March 11, 2022
The Butler School welcomes new Lecturer in Opera Studies and Stage Director for Butler Opera Center Garnett Bruce, who will join the school in Fall, 2022.
“We’re thrilled that Garnett will be joining us; his talent, experience, and vast knowledge will be a tremendous asset to the Butler School of Music community,” said Butler Opera Center’s Director Tamara Sanikidze.
Known especially for his large-scale work of some of opera’s most well-known productions, Bruce has created stagings of Turandot, Carmen, Tosca, Aida, I Pagliacci, and La bohème that have been seen coast to coast. Bruce's body of work includes directing at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, and his European opera debut staging Turandot for the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples. From 2008 to 2011 he was the artistic adviser and principal stage director for Opera Omaha, where he led a cycle of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas. He began directing for the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in 2004, receiving a faculty appointment in 2006. Bruce served on staff at the Aspen Music Festival and School from 1993 to 2019, and on faculty from 1997 to 2019. Recently, Bruce became Artistic Advisor to Opera San Antonio. Born in Washington, D.C., Bruce was a choirboy at Washington National Cathedral and holds degrees in English and drama from Tufts University. After internships with Hal Prince and Leonard Bernstein in the early 1990s, he joined the staffs of the Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Opera Colorado. His award-winning production of La Cenerentola for Kansas City has traveled to Austin, Orlando, and Madison.
“I’m always very proud when I think back on Rossini’s La Cenerentola we created for Joyce DiDonato in her hometown of Kansas City,” Bruce said. “Updated to Hollywood 1933, we found connections past and present to frame both the music and the core ideas of the story’s subtitle: The triumph of Goodness.” He continued, “I’m excited to collaborate with Dr. Sanikidze and Maestro Kinney Frost on our new projects next year and to connect the vast resources at UT Austin with the talents our students bring.”