Peter Kazaras Biography
Peter Kazaras is the Director of Opera UCLA, Professor of Music, and the Inaugural Susan G. Covel and Mitchel D. Covel MD Chair at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. A stage director and teacher, he was also Artistic Director of the Seattle Opera Young Artists Program from 2006 to 2013.
As an operatic tenor, he has performed worldwide at The Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, L’Opéra National de Paris, and other venues. Conductors he has worked with include Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon, and John Nelson.
Over the past fifteen years he has directed over twenty productions for the Seattle Opera main stage and for its Young Artist Program, plus productions for Glimmerglass, Washington National Opera, The Dallas Opera and the Merola Program at San Francisco Opera. In Spring 2014, he directed a critically acclaimed new production of Massenet’s Cendrillon for The Juilliard School. Recent engagements include The Ring of Polykrates at The Dallas Opera, La bohème at LA Opera, An American Tragedy and The Thieving Magpie at Glimmerglass Festival and The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro for WNO. At UCLA since 2007, he has directed, supervised or produced over thirty productions during his tenure. In 2017, he directed the Southern California premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park at the Clark Library. In the summer of 2018 he was invited to direct A Quiet Place for Tanglewood Music Center as part of the Bernstein at 100 Centennial celebration.
Upcoming engagements include new productions of The Ghosts of Versailles in the Amphitheater at Chautauqua Opera in 2019 and Samson et Dalila at Washington National Opera in 2020, when he will also direct La bohème for Seattle Opera.
Future plans at UCLA include the world premieres of Lost Childhood by Jan Hamer and Mary Azrael, a tale of survival and reconciliation; Juana by Carla Lucero and Alicia Gaspar de Alba, about the incandescent Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz; and Quake, a contemporary retelling of the Odyssey myth by Kay Rhie and Amanda Hollander. He will also helm the world premiere of Beloved Night, an opera by Richard Danielpour to a libretto by Debbie Danielpour, based on the Persian tale Layla and the Majnun.