Opera Director

Isabel Milenski

"With her characteristic exuberance, Isabel Milenski is one of opera's most impressive fresh faces in recent years"
-- Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

Ms. Milenski’s career began staging the Long Beach Opera production of Iacopo Peri's Euridice at the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles to commemorate the birth of opera in 2000. She later returned to The Getty to stage Virginia Woolf's only play Freshwater. For the Long Beach Opera she has directed Jenufa, Milhaud's Trois Operas Minutes, the west-coast premiere of Richard Strauss' comic masterwork Die Schweigsame Frau, along with Semele and Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cherry Town. She founded the company Floating Opera New York in 2015 and produced and directed Pelleas and Melisande on a barge in Red Hook. Upcoming she will produce John Cage's EUROPERAS 3 & 4. With Odyssey Opera she will direct Lucio Silla in 2016.

She has held the position of Artistic Director for Hofstra University's Opera Theater for eight years, where she has created the bold productions of L’incoronazione di PoppeaDie FledermausDon GiovanniAlcina, Princess Ida, Dido and Aeneas, . She has been on faculty with the Summer Voice Festival of Manhattan School of Music, and will be joining Oberlin in Italy's faculty.

She made her Lincoln Center debut directing Juilliard's Le Nozze di Figaro, and has directed La Calisto for the Manhattan School of Music. For Pocket Opera of New York she has directed the double-bill of L’enfant et les sortileges & La chute de la maison Usher by Debussy and the double-bill of Handel's Apollo and Daphne & staged Monteverdi Madrigals.

Ms. Milenski was awarded the Directorial Fellowship from San Francisco Opera's Merola program  where she has been a returning teacher and coach for both the Merola Opera program and Adler Fellowship program. Directorial projects with the Merolini and Adlers have included numerous staged scenes concerts, and Carmen with the Opera Center’s Adler Fellows at the UC Davis.  

Internationally she has conceived and directed a theater production of Carmen based on Merimee's novella at the Telemac Theatre in Nimes, France. In Denmark she was assistant director to Roy Rallo for Der Rosenkavalier. Other national projects have included a rock opera, The Fire Odyssey, an adaptation of Homer's Odyssey at the Crucible's Fire Arts Festival in Oakland, California, as well as a cross-cultural production, The Grand Seducers with the Chinese Cultural Center in San Francisco.

Conservatory productions include Cosi Fan Tutte and The Turn of the Screw at Cincinnati Conservatory, which won a National Opera Association award. In Cincinnati she also co-directed Argento's The Voyage of Edgar Allen Poe. Productions for Grand Valley State University include The Bartered Bride, Street Scene and The Pirates of Penzance and L’enfant et les sortileges.

Ms. Milenski teaches Viewpoints, and Method Acting techniques, as well as aspects of the Michael Chekhov. In Europe she trained in the physical techniques of Grotowski and Meyerhold at the Universitet for Skenkost with Ingemar Lindt, and in Italy at Baule dei Suoni.

Ms. Milenski resides in New York.