University of California, Los Angeles
Theater and opera director; Educator
Humanities and Arts
Professor, UCLA; Theater and Opera Director. Director of over 100 opera, music, and television productions, specializing in twentieth-century opera. Named Director of Kennedy Center's American National Theater at age 26; Artistic director of Los Angeles Festivals in 1990 and 1993. Recipient of Erasmus Prize and MacArthur Fellowship. Collaborates with contemporary poets, artists, and composers to create innovative projects that challenge the traditional role of performing arts in the modern world. His work accentuates the contemporary pertinence of timeless stories; his 1993 take on The Persians articulates this Greek tragedy as a response to the Gulf War. First received critical attention as an undergraduate for a production of Antony and Cleopatra in a Harvard swimming pool. Similarly, his Così fan tutte is staged in a Cape Cod diner, and his Don Giovanni set in New York City's Spanish Harlem.