Opera Director

Isabel Milenski

"What is radical is the way Milenski strives to place every shade of feeling in your face and the degree to which she is able to get singers to do just that."
-- Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times

To compliment her professional directing work, Isabel has been teaching acting for singers at conservatories and young artist programs for the last 12 years. She has taught and directed for The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, the Merola and Adler Programs at the San Francisco Opera Center, Cincinnati Conservatory, Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Pennsylvania State University and is Artistic Director of Hofstra University's Opera program in New York.

Isabel's dramatic training in Italy and the States includes theater methods by teachers such as Grotowski, Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg and Anne Bogart's Viewpoints and Michael Chekhov. She has developed training for young singers that strengthens their audition skills, emboldens their stage presence and fuels character development.

The training Milenski offers encompasses highly physical work in combination with character analysis and expressive self-exploration. Within the inspiring arena of her classes and coachings, through improvisation and rigorous physical training, singers are given the tools to create charged, multidimensional and compelling characters.

Milenski incisively identifies individual performing challenges and addresses them with enthusiasm, accessible tools and rigor. Her students have gone onto perform at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera and Santa Fe Opera.

Her fluency in Italian and French, and her working knowledge of German generate an active dialogue with the student when conquering translations of the operatic texts. Ms. Milenski teaches classes and works one-on-one with singers towards auditions and performance preparation.