David Bamberger (Artistic Director) has staged some 200 productions on three continents in styles from grand opera to musicals. A founder of Cleveland Opera, he was the company’s General Director from 1976 to 2004, building it into one of America's major regional opera companies. He secured The Three Tenors in Concert to celebrate its 25th anniversary. At the insistence of Jerome Robbins, Mr. Bamberger staged the dialogue scenes for West Side Story, thus gaining permission for Cleveland Opera to be the only opera company in the Western hemisphere permitted to re-create Robbins’ original choreography.
Mr. Bamberger’s work from coast to coast ranges from The Barber of Seville at Lincoln Center (New York City Opera) to The Ballad of Baby Doe (Los Angeles Music Center), with such stars as Roberta Peters, Beverly Sills and Sherrill Milnes. For Santiago, Chile, he staged Rigoletto and Lucia di Lammermoor and, for the Israel Vocal Arts Institute, La Bohème and La Cenerentola.
In 1990, he represented the opera industry before Congress, testifying in a successful effort to garner support for the National Endowment for the Arts. He has served on the Board of Directors of OPERA America and of the National Alliance for Musical Theater, of which he was a founder. At home on the non-musical stage, Mr. Bamberger directed the first major New York production of Sophocles’ classic tragedy Oedipus at Colonus and a national tour of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing.
His writings include several articles for Opera News and best-selling textbooks for religious schools. His two-volume history of the Jews based on Abba Eban’s "My People," banned in the former Soviet Union, has been used in Russian translation in both Russia and Israel.
Mr. Bamberger’s many honors include the Ohio Governor’s Award for Arts Administration and honorary doctorates from Swarthmore College (his alma mater), Cleveland State University and CIM. He joined the CIM faculty in 2004.
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