METROPOLIS OPERA PROJECT, NYC
OPERA ITHACA, ITHACA NY
In addition to being a sought after international opera singer Zachary James has devoted himself to arts leadership in many capacities and is deeply committed to ensuring the future of opera as a living, evolving art form. Zach began his work as a producer and director in 2007 when he founded the Metropolis Opera Project in NYC whose home was the Medicine Show Theatre on West 52nd Street. From 2007 through 2012 Zach served as the General Director of Metropolis Opera Project where he produced dozens of operas, concerts and community events. With a primary focus on commissioning, developing and producing new operatic works, Zach was responsible for the world premieres of One Hot Kitchen by Kristin Hevner Wyatt, Daniel Wyatt and David Caudle, Bully Pulpit by Kristin Hevner Wyatt, Daniel Wyatt and Royce Vavrek, The Nightingale and the Rose by Benjamin Scheuer, Obesa Cantavit by Larry Lees, Crossing the Straits by Christopher Sahar and the USA premiere of Il Sogno by Kristin Hevner Wyatt and Vittorio Rosetta. Zach directed the NYC workshop of Bonnie Montgomery and Britt Barber's Billy Blythe, a folk opera about President Bill Clinton as a boy, which received international attention from the BBC, CNN and the New Yorker, an opera which he curated for Opera Ithaca's second season in a world premiere production. For Metropolis Opera Project Zach directed Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award and Grammy Award winning Sheldon Harnick's rarely performed opera, Frustration, with the composer in attendance. Additional Metropolis Opera Project directing credits include Kristin Hevner Wyatt and Royce Vavrek's The Wednesday Before Last and Unsaid in a Field of Wildflowers. For Opera Ithaca, where Zach has served as General Director since 2014, he has produced Bluebeard's Castle, directed and produced the professional company premiere of Il Sogno, produced Don Giovanni, Die Fledermaus, the world premiere of Billy Blythe, directed and produced Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, directed and produced a gala event entitled Masquerade which combined aerial circus arts and opera, produced the second production ever of Kamala Sankaram and Susan Yankowitz's Thumbprint and will soon direct a new production of Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci. Zach served on faculty of Ithaca College School of Music in 2015 where he taught Opera Workshop and directed an evening of opera scenes from contemporary American composers Missy Mazzoli, Kamala Sankaram, Kristin Hevner Wyatt, Christopher Sahar, Conrad Cummings and more. Zach has taught master classes in audition technique and guest lectured at Yale University, Ithaca College School of Music, Ithaca College Department of Theatre Arts, College of Western Idaho and NYC's Broadway Classroom.