Dan Wallace Miller

Dan Wallace Miller

Hailed as a “visionary director” by The Stranger, Dan Wallace Miller’s stage direction is “riveting… well executed, and relevant.” (CityArts) As Founder and Artistic Director of Vespertine Opera Theater, Mr. Miller dedicates his career to presenting operas in unique spaces that are dramatically engaging and cleverly innovative. His unique concepts and perceptive direction have proven that he is a force to be reckoned with. 2020 engagements were to include directing Don Giovanni with Opera Naples, La traviata with Inland Northwest Opera, and La Voix Humaine/The Telephone with Opera on the James.  In 2021, Dan directed a filmed version of Tosca for Seattle Opera and returned there this summer for Die Walkure,  In addition, he returned to Central City Opera to lead their production of Dido and Aeneas. 

Artist Bio

Hailed as a “visionary director” by The Stranger, Dan Wallace Miller’s stage direction is “riveting… well executed, and relevant.” (CityArts) As Founder and Artistic Director of Vespertine Opera Theater, Mr. Miller dedicates his career to presenting operas in unique spaces that are dramatically engaging and cleverly innovative. His unique concepts and perceptive direction have proven that he is a force to be reckoned with. 2020 engagements were to include directing Don Giovanni with Opera Naples, La traviata with Inland Northwest Opera, and La Voix Humaine/The Telephone with Opera on the James.  In 2021, Dan directed a filmed version of Tosca for Seattle Opera and returned there this summer for Die Walkure,  In addition, he returned to Central City Opera to lead their production of Dido and Aeneas. 

More recently, Miller directed Carmen with Kentucky Opera, and made his mainstage début with Seattle Opera directing their productions of Il Trovatore and Three Singing Sisters, as well as joining them for of Turn of the Screw, The (r)evolution of Steve Jobs, and Carmen. He also joined Washington National Opera for the first time for Kevin Puts’ Silent Night and Central City Opera for their production of Billy Budd.

He joined Atlanta Opera for Silent Night; Pacific MusicWorks for Die Zauberflöte and Semele; Opera Colorado for Rigoletto; and staged excerpts from Der Ring des Nibelungen for the Miami Music Festival Wagner Institute.  Additional engagements with Seattle Opera include Madama Butterfly, Così fan tutte, Béatrice et Bénédict, Aïda, and Porgy and Bess.

Miller recently directed a widely lauded production of The Combat, an “immersive baroque pastiche” based on Montiverdi’s Il combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda, at Seattle Opera. The Seattle Times raved “for those who think opera is an antique, elitist art form with no connection to our own time, here is a show to change your mind”, and hailed Miller’s staging as “imaginative and extremely effective, creating a graceful courtship in the first act, a tense and fraught second act with a deadly swordfight, and a stately processional for the third.” The Stranger praised its focus on “intimacy,” ultimately calling it “a profound experience of theater.” This production launched Miller into the spotlight as a director redefining and updating the experience of modern opera.

Mr. Miller’s Vespertine Opera Theater “…is making opera unfamiliar again in all the best ways…” (The Stranger). His recent productions with the company include the U.S. Prèmiere of Benjamin Britten’s adaptation of Francis Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias at Seattle’s oldest Vaudeville theater, Columbia City Theater; The Rape of Lucretia in Seattle’s biggest landmark cathedral, St. Mark’s Cathedral; and Heart Mountain, Vespertine Opera Theater’s first commissioned work named after the detention camp Heart Mountain, composed by Sarah Mattox, and based on the real-life journal of Kara Kondo, an internee at the detention camp. This production was performed at the Inscape Arts Building where local Japanese-American community leaders were imprisoned after the attack at Pearl Harbor. In addition to his work with Vespertine Opera Theater, Mr. Miller currently serves as Resident Assistant Director at Seattle Opera. During his tenure with the prestigious company since 2010, Miller has collaborated on productions of Nabucco, Le nozze di Figaro, Maria Stuarda, Der fliegende Holländer, Hänsel und Gretel, Die Zauberflöte, La traviata, and Kátya Kabanová.

Updated September 1, 2021.

Video

The Rape of Lucretia with Vespertine Opera Theater

The Magic Flute Pacific MusicWorks Trailer

Press

“...Words fall short to praise this representation..." – El Nuevo Herald

Die Walküre – “Words fall short to praise this representation which did not need a scenographic framework to achieve the full force of these scenes…. Drama and music certainly came together as the public applauded the staging of Dan Wallace Miller. …Unforgettable.”

“...Dan Wallace Miller’s direction is apparent in every scene..." – The Sunbreak

– “Dan Wallace Miller’s direction is apparent in every scene. He does a great job of emphasizing the farce without going over the top, allowing the music and the libretto their fullest expression.”

"...offered a fresh perspective..." – Musical America

The Magic Flute – “PMWs latest project… offered a fresh perspective on The Magic Flute by combining period instruments with a provocatively anti-traditional staging. Dan Wallace Miller was the director, using a new translation and adaptation.”

"...visionary director..." – The Stranger

The Combat – “With this remarkable production of The Combat, visionary director Dan Wallace Miller and his cast transformed not only the Seattle Opera rehearsal building, but also my heart. This is a profound experience of theater.”

"...astute direction..." – The Stranger

The Rape of Lucretia – “Under the astute direction of Dan Wallace Miller, José Rubio both vocally and physically portrays the horrible fracture of self that turns Tarquinius into a man who’ll rape…”