Mary Birnbaum

Stage Director

Appears on: Sibelius’ The Tempest

Mary Birnbaum last appeared with the Oregon Symphony on September 26, 2016, when she stage directed Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle with conductor Carlos Kalmar.

Mary Birnbaum, whose stage direction of opera and theater New York Times critic Anthony Tommasini called “viscerally overwhelming” (Rape of Lucretia at Juilliard) and “genuinely insightful … vibrant” (The Classical Style at Carnegie Hall), works both internationally, from Taiwan (Otello) to Central America (L’elisir d’amore and La bohème at the National Theaters of Costa Rica and Guatemala), Australia, and Israel, and across the United States (Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Opera Columbus, Virginia Arts Festival, Ojai Festival, and Boston Baroque). In Opera Magazine, George Loomis wrote that Mary Birnbaum’s “thoughtful direction [of Eugene Onegin at Juilliard] was rich with imaginative touches” and the Houston Press termed her Hansel and Gretel a “stunner, perhaps the company’s most perfect realization. [The Company] has found a director of real quality in Mary Birnbaum.”

Mary has been honored to work with such musical artists as Stephen Wadsworth, Jeremy Denk, Matt Aucoin, Kristin Kuster, Susanna Phillips, Stuart Skelton, and Steven Stucky. Currently associate director of the post-graduate Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program at Juilliard, Mary teaches and coaches acting for singers at Juilliard, Bard College, and in the Lindemann Young Artists Program at the Metropolitan Opera. A graduate of Harvard College, Mary trained professionally in physical theater at L’École Jacques Lecoq in Paris. She is a past nominee at the International Opera Awards, and her production of La bohème opened the Santa Fe Opera season in 2019.