Opera Stage Director
Since 1980, Roger Brunyate has been on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where he was artistic director of the Peabody Opera Theatre and professor of opera.
Born in Northern Ireland and educated in England, he took degrees in English and Fine Arts from Cambridge University. He became active as a designer and director while teaching Art History at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. In 1967, hoping to unite his new skills to a lifelong love for music, he entered the opera field full-time. For four seasons, he served as staff producer at the Glyndebourne International Festival and worked with other major companies in Britain and in Italy, including the Edinburgh Festival, the English Opera Group, and La Scala, Milan.
Dr. Brunyate came to America in 1972, as a visiting professor at Florida State University. He then worked on a doctorate in music at the University of Texas before joining the faculty of the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati, where he was coordinator of the opera department. He has directed for regional companies in Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City, New Mexico, Colorado, and at the Library of Congress, specializing in Mozart, Baroque opera, and the modern repertoire. In the seasons of 1983 and 1984, he was artistic director of the Wolf Trap Opera Company and young artists' training program. From 1987 through 1990, he ran the opera program at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, concurrently with his work at Peabody. In the summer of 1988, he was invited to Tel Aviv as a master teacher in the first session of the international Israel Vocal Arts Institute. He has served as a coach and consultant to the Rosa Ponselle Foundation since 1990. He also staged Tchaikowsky's Iolanta for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Yuri Temirkanov.
Dr. Brunyate has also been active in the creation of new opera. He is the author of six libretti of an hour or longer (for composers such as Robert Ward, Gerhard Samuel, and Thomas Benjamin) and numerous shorter works. His three-act opera Where Angels Fear to Tread, with music by Mark Lanz Weiser, received a triumphant premiere at Peabody in February 1999. Since 1985, Dr. Brunyate ran a program at Peabody designed to bring composers, librettists, and performers together to improvise on musical and dramatic ideas. Out of this has come almost 60 premieres of works by student composers in the past 15 years, ranging in length from brief opera études to full-length pieces. He has also presented many productions of new or recent works by non-Peabody composers during the same period, including deuxièmes by Thea Musgrave, Lee Hoiby, and Henry Mollicone, and the world premiere of the opera Ligeia by Augusta Read Thomas, presented in May 1994 at the Evian-les-Bains Festival under the baton of Mstislav Rostropovich.