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Octavio Cardenas

Stage director Octavio Cardenas captivates audiences with his visionary, visceral, and physical style of directing. Born in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, Opera News has praised him for “an immersive theater experience” while the Dallas Morning News hailed him for bringing “every character and situation to life.” Recent projects include Florencia en el Amazonas for the Eastman Opera Theater, the World Premiere of Zorro with by Hector Armienta with Opera Southwest, and Cruzar la Cara de la Luna with Opera Santa Barbara. Upcoming projects see him direct Don Pasquale with Opera Omaha, the world premiere of Gerard Noir at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Zorro with Opera Santa Barbara.

Mr. Cardenas’s recent productions of Silent Night for Fort Worth Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City were described as “a breathtaking realization” with “many brilliant touches.” The Kansas City Star called the Lyric Opera’s production “one of its finest performances in recent memory.” Other recent productions include La boheme for Des Moines Metro Opera, As One for UrbanArias for which MD Theater Guide acclaimed “Under the direction of Octavio Cardenas, the two stars playfully make great use of both stage and energetic space—it seemed the theatre condensed and expanded with Hannah’s journey.”

As the former Director of Opera for Baylor University, Mr. Cardenas has directed productions of L’elisir d’amore, The Turn of the Screw, Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Rita. He has served as the Head of the Directing Staff at Des Moines Metro Opera in addition to having been on the directing staff at Chautauqua Opera. He joined the Minnesota Opera Resident Artists Program for four consecutive seasons, working on all main stage productions and directing Andrew Sinclair’s production of Les pêcheurs de perles. His also at the faculty at the Eastman School of Music where he directs and also teaches Acting for Singers, Text Analysis, Fundamentals of Acting and coachings.

Mr. Cardenas received his Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from UCLA, a Master of Music from the University of South Carolina, and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Centenary College in Louisiana.


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