Elise Sandell - Stage Director
Portland Opera Stage Director Debut
Elise Sandell made her mainstage directorial debut with Tulsa Opera’s production of Carmen in February 2007, which was referred to in Tulsa World as “marvelous entertainment” and “a sublime experience.”
She has worked frequently with Houston Grand Opera, and in November of 2007 she directed the world premiere performance of HGO’s newly commissioned “operatorio” The Refuge composed by Christopher Theofanidis with libretto by Leah Lax. Her debut with HGO was as assistant director on Idomeneo during the 04/05 Season and she has returned often, serving as associate director on Olivier Tambosi’s productions of Manon Lescaut and Un Ballo in Maschera, as well as Elijah Moshinsky’s production of Simon Boccanegra.
Elise has also worked frequently with Central City Opera, and in 2008 she directed their apprentice production of Curlew River. In addition to serving as assistant director on several of their productions, she has also been a director for their “Opera à la Carte” scenes program and their production of The Face on the Barroom Floor.
Elise has worked extensively as an assistant director with such companies as Opera Co. of Philadelphia, Dallas Opera, Utah Symphony and Opera, Central City Opera, San Diego Opera, Portland Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She has worked with many well-known directors, including Colin Graham, John Copley, Lotfi Mansouri, Paul Curran, and Ken Cazan. Elise resides in Portland, OR, is a graduate of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University in St. Louis, and has served as an OPERA America Fellow.
In October, she made her debuts with Asheville Lyric Opera directing a new production of Romeo and Juliet, and with Minnesota Opera directing James Robinson’s production of The Abduction from the Seraglio. She joins Tacoma Opera in March to direct Faust.
Elise’s production concept of Einstein on the Beach has advanced to the finals of OPERA America’s Director-Designer Showcase, and will be presented at the OPERA America conference this spring.