Headshot of Chia Patino

Stage Director, Butler Opera Center
Associate Professor of Practice in Opera Studies

Born in Ecuador, Chía Patiño was the Artistic and Executive Director of the National Theatre in Ecuador for 10 years before joining the Butler School of Music in 2019 as the Stage Director for the Butler Opera Center. Her path has been eclectic: she began as a pianist, continued as a composer, and began a parallel path as a stage director in 1998. She has staged zarzuela, musical theatre, theatre and opera for numerous companies in the United States, Arab Emirates, Egypt, Guatemala, Colombia and Ecuador.

Productions she has directed include: Tosca, Traviata, Transformations, Rusalka, Dido and Aeneas, Carmen, Sweeney Todd, Luis Fernanda, West Side Story, Les Miserables, La Flauta Mágica de Los Andes, Faust and Don Giovanni. In 2009, she was the music director of the mariachi opera commissioned and produced by Houston Grand Opera, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna.

During the pandemic, Patiño directed one of the only live performances (with orchestra and audience) in the USA after March 13, 2020. Northern Lights Music Festival produced Tosca in July, performed at the Minnesota Discovery Center Amphitheatre.

She was also the stage director of Suite Española, Explorando Iberia, for Houston Grand Opera in their project HGO Digital, a program sponsored by Sarah and Ernest Butler.

As part of the homage to Daniel Catán, she directed and produced a video with UT students Pei-Chun Wang and Matthew J Schulz.

Most recently she was in charge of the dramaturgy for Dreaming/Undreaming for the Princeton Festival.

Upcoming works include diurecting Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for Seattle Opera (January 2022), and Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas for Opera de Tenerife in March 2022.

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Contact Information


Campus location
MRH 3.112


Butler Opera Center Opera Ensemble

Teaching Areas

Voice & Opera


Master of Fine Arts
Cincinnati College Conservatory

Doctor of Music
Indiana University

Master of Music 
Indiana University 

Bachelor of Music 
University of Louisville