Joseph Colaneri

Renowned for his versatility, musical depth, and ability to “inspire musicians,” Joseph Colaneri is recognized as a multifaceted presence on the podium. An international conductor equally adept with operatic, oratorio and symphonic repertoire, Colaneri continues to expand his relationships with orchestras and opera companies both nationally and abroad.

Music Director of the acclaimed Glimmerglass Festival since 2013, Mo. Colaneri has led a diverse range of repertoire there including Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Donizetti’s L’assedio di Calais, Bernstein’s Candide and John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles along with classics La traviata, La bohème and Il barbiere di Siviglia.

In the 2019-2020 season, Maestro Colaneri made debuts at San Diego Opera with Verdi’s Aïda and l’Opéra Royale de Versailles leading John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles. The special 2020 virtual season at The Glimmerglass Festival saw him as presenter of a series of master classes for their Young Artists program, music director for an animated version of Wagner’s Die Feen and lecturer for a six-part YouTube series, Keeping Time with Colaneri focused on the history and understanding of opera.

He has been a frequent guest at the Metropolitan Opera since 1998 where he recently led Boïto’s Mefistofele and Bellini’s Norma. In addition he has conducted performances of La bohème (company debut, 2000), Luisa Miller, Turandot with Andrea Gruber and Rigoletto in the popular Metropolitan Opera Parks performances, L’italiana in Algeri with Olga Borodina, Nabucco featuring Maria Guleghina at Lincoln Center, Falstaff with Bryn Terfel in the title role, Il trittico, La fille du régiment with Natalie Dessay and Juan Diego Flórez, and Mary Zimmerman’s new production of Lucia di Lammermoor, also with Natalie Dessay in the title role. During the 2009-2010 season, he replaced James Levine for the Metropolitan’s new Luc Bondy production of Tosca, including the worldwide HD transmission and DVD for EMI. During the 2011-2012 season he led performances of Don Pasquale.

From 2012-2014, Colaneri was in Australia as Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera, where he led productions of Otello, Il trovatore, La bohème, Madama Butterfly, La traviata and Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Among the distinguished opera companies with which Colaneri has guested are the Teatro Colón, Den Norske Opera, Atlanta Opera, Portland Opera and Chautauqua Opera. Orchestral guesting credits of note include leading the Tokyo Philharmonic in a concert program of opera arias and musical theater selections starring soprano Renée Fleming, which was telecast throughout Asia by the NHK; conducting Jianyi Zhang and Richard Zeller in an opera highlights program with the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan in Taipei; conducting an ‘All-Devils concert’ in Orlando, Florida starring bass Samuel Ramey; conducting the prestigious Richard Tucker Gala at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in a celebrated Gay Men’s Health Crisis benefit at Avery Fisher Hall.

A stalwart champion of young artists and audience outreach from the beginning of his career, Mo. Colaneri has served as guest artist in residence at the Juilliard School, the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy, Rice University and the San Francisco Opera Center. He was Music Director of the New York City Opera National Company (the touring arm) early on, producing and conducting national productions of La fille du régiment, Tosca, Carmen, Madama Butterfly, Il barbiere di Siviglia, La traviata, and La bohème, as well as frequently conducting productions for the Western Opera Theater and the San Francisco Opera’s Merola program, among them La traviata, Rigoletto, Die Fledermaus, Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica. As Artistic Director of the Opera Program at the Mannes School of Music in New York for 20 years, Mo. Colaneri guided emerging artists as they prepared for the demands of professional careers. Building on the success of the annual opera scenes program at the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse in New York, in 2004 Colaneri initiated fully-staged productions, which he conducted. The students of Mannes received outstanding praise from The New York Times. “People in the opera world often ask: Where are all the good, healthy young voices? Here's an answer: at the Mannes College of Music... Credit goes to Joseph Colaneri, the evening's conductor, who has been the director of the Mannes Opera since 1998. If this is the kind of work he does here, the program should be getting even more attention.” He has been recognized for his work with emerging artists with awards from the Gerda Lissner Foundation and the Licia Albanese - Puccini Foundation.

Joseph Colaneri was honored by New York City Opera with its Julius Rudel Award during the 1994 season. Beginning with his New York City Opera debut conducting South Pacific in 1987, he led over 60 performances of Il barbiere di Siviglia, La bohème, Carmen, Rigoletto, Tosca, La traviata, The New Moon and The Merry Widow. Highlights of his work at City Opera include the highly acclaimed 1993 world premiere of Hugo Weisgall’s Esther, and the 1995 American Premiere of Toshiro Mayuzumi's opera Kinkakuji: The Temple of the Golden Pavilion.

A frequent speaker on opera, Mr. Colaneri leads an annual lecture series for The Metropolitan Opera Club and has served as guest lecturer for the Metropolitan Opera Guild and the Los Angeles Opera League and has taught an annual series of Saturday Opera Seminars at New York University.

A graduate of New York University and Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, from which he received a Master of Music degree, and the 1994 Distinguished Alumnus Award, Joseph Colaneri began his professional music career as an organist and choral conductor. He made his opera debut as Chorus Master of the New Jersey State Opera and continued his choral conducting career as Chorus Master of the New York City Opera before moving into the operatic and orchestral arenas. Mr. Colaneri began his career as a conductor with the New York City Opera (NYCO), a post he held for eleven years (1987-1998), and served as Music Director of NYCO’s touring arm, the New York City Opera National Company, from 1991-1998. From 1995-1996 Mr. Colaneri served as Acting Music Director of New York City Opera. Mr. Colaneri resides in the New York City area with his family.

Dedicated to the next generation of opera singers, Colaneri served as Artistic Director of Opera at the Mannes School of Music at The New School in New York City. During his tenure as Artistic Director of the West Australian Opera from 2012-2014 he led the company's mainstage productions and revitalized their Young Artists Program by creating expanded study opportunities in New York City.



Current as of December 2020.
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