Toronto-born Joshua Major began his opera stage directing career at the age of 23 with La Cenerentola for Opera Omaha. Soon after, Mr. Major worked as an assistant at the Welsh National Opera, to Rhoda Levine at Juilliard, and to Cynthia Auerbach at both Chautauqua Opera and the New York City Opera. Mr. Major has worked as a stage director for over 35 years throughout the United States and Canada developing an impressive and diverse repertoire of productions. Recent productions include Falstaff (Verdi), L’assedio de Calais (Donizetti), Cendrillon (Massenet), Ezio (Gluck), Sir John in Love (Vaughan Williams), Romeo & Juliet (Gounod), La Boheme (Leoncavallo), Gianni Schicchi & Suor Angelica (Puccini), The Medium (Menotti), Un giorno di Regno (Verdi), the North American premiere of Rossini's La Gazzetta, The Consul (Menotti), The Cunning Little Vixen (Janacek), Lucia di Lamermoor (Donizetti), The Turn of the Screw (Britten), Les mamelles de Teresias (Poulenc), L'Impressions de Pelleas (Brook/Debussy), L’enfant et les sortileges (Ravel), and La tragedie de Carmen (Brook/Bizet). Mr. Major has worked for numerous companies, including Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, Central City Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Cape Town Opera, Berkshire Opera Festival, Opera Omaha, and Odyssey Opera.
In August 2012 Mr. Major began as Chair of Opera Studies at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston after completing 20 years on the faculty of the University of Michigan where he oversaw the Opera Program, both teaching and directing. From 2003–2014 Joshua Major was the Artistic Director of the Pine Mountain Music Festival, located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior where he produced over 300 concerts of opera, symphony and chamber music. He continues to be a stage director and faculty member with the International Vocal Arts Institute (Tel Aviv, Montreal, New York) where he has directed annually since 1993. An advocate for new work, Mr. Major has workshopped operas in progress including works by composers Paola Prestini, Scott Wheeler, Julian Wachner, and Bright Sheng.
Photo by Natasha Major