Stage Director David Carl Toulson relishes the process of taking a show from the score to the stage, leaving his mark on the grandest of art forms. He is consistently praised for his ability to transform an opera’s characters into living breathing people and for his clarity in storytelling. It is these attributes that allow him to create fresh and exciting productions that capture audiences’ imaginations.
Mr. Toulson is proud to have been recently appointed the Resident Stage Director at the Miami Music Festival where this summer he directs Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, and Act 1 of Wagner’s Die Walküre.
Last summer in Miami Toulson’s innovative production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible received considerable critical acclaim. The South Florida Classical Review stated that “…there was a naturalistic feeling to Toulson’s staging…that served the drama well. Toulson managed to imbue his staging with a vivid depiction of a community gripped by fear, hate and distrust…The Crucible is the finest offering to date of The Miami Music Festival…Those who care about opera as a living art form should not miss this opportunity to see this gripping work.”
With over 40 original productions to his credit, recent projects in have included directing L’enfant et les sortilèges, Gianni Schicchi, Hansel & Gretel, and Cendrillon for the Miami Music Festival, Il barbiere di Siviglia for Opera Idaho, Gianni Schicchi for Binghamton University, a 1920’s Chicago-style production of La finta giardinera for Temple University, the recently composed Approaching Ali for North Carolina Opera, and Speed Dating Tonight!, a new opera by Michael Ching, for Tri-Cities Opera. Other projects have included directing Orfeo ed Euridice at Temple University, Opera-on-the-Go for Opera Theater of Saint Louis, The Ballad of Baby Doe for Winter Opera of Saint Louis, Romeo et Juliette for The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and Tosca for Asheville Lyric Opera.
Mr. Toulson’s resounding success directing his first Don Giovanni for Piedmont Opera, was notable for its faithfulness to Mozart’s blend of both comedy and melodrama. And in addition to directing an inspired La bohème for Asheville Lyric Opera, Mr. Toulson performed the role of set designer, creating a simple but beautiful production which highlighted the lives of the bohemians as they struggled through life and love.
Other notable moments in his career include assisting on the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production Les Troyens starring Susan Graham and Christine Goerke, being the Associate Director on the sumptuous Marta Domingo production of La traviata at Los Angeles Opera, and, as a current member of the staging staff at Washington National Opera and as an former assistant director at the Tanglewood Music Festival, having had the honor to work alongside opera greats such as Plàcido Domingo and James Levine.
Equally at home in both comedy and tragedy, other selected directing credits include: Madama Butterfly and Regina for The Catholic University of America; L’elisir d’amore, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Rigoletto, and Carmen for Asheville Lyric Opera; Don Pasquale for Toledo Opera; Face on the Barroom Floor for Central City Opera; The (mini) Magic Flute, a double bill of Haydn’s La Canterina and Donizetti’s Le convenienze teatrali and Don Pasquale for Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia; The Secret Marriage for Aurora Opera Theater; Dr. Miracle for the University of South Carolina; and Le nozze di Figaro in Cortona, Italy.
Mr. Toulson has also worked extremely successfully with young singers and has received critical acclaim for his direction of outreach programs in companies such as Tulsa Opera, Connecticut Opera, Central City Opera, Virginia Opera and FBN Productions.