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James Robinson, Stage Director


James Robinson

James Robinson’s production of Terence Blanchard’sFire Shut Up in My Bones (co-directed with choreographer Camille A. Brown) opened the Metropolitan Opera’s2021-2022 season to sensational acclaim after its world premiere at Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 2019. First seen at English National Opera and Dutch National Opera, his Grammy award-winning production of Porgy & Bess opened the Metropolitan Opera season in 2019 and returns this fall. He will direct written in Stone, a trio of new opera commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Center, at Washington National Opera in February 2022. In March 2022, he will make his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut with Fire Shut Up In My Bones. He will also direct the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s Awakenings (based on the book by Oliver Sacks) and a new version of Stewart Wallace’s Harvey Milk (co-directed with choreographer Sean Curran) for Opera Theatre of St.Louis, as well as the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s M Butterfly(based on the play by David Henry Hwang) for Santa Fe Opera as part of their 2022 season.

James Robinson has been the Artistic Director of Opera Theatre of St. Louis since 2009. During his tenure, he has directed numerous world premieres, including TerenceBlanchard’sChampsionandFire Shut Up in My Bones, Ricky Ian Gordon’s27 and JackPerla’sShalimar the Clown. For Opera Theatre of St. Louis he has also mounted productions of John Adams’s Death of Klinghoffer and Nixon in China, Dominick Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire, Weill’s Street Scene, Tobias Picker’s Emmeline, RickyIan Gordon’sThe Grapes of Wrath, and the American premiere of Unsuk Chin’sAlice in Wonderland. A frequent guest at Santa Fe Opera, he directed Barber’sVanessain 2016 and HuangRuo’sDr. Sun Yat Senin 2014, in addition, to Così fan tutte, Capriccio, and The Rake’sProgress.

For the Canadian Opera Company, he has directed acclaimed productions of Elektra, Norma, L’elisir d’amore, and Nixon in China. He has also directed numerous new productions for Houston Grand Opera (most recentlyGiulio Cesareand the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A House Without a Christmas Tree and San Francisco Opera (L’elisir d’amore and Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne). His work has also been seen at Opera Australia, the Royal Swedish Opera, the Wexford Festival, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Carnegie Hall