In the newly-created position, announced yesterday by Juilliard, Wadsworth will oversee the Opera Center curriculum, teach (with colleague Eve Shapiro) an intensive acting program for the center's students and direct all of the center's productions.
Wadsworth first built his reputation as a director with classical theater, in plays by the likes of Shakespeare, Goldoni, Wilde, Shaw, and especially Molire and Marivaux, for which work he was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. He staged his first opera, Handel's Alcina, at London's Royal Opera House in 1992; since then he has gone on to direct at such houses as the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, the Vienna Staatsoper, New York City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera and Los Angeles Opera. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2004 directing Ren_e Fleming, David Daniels, Stephanie Blythe and Bejun Mehta in Handel's Rodelinda. Wadsworth is particularly known for his association with Seattle Opera, for which he has created ten productions including the company's current Wagner Ring cycle.
This coming fall, Wadsworth will stage the first Seattle Opera-Metropolitan Opera co-production, of Gluck's Iphig_nie en Tauride; the New York cast will feature Susan Graham in the title role, with Plšcido Domingo as Orestes and Paul Groves as Pylades.
A teacher of acting to opera singers for nearly three decades, Wadsworth has worked extensively with the young artist programs at the Metropolitan Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Canadian Opera Company (not to mention numerous master classes at universities and conservatories).
"I look forward to building a new kind of opera-training program at Juilliard," said Wadsworth in a statement. "I'm interested in actors who are optimally free in mind and body, and emotionally fearless, and clearly the opera world is now demanding them."