Described by The New York Times as “opera’s disrupter in residence,” director Yuval Sharon has been creating an unconventional body of work that seeks to expand the operatic form.
He founded and serves as Artistic Director of The Industry in Los Angeles, an acclaimed company devoted to new and experimental opera that has brought opera into moving vehicles, operating train stations, and various “non-spaces,” such as warehouses, parking lots, and escalator corridors. Sharon conceived, directed, and produced the company’s acclaimed world premieres of Hopscotch, Invisible Cities, and Crescent City. He also devised and directed the company’s two “performance installations”: In C at the Hammer Museum and Nimbus at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
His stage productions in more conventional spaces have been described as “ingenious” (New York Times), “virtuosic” (Opernwelt), “dizzyingly spectacular” (New York Magazine), and “staggering” (Opera News). He is the recipient of the 2014 Götz Friedrich Prize in Germany for his production of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic, originally produced at the Staatstheater Karlsruhe and later presented in Seville's Teatro de la Maestranza. Sharon also directed a landmark production of John Cage’s Song Books at the San Francisco Symphony and Carnegie Hall with Joan La Barbara, Meredith Monk, and Jessye Norman. His most recent production was Peter Eötvös’ Three Sisters at the Wiener Staatsoper, which lead Opernwelt to call him “one of the most interesting arrivals on the musical landscape.” His production of Cunning Little Vixen, originally produced at the Cleveland Orchestra, will be the first fully-staged opera ever presented in Vienna’s historic Musikverein in October 2017.
Sharon currently has a three-year residency at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where his projects will include newly commissioned works, site-specific installations, and performances outside the hall. Major upcoming productions include an original setting of War of the Worlds, performed both inside and outside the concert hall simultaneously (Fall 2017); a staging of Mahler’s Song of the Earth with Gustavo Dudamel at the LA Phil (Spring 2018); Lohengrin for the Bayreuth Festival (Summer 2018); and Magic Flute for the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden (February 2019).
Sharon was honored with a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship and a Foundation for Contemporary Art grant for theater. He serves on the board of Opera America, the Artist Council for the Hammer Museum, and as a Fellow for the LA Institute for Humanities.