American Lyric Theater / Opera Saratoga
Prod. Artistic Director / Artistic & General Dir.
New York City / Saratoga Springs,NY
Lawrence Edelson is highly respected not only as a critically acclaimed stage director, but also as a visionary company leader who has created programs in the areas of new works development and artist mentorship that have served as models of innovation for opera companies around the country.
Lawrence is the founder and Producing Artistic Director of American Lyric Theater (ALT) in New York City, for which he oversees the Composer Librettist Development Program (CLDP), commissioning of new works, co-production relationships, and licensing. This fall marks the 10th Anniversary of the CLDP, during which ALT will launch the first full-time professional apprenticeship for an opera dramaturg in the United States.
In January of 2014, Lawrence was appointed Artistic and General Director of Opera Saratoga, a position he now holds concurrently with his position at American Lyric Theater. At Opera Saratoga, he has created new programs to encourage cross-participation between dance and opera audiences, expanded the company's nationally acclaimed young artist program, and committed the company to producing an American work each season.
Before focusing on directing and arts administration, Lawrence enjoyed a performing career in both ballet and opera. He studied voice and musicology at The University of Ottawa and dance at The Joffrey Ballet School in New York. As a dancer, he performed with Boston Ballet, Ballet West, and BalletMet Columbus. He has choreographed for ballet and opera companies around the country, and maintains a strong interest in the integration of dance in opera. He returned to academic studies at NYU to complete two degrees: his BA in directing, and his master’s degree in performing arts administration, authoring his thesis "Opera: The Irrelevant Art: Uniting Marketing and Organizational Strategy to Combat the Depopularization of Opera in the United States."
As a stage director, Lawrence’s diverse productions have included the American Premiere of Telemann’s Orpheus for Wolf Trap Opera, Philip Glass’s Hydrogen Jukebox for Fort Worth Opera, Il Postino for Opera Saratoga, La traviata for The Minnesota Opera, Little Women for Michigan Opera Theatre, and the New York premiere of Fauré’s rarely produced Pénélope for Manhattan School of Music. He was a guest member on the directing staff of New York City Opera, where he restaged Little Women twice: for the work’s Lincoln Center premiere, and for the company’s tour to Japan. From 2008 to 2012, Edelson was also faculty member at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, where he led seminars on American opera, and directed original productions of Little Women, Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Massenet’s Werther, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. This summer, Lawrence will direct and choreograph a major new production of Marc Blitzstein’s The Cradle Will Rock at Opera Saratoga under the baton of Maestro John Mauceri.