Conservatory of Music

From Bach to Broadway

Benjamin Wayne Smith

Director of Opera
Associate Professor of Opera

M.F.A., Opera Stage Directing, M.M., Vocal Performance, B.M. Vocal Performance, University of Cincinnati/CCM

Stage Director Benjamin Wayne Smith has led nineteen new productions since 2000, ranging from Pergolesi’s La serva padrona to Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. He brings a balance of practical experience and innovative storytelling to his projects, which have been hailed by Opera News as “full of comic inventiveness." 

In 2012, Ben directed all of the Mozart/Da Ponte collaborations. He directed new productions of Don Giovanni (Baldwin Wallace University) and Così fan tutte (Intermountain Opera Association). He also devised and directed a new reduction of Le nozze di Figaro for the University of Cincinnati’s new summer program: Conducting Mozart Opera. In February 2013, Smith directed Britten's The Turn of the Screw at Baldwin Wallace University which he programmed to celebrate the composer’s 2013 centenary.

Ben has directed for Seattle Opera's Young Artist Program, Tacoma Opera, Asheville Lyric Opera, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, The Intermountain Opera Association, the Young Artist Program at Pittsburgh Opera, the University of Cincinnati/CCM, Baldwin Wallace University and The Opera Theater of Lucca, Italy.

In 2010, Ben finished his tenure as the Resident Assistant Director at Seattle Opera where he worked on eleven productions over two years.  He continues to work as an assistant director for Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center.  Other assisting credits include Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Pittsburgh Opera and the Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh. 
Ben joined the faculty at Baldwin Wallace University in 2010 as their first Director of Opera.  In this capacity, he trains all of the vocal performance majors in a self-designed, seven semester opera workshop sequence and directs the opera season.
Increasingly in demand as a clinician, Ben has given acting masterclasses at the University of Cincinnati/CCM, Penn State University, Western Kentucky University, University of Akron, University of Miami (OH), Mars Hill College (NC), Oakland University (MI) and the Venture Theater in Montana.
Ben holds an MFA in Opera Stage Directing from the University of Cincinnati where he studied with Nick Mangano, Nic Muni and Sandra Bernhard.  He began his career in opera as a singer, performing twenty-one leading roles in opera, operetta and musical theater.  He has logged over 250 performances in the U.S. and Italy.  




Office Phone:  440.826.2405

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