Jose Maria Condemi has been hailed by the Oakland Post as “one of the most promising and impressive directors in all opera,” and the Seattle Weekly called his production of La bohème for Seattle Opera “flawless,” “handsome,” and “impressively crafted.” In addition to his busy schedule directing for other companies, he was Artistic Director of Opera Santa Barbara from 2010 to 2015. Condemi is the newly appointed Director of Opera of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
In the summer of 2017, Jose Maria Condemi directs Carmen with Central City Opera, and Robert Xavier Rodríguez’ Frida with Cincinnati Opera. Mr. Condemi’s engagements in the 2015-16 season included his Lyric Opera of Kansas City directorial debut with Carmen, a return to Cincinnati Opera to direct Tosca, and a new production of Dead Man Walking for Indiana University. His 2014-15 engagements included directing Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and Puccini’s Tosca, both for San Francisco Opera; Tosca in a return to Seattle Opera; Il trovatore in a re-engagement with Cincinnati Opera; Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire for Kentucky Opera; and Rodriguez’ Frida in his debut with Michigan Opera Theatre.
His 2013-14 engagements featured returns to Atlanta Opera to direct Il barbiere di Siviglia, to Florida Grand Opera to direct Tosca and Utah Opera to direct La traviata, his debut with Houston Grand Opera directing Aida, with Opera Theater of Saint Louis directing The Elixir of Love, and with New Orleans Opera directing Massenet’s Cendrillon.
Recent triumphs include his return to San Francisco Opera to direct Così fan tutte and the world premiere of Nolan Gasser’s The Secret Garden; Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas for Utah Opera, also Opera Colorado; Maria de Buenos Aires in his debut with Florida Grand Opera; La traviata in his Wolf Trap Opera debut; Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice for Seattle Opera; Carmen for San Francisco Opera; La traviata for Opera San Jose and Cincinnati Opera, for which he also directed Maria de Buenos Aires; Così fan tutte with Atlanta Opera; Il barbiere di Siviglia for Opera San Jose; and Simon Boccanegra for Teatro Colón in his native Argentina. Other recent engagements included directing a new production of Ernani for Lyric Opera of Chicago; Il trovatore for Seattle Opera; L’elisir d’amore for Sacramento Opera Company; Carmen for Lake George Opera; Faust and Madama Butterfly, both for San Francisco Opera; Tristan und Isolde at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Orfeo ed Euridice for West Bay Opera; Le nozze di Figaro for Livermore Valley Opera; L’elisir d’amore and Tosca for San Francisco Opera; a new Die Zauberflöte for Opera San Jose; and Ainadamar for Cincinnati Opera.
In his already remarkable career, Condemi has staged Luisa Miller for the Canadian Opera Company, Il barbiere di Siviglia for Lyric Opera Chicago, Don Giovanni for Cincinnati and Portland Operas, Maria Padilla for Minnesota Opera, Il trovatore for Austin Lyric Opera, Così fan tutte for the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program, L'elisir d'amore and Don Pasquale with Opera San Jose, Il barbiere di Siviglia for Lake George Opera, Susannah and Roméo et Juliette with Festival Opera, the Western Opera Theater's national tours of Die Fledermaus and Don Giovanni, and Poulenc's Les Mamelles de Tirésias for the University of Cincinnati, a production which earned him the first prize in the 2000 USA National Opera Association competition.
As a former Adler Fellow in Stage Direction with the San Francisco Opera, he directed Puccini's Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi and La bohème for the Merola Opera Program and Così fan tutte for the main stage. In the role of associate director, he has worked on Così fan tutte for Lyric Opera Chicago, Un ballo in maschera for the Canadian Opera Company and Falstaff for Houston Grand Opera. His collaborations with contemporary opera composers include directing the premieres of Hector Armienta's River of Women and The Weeping Woman in San Francisco. He also directed the workshop performance of the San Francisco Opera commissioned piece, Earthrise, by 2000 Pulitzer Prize Lewis Spratlan.
His theater directing credits include Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Dürrenmatt's The Physicists, Dorfman's Death and the Maiden and Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba.
A Fulbright Scholar from 1998 until 2000, he is also a recipient of the Argentina National Endowment for the Arts Awards. Condemi received his undergraduate degree in Opera Stage Direction at the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires) and completed a Master of Fine Arts in Directing at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
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