Peter Kazaras

Peter Kazaras

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, and Weiner Staatsoper among many others. Last season, Mr. Kazaras produced the world première of Jan Hammer and Mary Azrael’s Lost Childhood and Juana at UCLA, and directed Washington National Opera’s Samson et Dalila. 2020 engagements were to include directing La bohéme with Washington National Opera and Seattle Opera.

Calendar

Event Date
May 7
to
May 21
Le nozze di Figaro
Director
Seattle Opera
Seattle, WA

Artist Bio

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, and Weiner Staatsoper among many others. Last season, Mr. Kazaras produced the world première of Jan Hammer and Mary Azrael’s Lost Childhood and Juana at UCLA, and directed Washington National Opera’s Samson et Dalila. 2020 engagements were to include directing La bohéme with Washington National Opera and Seattle Opera.

In addition to his work at UCLA, Mr. Kazaras recently directed Turn of the Screw with Seattle Opera; The Ghost of Versailles with Chautauqua Opera; Bernstein’s A Quiet Place with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood; Der Ring des Polykrates for Dallas Opera; Il barbiere di Siviglia and Le nozze di Figaro for Washington National Opera; 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; Cendrillon for The Julliard School; The Rape of Lucretia, a double-bill of Gianni Schicchi/The Medium and La serva padrona/Holst’s Savitri/Walton’s The Bear 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 frequently gives 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.

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.

Updated 4.27.21

Press

"...imaginative staging..." – San Francisco Gate

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.”

"…Peter Kazaras’ staging is both vividly realistic and imaginative..." – Seattle Times

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.”

"...Kazaras allows the show to “breathe” in a straightforward and openhearted manner..." – DC Metro Theater Arts

Il barbiere di Siviglia – “Director Peter Kazaras wisely lets the popular strains of Rossini’s beloved music carry the very fluid pacing of the production and Kazaras allows the show to “breathe” in a straightforward and openhearted manner. His approach befits this very popular escapist opera and the tone of this production markedly accentuates the slapstick, pratfalls and physical comedy that the entire ensemble engages in.”

"...a depth of directorial understanding that worthily match the genius of the piece itself...” – Seattle Times

Le nozze di Figaro – “And Peter Kazaras’ new production happily rises to the challenge, with a musical beauty, a brilliance of wit, and a depth of directorial understanding that worthily match the genius of the piece itself..”

"...makes compelling drama and real characters..." – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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.”