upcoming engagements include directing Francesca Zambello's production of Ariadne auf Naxos for Austin Opera as well as new productions for Center for Contemporary Opera (world premiere), Opera Fayetteville and DC Public Opera. In 2017, she joins the directing staff of Houston Grand Opera.
Ms. Williams was the Apprentice Stage Director for the San Francisco Opera Merola Opera Program, directing a critically acclaimed Merola Grand Finale at the War Memorial Opera House conducted by maestro Nicholas McGegan. Other recent directing engagements include site-specific productions of The Turn of the Screw(featuring an aerialist-soprano performing the role of Miss Jessel from a trapeze), Don Giovanni (The Mayflower Hotel), Così fan tutte (a Warhol-inspired production in DC's waterfront art gallery, The Torpedo Factory), La bohème (DC's historic 19th-century market, Eastern Market Hall), and Schubert's Goethe-Lieder (staged in the round in the Austrian Embassy); new productions of Three Decembers, Le nozze di Figaro, La clemenza di Tito, Rigoletto, La Cenerentola, The Saint Matthew Passion, L'île de Tulipatan, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Slow Dusk, and The Offshore Pirate (world premiere); a gala concert featuring Carl Tanner, Marianne Cornetti and Angela Meade led by maestro Antony Walker; and bel canto scenes at Glimmerglass's Alice Busch Opera Theater led by maestro Joseph Colaneri. A sought-after acting teacher and dramatic coach, she has been Assistant Professor and Director of Opera at Ithaca College School of Music; has served on the faculties of CCM Spoleto in Italy, Seagle Music Colony and Miami Music Festival Opera Institute; and has worked with the young artist programs of the San Francisco Opera Center, The Glimmerglass Festival, Cincinnati Opera, Central City Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Wolf Trap Opera Company, Opera North, and Chicago Opera Theater.
As an assistant director, she has worked with numerous distinguished artists, including Francesca Zambello, Paul Curran, David Alden, Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, Barrie Kosky, Seán Curran, Sir Thomas Allen, Peter Kazaras, Leon Major, Lillian Groag, Thaddeus Strassberger, Linda Brovsky, Robin Guarino, Nic Muni, and Bernard Uzan.
Her research in opera and theater history has been published by Musical Quarterly(Oxford University Press - forthcoming), Text and Performance Quarterly (Routledge),Women in German Yearbook (Nebraska University Press), Nineteenth-Century Music Review (Cambridge University Press/Ashgate), and Journal of Religion and Theatre(ATHE).
A Fulbright Scholar, Ms. Williams holds an Artist Diploma in Opera Stage Directing from CCM, an M.A. and Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism from Cornell University and an A.B. with honors in Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities from the University of Chicago.
Jennifer Williams is represented by Quarterline Design Management.