Mark Streshinsky is currently Artistic Director of West Edge Opera in California, a post he has held since 2009. West Edge Opera was formerly known as Berkeley Opera, a 30 year old company that Mark renamed and moved to a new theater in El Cerrito, California. Since taking over the company, Mark has worked closely with former artistic director- now music director, Jonathan Khuner. He has directed productions of Don Giovanni, A one evening version of Wagner's Ring, An adaptation of Carmen as well as Handel's Xerxes and Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, Daron Hagen's Vera of Las Vegas, Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea and Britten's The Turn of the Screw. In the fall of 2010, Mark made his european debut directing Massenet's Manon for Palau des Artes Reina Sofia in Valencia Spain. More recently Mark directed Puccini's La Boheme for Townsend Opera in the central valley of California and Monteverdi's Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria for Boston Baroque. Mark regularly directs for Cincinnati Opera. He debuted with the company in 2006 with The Tales of Hoffmann. Since then, audiences have seen his productions of Lucie di Lammermoor, Carmen and Eugene Onegin. He also directed the company's 75th anniversary gala concert. For Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Mark directed Handel's Guilio Cesare. Puccini's Madama Butterfly and created a new production of The Marriage of Figaro which closed their theater as they moved to a new Performing Arts Center. Mark has also directed The Marriage of Figaro and La Cenerentola for Michigan Opera Theater in Detroit. Other companies that have seen Mark's productions are The Dallas Opera (La Cenerentola and La Boheme) and Seattle Opera (La Traviata) In 2007, Mark had great critical success directing the world premier of David Carlson's and Colin Graham’s Anna Karenina which celebrated the opening of the Ziff Opera House in Miami and was subsequently performed at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Anna Karenina was also the featured production of the 2007 Opera America conference. Mark took on this project when director and librettist, Colin Graham, passed away. Graham, one of Mark’s mentors. chose him to carry on his work.
Previous to becoming Artistic Director of Berkeley Opera, Mark directed four operas for the company, creating critically acclaimed productions of Eugene Onegin, Handel's Acis and Galatea and Legend of the Ring (a one-evening version of Wagner's Ring cycle). He also directed the world premier of Chrysalis, by composer Clark Suprynowicz and playwright John O’Keefe. For Chrysalis, Mark also served as company liaison to the composer and designed the scenery and costumes.
Mark has been a member of the staging staffs of San Francisco Opera, New York City Opera, Dallas Opera, Los Angeles Opera and Seattle Opera. Mark has also served on the faculties of West Coast Opera Works and Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (both in San Francisco), Opera North in New Hampshire and Des Moines Metro Opera's young artist programs, staging opera scenes with young singers. He has also worked with vocal students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In April of 2010, Mark began an association with the Yale Opera Graduate degree program, directing productions of Stravinsky's Le Rossignol and The Peter Brook version of Carmen. In 2011, Mark was invited back to Yale to direct a double bill of Lee Hoiby's The Scarf and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas.
Outside of the opera world. Mark has recently begun an association with "The Crucible" A Center for Industrial Arts in Oakland, California. where he directs fire performers, circus performers and ballet dancers in an annual fire extravaganza. He started this association with an adaptation of Stravinsky's The Firebird. He returned the following year to be stage director for an extravaganza called Dracul with music by british composer Phillip Feeney. In January 2012 The Crucible presented the world premiere of Machine a fire opera that the Crucible comissioned Mark to create.
Next season at West Edge Opera, Mark will direct an immersive La Boheme as well as The End of the Affair by Jake Heggie. He will return to Townsend Opera for A Streetcar Named Desire by Andre Previn and to Boston Baroque for Agrippina by Handel.
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