Director/Producer Brian Staufenbiel, is the head of the Opera Program at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His directing credits at UCSC include: Bizet’s Carmen; Donizetti’sL’elisir d’amore; Menotti’s The Medium; Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi; Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, and Don Giovanni; Weill’s Street Scene; and Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for which he was awarded the first prize in the National Opera Association Opera competition in New York in 2007.
Staufenbiel is also the resident stage director for Ensemble Parallèle in San Francisco – an organization that focuses on the production of contemporary chamber opera. With the Ensemble, he recently directed the west-coast premiere of John Rea’s reorchestration of Berg’s Wozzeck and will direct Philip Glass’ Orphée next February. With Ensemble Parallèle, he directed in 2007, the world premiere performance of the final version of Lou Harrison’s opera Young Caesar.
Upcoming directing engagements include the remounting of his concept of Wozzeck at the Astoria Music Festival in Oregon this coming June and directing Puccini’s Madame Butterflyfor Festival Opera in Walnut Creek this July.
In 2009, Staufenbiel directed the world premiere of The Dawn Makers by Allen Shearer at Herbst Hall in San Francisco in collaboration with Composer’s INC. Since then, Staufenbiel has been working with Shearer on the commission of a children opera, to be presented in Winter 2011.
Staufenbiel has also directed at the Seoul Contemporary Opera Company the Korean premiere of David Jones’ opera Bardos and the reprise of Chan Hae Lee’s latest opera Back to the Origin. He has also been guest director in the Sherbrooke Summer Music Festival, where he directed works by Ravel and Honegger. He returned to the festival in Summer 2007 to direct and perform in the semi-staged version of Handel’s Jephtha.
Staufenbiel is also part of the voice faculty at UCSC. As a tenor, he has sung the leading roles in Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Poulenc’s Les mamelles de Tirésias, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Weill’s Mahagonny, and Mechem’sTartuffe. Staufenbiel has appeared at the Boston Early Music Festival, the Rochester Bach Festival in New York State, and sings frequently throughout the Bay Area.
In addition to live performances, Staufenbiel has recorded for Musical Heritage Society; Koch International Classics; Mode Records; Helicon Records music by Alessandro Stradella; Heinrich Schütz; Lou Harrison; and Paul Bowles. His most recent recording includes the world premiere recordings of tenor arias from Lou Harrison’s opera Young Caesar and theMass for the Feast of Saint Cecilia (Kleos records).
The Staufenbiel/ Scharron Duo has performed from coast to coast Argento’s Letters from Composers, set as a one-man opera. The duo recently completed a CD recording of works by Britten, Argento and Adler (commissioned work). Staufenbiel holds a doctorate degree in vocal performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music.