Samuel Helfrich

Associate Arts Professor; Associate Chairperson; Academic Director

BA (Russian Literature), M.F.A. (Theatre Arts) Columbia University. Sam Helfrich is an opera and theater director based in New York. He has directed opera productions at New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Portland Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Spoleto Festival/USA, Virginia Opera, Opera Boston, Pittsburgh Opera, and Wolf Trap, among others. Recent opera highlights include the world premiere of Permadeath, a CGI- based opera about video gaming with White Snake Productions in Boston, and the world premiere of Jeffrey Smith's Why is Eartha Kitt Trying to Kill Me at Urban Arias in Washington DC, Mozart’s The Magic Flute with the Indianapolis Symphony, a staging of Haydn’s Creation with the Pittsburgh Symphony,  the New York premiere of Angels in America at New York City Opera, the world premiere of Dan Sonenberg's The Summer King at Pittsburgh Opera (and, recently, at Michigan Opera Theater),  Bach's St. John Passion with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Mark Anthony Turnage's Greek at Boston Lyric Opera, Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld at Virginia Opera,  the  world premiere of Enemies: A Love Story, by Ben Moore, at Palm Beach Opera, Embedded, by composer Patrick Soluri, at Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos at Virginia Opera, Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking at Eugene Opera, Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire at Virginia Opera, the American premiere of Philip Glass' Kepler at Spoleto Festival/USA, Adams' Nixon in China at Eugene Opera, a fully staged Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony, the world premiere of Michael Dellaira's The Secret Agent at Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, the Armel Opera Festival in Hungary, and Opera Avignon, The Turn of the Screw at Boston Lyric Opera, Philip Glass' Orphée at Pittsburgh Opera, Virginia Opera, Portland Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera, and Anthony Davis’ Amistad at Spoleto Festival/USA. Recent theater credits include Arthur Miller’s After The Fall at NYU/Tisch Grad Acting, off-Broadway productions of Owned, a world premier play by Julian Sheppard, and Tape, by Stephen Belber, both of which played to wide audience- and critical acclaim, and a double bill of plays by Shaw and De Musset at the Franklin Stage Company. Upcoming projects include a world premiere in development with the Sardinian National Opera and the Hungarian State Opera, as well as a return to Boston Baroque Orchestra for Handel’s Ariodante.

Education

BA (Russian Literature), M.F.A. (Theatre Arts) Columbia University