Michael Cavanagh


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Michael Cavanagh has directed well over 100 main stage productions at opera companies all over North America. After studies in Hamburg, Germany, he apprenticed at Vancouver Opera before launching his freelance career. He served as artistic director of Edmonton Opera for three seasons. He has written libretti for seven chamber operas that have been produced many times, and is actively involved in developing new works by others, including several for Queen of Puddings Music Theatre in Toronto.

In June 2012, he made a hugely successful debut at San Francisco Opera with his production of Nixon in China by John Adams, a show he developed as Vancouver Opera’s presentation at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. He has also directed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Opera Philadelphia, Boston Lyric Opera, L’Opéra de Montréal and many other companies.

Mr. Cavanagh enjoys a busy teaching career as well, with regular appearances as director and drama instructor at many young artist programs and universities. He has taught and staged operas at Western University in London, Ontario, Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo and at the University of Toronto. He was recently named resident producer/director at the Opera on the Avalon young artist program in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Upcoming productions include return engagements at the opera companies of Calgary, Austin and Vancouver, as well as a remount of his Nixon in China in Dublin, Ireland. He will also be returning to San Francisco Opera with a new production of Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah.