The stage director James Robinson is regarded as one of America's most inventive and sought after directors. He has won wide acclaim for productions that range from the standard repertory to world premieres to seldom performed works, and he is considered the most widely performed director of opera in North America.
Past season productions include The Abduction from the Seraglio and La bohème for Houston Grand Opera, The Elixir of Love for Boston Lyric Opera and his widely seen production of Nixon in China for Opera Colorado.
James Robinson has directed numerous new productions for the New York City Opera including Il trittico, Il viaggio a Reims, Lucia di Lammermoor, Hansel and Gretel (co-produced with Los Angeles Opera) and the widely acclaimed La bohème (broadcast on Public Television as part of "Live from Lincoln Center" in 2001). In 2002, he made his Houston Grand Opera debut with a new production of The Abduction from the Seraglio and followed up this production with La bohème, Lucia and Giulio Cesare. He has directed new productions of Elektra and Norma for the Canadian Opera Company, The Rake's Progress and Così fan tutte for the Santa Fe Opera, Carmen for the Seattle Opera, Antheil's Transatlantic and Lucia for the Minnesota Opera, and Eugene Onegin for Boston Lyric Opera. In 2004 James Robinson directed the world premiere of Daniel Catan's Salsipuedes for the Houston Grand Opera.
His production of Turandot, first produced for the Minnesota Opera in 1995 has been seen by more than twenty-five companies in North America. James Robinson has also directed Katya Kabanova and Eugene Onegin for Opera Ireland, Norma for the Royal Swedish Opera, Handel's Rinaldo for Opera Australia, Handel's Radamisto, Dominick Argento's Miss Havisham's Fire, for Opera Theatre of St. Louis. His 2004 production of Nixon in China, first produced by St. Louis, has been seen throughout the United States.
In 2000 James Robinson was named as Artistic Director of Opera Colorado in Denver and oversaw its successful move into its new home, the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the autumn of 2005. The company continues to gain wide recognition for its adventurous programming and artistic excellence.
Since then, he has taken up the post of Artistic Director of Opera Theatre of St Louis.
His first production there was a landmark version of John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles (a co-production with the Wexford Festival in Ireland).
In the 2009–2010 season, James will be directing Ghosts of at the Wexford Festival in Ireland, Casanova's Homecoming with the Minnesota Opera and The Abduction from the Seraglio for Welsh National Opera.