Director of Production/Resident Lighting & Video Designer, Chautauqua Opera
Performing and Visual Arts — Programming
Additional Contact Information
P.O. Box 28 | One Ames Avenue
Chautauqua, N.Y. 14722
Michael is the director of production and resident lighting and video designer for Chautauqua Opera Company. He began there in 1995 when Jay Lesenger became general director and 2021 was his 29th season at Chautauqua Opera. Michael is in charge of creating and managing the yearly budget of $1M, providing the general director with budget updates and voucher invoices, and designing lighting for all Chautauqua Opera productions. He has designed nearly 60 operas for the company.
Michael holds a master’s of fine arts in technical design and production from the Yale School of Drama (1981). Additional credits include assistant lighting designer on Broadway (1982-1988), assistant lighting designer at Santa Fe Opera (1982-1985), production manager and resident lighting designer at Amherst College (1988-2005). and director of production and resident lighting/video designer for Opera Carolina since 2005 (in his 17th season). He has designed lighting for over 400 productions at such companies as Opera Carolina, Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Opera Lyra Ottawa, Palm Beach Opera, and Opera Naples.
Why did you choose to work at Chautauqua? What do you like about working at Chautauqua?
I came to Chautauqua because of Jay Lesenger and his vision for Opera at Chautauqua.
The porches! I love sitting on my porch!
- USA-829 (United Scenic Artists) – Design union, now affiliated with IATSE
- Opera America
Walking at 5:30 a.m. and watching the sunrise in Chautauqua