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Bill Theisen

Bill Theisen, director of opera
Associate Professor, Director of Opera
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Bill Theisen made his professional theatre debut at the Skylight Opera Theatre in his hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1981. His longtime affiliation with the company came full circle when he returned to serve as artistic director from 2004 through 2013.

Bill has directed over 100 productions for theatre and opera companies from coast to coast. Recent directing credits include The Pirates of Penzance for Santa Fe Opera, Showboat with Gateway Playhouse, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Barber of Seville, and The Mikado at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Sweeney Todd with Cleveland Opera, The Fourth Wall at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, The Magic Flute for Virginia Opera, A Little Night Music with Seaside Music Theater, The Mikado with Opera Carolina, Seussical at First Stage Children’ Theatre, and Into the Woods at the Capitol Center for the Performing Arts.

Skylight Opera Theatre directing credits include Porgy and Bess, The Figaro Story, La Boheme, Souvenir, Sunday in the Park with George, South Pacific, The Tragedy of Carmen, Animal Crackers, The Spitfire Grill, La Cenerentola, The Mikado, Patience, The Pirates of Penzance, and the world premiere of Over the Moon with Gilbert and Sullivan.

Mr. Theisen works frequently on the university level as a guest director and lecturer. He served as the interim director of opera at the University of Iowa in 1998 and has continued that relationship for the past 15 years culminating in his returning to the university as the full time director of opera beginning in the fall of 2013.

Other university credits include Carnegie Mellon University, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Florida State University, Portland State University, Manhattan School of Music, Utah State University, Northwestern University, NYU and St. Ambrose University where he is also serves on the advisory committee to the theatre department.

Bill was the artistic director of the Capitol Center for the Performing Arts in Upstate New York and is an adjudicator for arts programming on PBS.