Tazewell Thompson was born in New York City and developed his interest in theatre during his childhood at St. Dominic’s Convent. Today, he is an internationally acclaimed director of opera and theatre and is also a playwright, librettist, teacher, and actor. In 1985, he directed his first opera, Aaron Copland’s The Second Hurricane and was chosen by Mr. Copland to rewrite the libretto. This highly successful production marked the beginning of multiple theatrical engagements and a flourishing career as a director and playwright. As such, he directed three operas in three different theaters at The Kennedy Center, all in the same season: Appomattox (Glass), Lost in the Stars (Weill), and the American premiere staging of Cato in Utica (Vivaldi). Having received many awards such as nine Barrymore Awards, five NAACP Awards and three Carbonell Awards, Thompson was also nominated for an EMMY Award in 2001, as Best Director and Best Classical Production, for Live from Lincoln Center Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. For the opera Blue, which Thompson created with composer Jeanine Tesori, he won the Music Critics Association of North America Award for Best New Opera in 2020. His upcoming projects include writing and directing the reopening of the recently renovated New York Philharmonic/David Geffen Hall concert and his opera, Nuns on the Battlefield, with Stacey Garrop, which will premiere at Chicago Opera Theatre in 2024.
Last update: 12 October 2022