Opera is...

Opera is...



Blue and white duotone image of Alison Moritz looking into the camera with a determined expression.
  • visceral
  • gripping
  • entertaining

Stage Director Alison Moritz is quickly garnering a reputation for incisive takes on contemporary American opera and innovative interpretations of the classic repertoire.

18/19 Season

  • Washington National Opera
  • New Orleans Opera
  • Lyric Opera of Kansas City
  • Austin Opera
  • Experiments in Opera
  • Central City Opera
  • Ravinia Festival
Alison Moritz looking into the camera with a determined expression.

Meet Alison

Stage Director Alison Moritz’s recent productions have been lauded as “astute,” “imaginative,” and “elegantly sexy” by Opera News, and she is quickly garnering a reputation for incisive takes on contemporary American operas and innovative interpretations of the classic repertoire.

Alison’s 2018-2019 season includes company debuts at Opera Colorado (La Traviata), Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope), Ravinia, and Experiments in Opera. She returns to Washington National Opera for the world premiere of Taking Up Serpents (composed by Kamala Sankaram, libretto by Jerre Dye) and to New Orleans Opera for a new production of Abduction from the Seraglio. Later this season, Alison also directs productions of La Bohème (Austin Opera), and Madama Butterfly (Central City Opera).

Recent directing highlights include the world premiere of Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s Proving Up (Washington National Opera), as well as new productions of Candide (Tanglewood), The Manchurian Candidate (Austin Opera), Orpheus in the Underworld (New Orleans Opera), Abduction from the Seraglio (Madison Opera), Trouble in Tahiti (Opera Santa Barbara), and a genre-bending triple bill of rarities for Bard Conservatory (Pulcinella, Full Moon in March, and Svadba).

Committed to contemporary American repertoire, Alison has workshopped pieces by David Hertzberg and Rene Orth for Opera Philadelphia, created new productions of The Tender Land, Our Town, Hydrogen Jukebox, Cabildo, and Gallantry, and presented staged concerts for IlluminArts Miami and New York Festival of Song. Recently, the Austin Chronicle named Alison's production of The Manchurian Candidate the #1 Classical Music/Dance event of 2016, and the production received seven Austin Critic's Award Nominations and four wins (including "Best Opera Production”). In 2015, Alison Moritz and her design team won the Opera American Director-Designer Showcase for their presentation on Marc Blitzstein's Cradle Will Rock.

Previously, Alison served as the Resident Assistant Director at both the Minnesota Opera and The Atlanta Opera. Her professional credits include engagements with Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, Central City Opera, Opera Memphis, and Chautauqua Opera. As a teacher and guest director, Alison has taught at Eastman School of Music, Maryland Opera Studio, Crane School of Music, and for Steven Blier and Caramoor’s Vocal Rising Stars program. She continues her ongoing collaborations with both The Knights and the Resonant Bodies Festival.

Alison has worked and trained with companies such as the SITI Company of New York City, OPERA America, Geva Theatre Center, Third Rail Projects, Nautilus Music Theater, and Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. She holds a B.A. in Music and Art History from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.M. from Eastman School of Music, and was the recipient of the 2015-2016 SDCF/Kurt Weill Foundations Fellowship. Alison is based in New York City and St. Louis, Missouri.

Her Schedule

See Alison’s schedule of imaginative and entertaining productions, with links to related companies.

  • Black and white photo of a snake slithering on a large bible as a man reads it.


    Taking Up Serpents

    World Premiere & Part of the American Opera Initiative Festival

    For their second operatic collaboration, “strikingly original” (The New York Times) composer Kamala Sankaram and award-winning librettist Jerre Dye reunite to create an engrossing tale exploring the controversial world of religious snake-handling. Conductor Lidiya Yankovskaya, Music Director of Chicago Opera Theater, makes her WNO debut. Directing the production is Alison Moritz, who returns to WNO after her highly successful staging of last year’s AOI premiere, Proving Up.

  • Black and white image of dozens of linen-covered dining tables set outdoors under palm trees.


    The Abduction from the Seraglio

    New Orleans Opera

    Feb 8, 10, 2019

    New Production for New Orleans Opera

    Inspired by noir classics such as Casablanca and 1930s screwball comedies, Alison Moritz dreams up a fresh take on Mozart’s perennial classic. Scenic designer Steven Kemp sets the action in LA’s Cocoanut Grove. Be prepared for hijinks to ensue!

  • A black and white image of the legs of a woman in a dress and a soldier in camouflage standing on rough terrain.



    Lyric Opera of Kansas City

    March 30, 31, 2019

    New Production for Lyric Opera of Kansas City

    Composed by Sarah Kirkland Snyder. What happens when a soldier finally comes up from war, but remembers nothing? This groundbreaking song-cycle, based on The Odyssey, is told from Penelope’s point of view. A meditation on the trauma of war, memory, and home, Penelope is sure to be touching, intimate, and dramatic.


"Alison Moritz directs the evening, and her use of the Williams Stables space is both sensitive and bold. She presents the two operas, the nostalgic dream fantasy and the broad soap opera comedy, with obvious care and affection, placing her singer-actors in the best light..."

Opera is...

  • imagination.
  • social.
  • progressive.
  • theatre.


Get in touch! Feel free to message Alison directly. If you like pictures of coffee shops and tech tables, you can also follow Alison on Instagram!



Send a message

Let's connect! Contact Alison directly using the email address or form below.