As the creative director and stage director for San Francisco-based Opera Parallèle since 2007, Brian Staufenbiel works across a wide range of artistic disciplines. His innovative approach to stagecraft has garnered a steady stream of critical acclaim for the company’s productions, which have included 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 enfants terribles.
Besides his work with Opera Parallèle, he’s also a frequent collaborator with arts organizations around the North America. Upcoming engagements include designing a production for ODC Dance company in Spring 2017, directing a world premiere production of Today It Rains with composer Laura Kaminsky and librettists Mark Campbell and Kimberly Reed for spring 2019, and directing a world premiere of a new work by composers Lembit Beecher and librettist Hannah Moscovitch.
Recently, Staufenbiel directed the world premiere of Angel Heart by composer Luna Pearl Woolf, which was performed at Cal Performances in Berkeley, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and Festival del Sole in Napa Valley, California. In addition to opera, Staufenbiel also brings his cutting-edge brand of staging to theater and has shared a residency at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity with Woolf, where they created an original theater piece – Mélange à trois – premiered in Montreal.
Staufenbiel’s interdisciplinary approach to opera extends to the academic arena.Since 1999, he has directed the opera program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, 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 resides in San Francisco.