Mitchell Gillett - Director
Mitchell Gillett is a stage Director based in Michigan, previously singing a wide array of comprimario roles with regional opera companies. He has worked with such directors as Bodo Igesz, Bret Wagner, and Eric Gibson, informing his style and helping him to develop a unique approach in his own directing. Mr. Gillett made his debut with The Comic Opera Guild, directing a new production of Herbert’s Babes in Toyland, deemed a “holiday treat”, leading to touring productions of The Barber of Seville and The Magic Flute. In 2000 he was one of the founders of the Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition, and its chairman for its first 5 years, working with judges Richard Miller, Shirley Verrett and George Shirley to build a unique competition and teaching opportunity for young singers.
For thirty years Mr. Gillett has concentrated on bringing opera and light opera to new and existing audiences around Michigan, the US, and the UK. Directing full productions, opera workshops, cabarets, and site-specific events, he has developed techniques to get the most from his surroundings, and challenges his actors to give their characters dignity and a soul, even in the most farcical moments.
Mitchell Gillett might be unique among today’s directors, as he strives to combine modern stage sensibilities with classic techniques. As a choice, he has worked with small companies and it is part of these situations that can bring out amazing levels of creativity in both the production team and performers. It has also led to a greater appreciation of contemporary one act operas. Mitchell is proud to be joining New Opera Lyra for his Canadian debut, and the premiere of Mr. Ager’s new opera.