Michael Scarola's imaginative and finely detailed style has earned him recognition and return engagements with leading companies in the U.S. and abroad. A native of New York City, Michael Scarola recently directed critically-acclaimed productions of Blitzstein's Regina for Utah Opera, Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer forMadison Opera and Bernstein's Mass for the Utah Symphony commemoration the final performances of Keith Lockhart as that orchestra's Music Director.
He has been a member of the directing staff at Los Angeles Opera since the 2011-12 season. He has directed Elijah Moshinsky's Covent Garden production of Simon Boccanegra staring Plácido Domingo as well as directing a new production of Heinrich Marschner's Der Vampyr for Liederkranz Opera Theatre and a concert staging of Rossini's Moïse et Pharaon staring James Morris for the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall. This was followed by a return to the University of Utah for a new production of Floyd's Susannah. He recently made debuts with the Boston Pops (A Richard Rodgers Celebration staring Victoria Clark), Arizona Opera (Don Giovanni), Tulsa Opera (L'Elisir d'Amore), San Antonio Opera (Carmen) and the University of Utah (Dialogues des Carmélites) as well as returning to Opera New Jersey for The Mikado and Don Pasquale and the Boston Pops for An Evening of Cole Porter with Kelli O'Hara, Jason Danieley and Keith Lockhart conducting.
He recently also made successful debuts with Opera Pacific directing La Bohéme and Dayton Opera for his first Macbeth. Mr. Scarola was on the Directing Staff of New York City Opera for five seasons working on a diverse repertory from Mozart to Floyd. Other recent productions include Rigoletto and Lucia di Lammermoor forMadison Opera and Rigoletto and La Cenerentola for Opera New Jersey. Career highlights include debuts with Dallas Opera and Utah Opera directing Puccini's La Rondine and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra directing Dvorak's Rusalka and for the Symphony's 250th Mozart Anniversary celebrations, Die Zauberflöte, both under the direction of Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
Mr. Scarola has directed Bernstein's Mass for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the JFK Assassination and excerpts from Mass for the re-opening of the Opera House at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. At Catholic University, in his post as Visiting Director of Opera, he recently directed the World Premiere of Andrew Simpson's The Furies. This was followed by a concert staging of Puccini's Le Villi and the third act of Turandot (NY Premiere of the Berio ending) for the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall, where he recently returned for Mendelssohn's Elijah staring Bryn Terfel.
In May of 2006 Mr. Scarola had the honor of working with Emmy Award-winning Partisan Pictures in its initial filming of a feature documentary on the incredible story of Raphael Schächter and his performances of Verdi's Messa da Requiem in the concentration camp of Terezín, near Prague in the Czech Republic. Besides his previous role as Music Consultant to the project, he was instrumental in the success of capturing this tribute performance of author and conductor Murry Sidlin's Defiant Requiem – a feature of the 2006 Prague Spring International Music Festival – as the on-set camera director overseeing the movements of five cameras. The completed film was recently shown as part of the prestigious DocuWeeks Film Festival in New York City and Los Angeles. It was aired on PBS this past spring and has also recently been released on DVD.
From 1993-1998 Mr. Scarola was on the Directing Staff of the Metropolitan Opera during which time he worked on such varied operas as The Ghosts of Versailles, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Andrea Chénier (PBS Telecast with Luciano Pavarotti, conducted by James Levine and recently released on DVD by Decca) and the Met Premieres of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, A Midsummer Night's Dream and La Cenerentola (PBS Telecast with Cecilia Bartoli). He has also worked with such prestigious companies as Cincinnati Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, Cabrillo Music Festival with Marin Alsop conducting, Florida Grand Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Virginia Opera, New Orleans Opera, Palm Beach Opera, L'opera Francaise de New York, Opera Pacific, Israel Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, and Opera Orchestra of New York (Otello with Carlo Bergonzi, Lucrezia Borgia with Renée Fleming and I Masnadieri with Dmitri Hvorostovsky, among others.
er the past few seasons he has made debuts with Michigan Opera Theatre (The Mikado) and Opera Naples (new production of Carmen) as well as returning to Arizona Opera for his first Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Liederkranz Opera Theatre for a new production of Das Rheingold, the University of Utah for a new production of Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea and Opera New Jersey for Il Barbiere di Siviglia.
This past season Mr. Scarola made his Lyric Opera of Chicago debut as Associate Director for Mr. Moshinksy's production of Simon Boccanegra as well as working on the new production of Werther. This was followed by a concert staging of Bellini's Beatrice di Tenda staring Angela Meade for the Collegiate Chorale at Carnegie Hall and a return to the University of Utah for a new production of Falstaff. He then returned to Los Angeles Opera to work on the World Premiere of Lee Holdridge's new opera Dulce Rosa which was conducted by Plácido Domingo. This season Mr. Scarola continues his association with Los Angeles Opera working on four new productions: Falstaff, Die Zauberflöte, Lucia di Lammermoor and A Streetcar Named Desire staring Renée Fleming. He will also direct a new production of Hansel and Gretel for the University of Utah this spring.