Article Written by Stephen Bell – Marketing/Development @coffeescreative
At Coffeeshop Creative we are not only passionate about designing and developing a unique web presence for our clients, but also sharing their stories. We are super excited to share another story in our series of blogs – ☕️ Coffee With… Today’s feature – the inspiring and influential American operatic stage director Alison Moritz. As we are designing the upcoming launch of her custom website, we recently caught up with Alison for a virtual coffee, using everyone’s favourite meet up, Facetime. So grab your favourite cup of java and get to know a little about this exciting & innovative director.
Follow Alison on the socials through Instagram 👈
Candide- Tanglewood Music Festival 2018
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Alison Moritz, and I’m a stage director specializing in opera and all things opera-adjacent.
Alison Moritz- In Conference for The Cradle Will Rock 2015
What inspires you with operatic stage direction?
It boils down to three things: 1. I’m inspired by a big mix of influences from literature, cinema, and art history; 2. by my own experience of life and human behavior; and 3. by my amazing colleagues and collaborators! Each project has its own balance of forces, but in the end I let the score dictate the ultimate visual language of a production.
Orpheus In The Underworld- New Orleans Opera 2017
What do you think is key to grow new North American audiences to opera?
Oh gosh! With so much new opera being written every year, we have incredible opportunities to rewrite the narrative of opera in North America. It no longer needs to be an “inherited” genre – it can truly speak to how we see the world today! We can also bring this fresh perspective to the existing repertoire – what’s considered “standard rep” now was often radical when it premiered. Bottom line: we need to keep questioning our assumptions about opera and its place in our lives. To that end, I think it is important to emphasize inclusivity onstage and off, and to incentivize artists of all kinds to try new things. Most importantly, lip service to diversity and innovation will not cut it – companies and artists actually need to walk the walk if they want opera to thrive in the 21st century.
The Manchurian Candidate – Austin Opera 2018
What lies ahead for you in the 2019/20 directing season?
At the moment, I’m deliberately alternating between directing classic operas and newer works. By switching up my rep, I’m constantly reminded to find the urgency in the existing canon and, on the flip side, I’m always trying to find the essential, core story in even the most avant-garde operas. This back-and-forth has lead to a really fun mix in my upcoming projects! Next up, I’m doing a new staging of La Bohème at Austin Opera, and after that I’m doing the world premiere of a very fun, funky work in NYC. After that, I’ll be staging Madama Butterfly for Central City this summer, and remounting my Candide for Ravinia. I’m super excited that several of my new productions have been picked up to be remounted in the next year or two, and that my upcoming schedule includes returns to several of my favorite American companies.
Taking Up Serpants- Washington National Opera 2019
And…most importantly, favorite type or style of coffee?
For those of you trying to make great coffee on the road, I recommend the Palm Press. I used to rely solely on an Aeropress, but I wanted more volume and less mess! I just finished a show in Kansas City, so I bought my beans at the amazing Messenger Coffee there. I drink my coffee black, and I usually wait until it is juuuuuuusttttt above room temperature. 🙂