A native of New York City, Michael Scarola recently directed critically-acclaimed productions of Pagliacci for the inaugural opera presentation of the Arizona MusicFest, Blitzstein’s Regina for Utah Opera, Der Fliegende Holländer for Madison Opera and Bernstein’s Mass for the Utah Symphony commemorating the final performances of Keith Lockhart as that orchestra’s Music Director.  During the 2011-12 season he joined the directing staff of Los Angeles Opera with Elijah Moshinsky’s Covent Garden production of Simon Boccanegra staring Plácido Domingo as well as directing a new production of Heinrich Marschner’s Der Vampyr for Liederkranz Opera Theatre and a concert staging of Rossini’s Moïse et Pharaon staring James Morris and Angela Meade for the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall. This was followed by a return to the University of Utah for a new production of Floyd’s Susannah. He recently made debuts with the Boston Pops (A Richard Rodgers Celebration staring Victoria Clark), Arizona Opera (Don Giovanni), Tulsa Opera (L’Elisir d’Amore), San Antonio Opera (Carmen) and the University of Utah (Dialogues des Carmélites) as well as returning to Opera New Jersey for The Mikado and Don Pasquale and the Boston Pops for An Evening of Cole Porter with Kelli O’Hara, Jason Danieley and Keith Lockhart conducting. He recently also made successful debuts with Opera Pacific directing La Bohéme and Dayton Opera for his first Macbeth. Mr. Scarola was on the Directing Staff of New York City Opera for five seasons working on a diverse repertory from Mozart to Floyd. Other recent productions include Rigoletto and Lucia di Lammermoor for Madison Opera and Rigoletto and La Cenerentola for Opera New Jersey. Career highlights include debuts with Dallas Opera and Utah Opera directing Puccini's La Rondine and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra directing Dvorak's Rusalka and for the Symphony's 250th Mozart Anniversary celebrations, Die Zauberflöte, both under the direction of Miguel Harth-Bedoya. 


Mr. Scarola has directed Bernstein’s Mass for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination and excerpts from Mass for the re-opening of the Opera House at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. At Catholic University, in his post as Visiting Director of Opera, he directed the World Premiere of Andrew Simpson’s The Furies. This was followed by a concert staging of Puccini’s Le Villi and the third act of Turandot (NY Premiere of the Berio ending) for the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, where he recently returned for Mendelssohn’s Elijah staring Bryn Terfel.


In May of 2006 Mr. Scarola had the honor of working with Emmy Award-winning Partisan Pictures in its filming of a feature documentary on the incredible story of Raphael Schächter and his performances of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem in the concentration camp of Terezín, near Prague in the Czech Republic.  Besides his role as Music Consultant to the project, he was instrumental in the success of capturing this tribute performance of author and conductor Murry Sidlin’s Defiant Requiem – a feature of the 2006 Prague Spring International Music Festival – as the on-set camera director overseeing the movements of five cameras. The Emmy Nominated film was recently shown as part of the prestigious DocuWeeks Film Festival in New York City and Los Angeles. It has aired on PBS and was also recently released on DVD. It is now also being streamed on Amazon Prime.


From 1993-1998 Mr. Scarola was on the Directing Staff of the Metropolitan Opera during which time he worked on such varied operas as The Ghosts of Versailles, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Andrea Chénier (PBS Telecast with Luciano Pavarotti, conducted by James Levine and recently released on DVD by Decca) and the Met Premieres of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and La Cenerentola (PBS Telecast with Cecilia Bartoli). He has also worked with such prestigious companies as Cincinnati Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, Cabrillo Music Festival with Marin Alsop conducting, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Pacific, Indianapolis Opera, Virginia Opera, New Orleans Opera, Palm Beach Opera, L'opera Francaise de New York, Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and Opera Orchestra of New York (Otello with Carlo Bergonzi, Lucrezia Borgia with Renée Fleming and Stephanie Blythe and I Masnadieri with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, among others).


Over the past few seasons, he has made debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre (The Mikado) and Opera Naples (new production of Carmen) as well as returning to Arizona Opera for his first Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Liederkranz Opera Theatre for a new production of Das Rheingold, the University of Utah for a new production of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Opera New Jersey for Il Barbiere di Siviglia.


Mr. Scarola has also worked extensively with numerous Young Artists and University programs around the country including the Tanglewood Festival Fellows, Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Opera Institute of Boston University, Florida Grand Opera Young Artists Program, Cincinnati Opera Young Artists Program, as well as many others. He was visiting Guest Director of Opera for six years at the University of Utah. He is currently Adjunct Faculty at New York University/Steinhardt School of Music where he both teaches and directs.


Mr. Scarola made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Associate Director for Mr. Moshinksy’s production of Simon Boccanegra as well as working on the new production of Werther. This was followed by a concert staging of Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda staring Angela Meade for the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall and a return to the University of Utah for a new production of Falstaff. He then returned to Los Angeles Opera to work on the World Premiere of Lee Holdridge’s opera Dulce Rosa, conducted by Plácido Domingo. He continued his association with Los Angeles Opera working on four new productions: Falstaff, Die Zauberflöte, Lucia di Lammermoor and A Streetcar Named Desire, the last staring Renée Fleming. He also assisted on Adam Schankman’s production of Hair at the Hollywood Bowl and directed new productions of Hansel and Gretel and Cendrillon for the University of Utah. For the 2015-16 season, he returned to LA Opera to work on a new production of Madama Butterfly and La Bohème


Mr. Scarola’s program notes for the 1940 Metropolitan Opera broadcast of Lohengrin and the 1962 Met broadcast of Pelléas et Mélisande were recently released by Pristine Classical. He recently made his Off-Off Broadway debut directing the world premiere of David Michael Kirby’s That Good Night (at the Empyrean Café) for the New Ambassadors Theatre Company.

As an advocate for working with young professionals, Mr. Scarola has turned his attentions to working with students from all over the world. He recently directed a new production of Il Trovatore for his return to the Academy of Vocal Arts which was followed by a new production of Le Nozze di Figaro with DePauw University Opera that he both produced and directed. In the past few years, Mr. Scarola has developed a close relationship with New York University and the Steinhardt School of Music Program in Vocal Performance where he is now Adjunct Faculty. For his first show, he directed A Game of Chance: An Evening Music and Theatre with Music of Stravinsky, Barab and Barber which he created specifically for the university. This was followed by new productions of Dialogues of the Carmelites and Trouble in Tahiti as part of the Bernstein Centennial celebrations. Last fall, Mr. Scarola workshopped Roberto Scarcella Perino’s new opera, Furiosus, in conjunction with the Casa Italiana, in preparation for its United States premiere. In addition to teaching Opera Workshop/Song Analysis at NYU, he also directed a new production of a double-bill of Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief and Weill’s Mahagonny-Songspiel. He returns for his fourth summer to work with young artists in the NYU esteemed Classical Voice Intensive.

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