The Ellen and James S. Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts at The Juilliard School has awarded theatre alumna Anna Rebek ’20 the 2020-2021 Opera Directing Fellowship, a nine-month program.
The fellowship offers burgeoning directors the opportunity to hone their craft through a course of study tailored to their interests and needs. The fellow assists directors with opera productions and may also direct scenes for various programs and special projects. In the spring, Rebek will assist with both of Juilliard’s mainstage opera productions.
In addition to gaining practical experience on the stage, Rebek will engage with the fellowship’s distinctive curriculum, which includes Stephen Wadsworth’s and Mary Birnbaum’s Artist Diploma in Opera Studies classes, as well as a weekly one-on-one seminar with Wadsworth. Rebek notes, “I'm learning tons about how the body works as a total instrument, from the angle of the chin to the weight carried by the big toe.”
Wadsworth has directed opera at the Met, La Scala, Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Netherlands Opera, Edinburgh Festival, San Francisco Opera, and many others, and plays on and off Broadway, in London’s West End, and in US regional theater. He was named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and is Creative Advisor for the Sundance Institute Theatre Program.
Birnbaum has directed productions at Melbourne Opera Studio, Juilliard, Son of Semele Theater in Los Angeles, and the New Orleans Fringe Festival. She has also assisted Wadsworth at the Santa Fe Opera, Seattle Opera, and on Broadway.
“Watching and learning from Stephen Wadsworth's inside-out approach, brilliantly balanced by Mary Birnbaum's outside-in approach, has been a master class in how to unleash any actor,” Rebek says.
Rebek has directed productions of Tennessee Williams’s The Two Character Play; Emily Cordes’s So Sad, So Sexy; Paolo Soto’s Lucha Libre; Rebekah Carrow’s Mary V; and Emily Boyd Dahab’s adaptation of King Lear, among many others.