Garnett Bruce’s body of work includes directing at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, Dallas Opera and his European opera debut staging Turandot for the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples among many others.
From 2008 to 2011 he was the artistic adviser and principal stage director for Opera Omaha, where he led a cycle of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas. He began directing for the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in 2004, receiving a faculty appointment in 2006. He was on staff at the Aspen Music Festival and School from 1993 and joined the faculty from 1997 until 2019. In 2022 he joins the faculty of University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music as Lecturer in Opera Studies and Stage Director.
Born in Washington, D.C., Bruce was a choirboy at Washington National Cathedral and holds degrees in English and drama from Tufts University. After internships with Hal Prince and Leonard Bernstein in the early 1990’s, he joined the staffs of The Santa Fe Opera, Washington National Opera, The Dallas Opera, and Opera Colorado. His award-winning production of La Cenerentola for Kansas City has traveled to Austin, Orlando, and Madison. Known especially for his large-scale work of the standard repertoire, he has created stagings of Turandot, Carmen, Tosca, Aida, Pagliacci, and La bohème that have been seen coast to coast.
"From the very first moments, it was clear there was much reason for the buzz. Bravo to Stage Director Garnett Bruce for helping his performers capture not only the whimsical and tragic natures of their characters but also the great ease with which the set and props become playground for effective storytelling through movement.
"Stage director Garnett Bruce, in his own Madison debut, brings great imagination and theatrical coherence to his staging."
"The mounting was graced by a freshly considered staging by director Garnett Bruce, who ensured that character relationships were authentically rendered..."
""Stage director Garnett Bruce can be commended for the acting and stage movements that allowed each of the main singers to express their characters' growth..."
"Director Garnett Bruce creates beautiful stage pictures but keeps the performers moving around the stage in ways that feel dynamic and natural."