Stage director and choreographer Bill Fabris enjoys a growing national reputation for excellent, innovative and entertaining productions. Equally at home in the worlds of opera and musical theatre, he recently directed Le nozze di Figaro and Carousel for Shreveport Opera. His production of Massenet’s Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame won critical acclaim at Opera Boston where he later returned to direct Candide. A regular at the Chautauqua Institution, Mr. Fabris directed The Gondoliers, H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado and The Barber of Seville. One critic said of this "delightful and seriously funny" production: "Over the years, I have seen a good many productions of the 'Barber,' but never one so dramatically enjoyable and visually engaging." Another lauded his "simultaneously mature and free-spirited" approach. Mr. Fabris has also conceived and directed numerous musical reviews for the Chautauqua Young Artist Program showcasing composers: Bernstein’s New York, Travel - Anything Cole!, A Door Into Maltby & Shire, Topsy Turvy with G&S and Shakespeare Notes & Quotes to name a few.
Mr. Fabris's work regularly appears on the stages of opera companies throughout the United States. For Opera Carolina he has staged and choreographed Die Fledermaus and The Pirates of Penzance; Opera Columbus: The Threepenny Opera; Anchorage Opera: Don Pasquale and H.M.S. Pinafore; OperaDelaware: Der fliegende Holländer, Carmen, Cavelleria Rusticana, H.M.S. Pinafore, Pagliacci and his own English translation of Die Fledermaus. For Mobile Opera he has directed The Tender Land, Rigoletto, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance; Opera Colorado Artist Center: Roméo et Juliette; Eugene Opera: Die Fledermaus and The Mikado; Natchez Festival of Music: Falstaff, My Fair Lady, Tosca, Fiddler on the Roof and The Magic Flute; South Carolina Opera: The Merry Widow and for Lyric Opera of San Antonio, Don Pasquale and La Cenerentola.
His New York credits include The Desert Song, The Merry Widow and Countess Maritza. Since 1987, he has been director and choreographer for the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. Highlights of his work with NYGASP include the recent critically acclaimed City Center productions of The Pirates of Penzance and H.M.S. Pinafore. Writing about these productions, the New York Times praised his "sunny, graceful wit" and the Washington Post lauded his "outrageously comic choreography." Off-Broadway, Bill Fabris directed and choreographed the 20th anniversary production of Boy Meets Boy. Internationally, he directed A Little Sondheim Music and The Music of Leonard Bernstein for Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona as well as the European tours of Jesus Christ Superstar and Hair. His production of H.M.S. Pinafore recently played Manchester, England where a British critic was relieved to point out that “any anxieties about a transatlantic revision of the G&S tradition were quickly dispelled.” He went on to write that the staging and choreography “though not over done, was refreshingly more developed and crisper than we are used to.” Fabris also choreographed the award-winning short film Boot Camp, which has been featured in numerous festivals including Sundance and the Berlin International Film Festival.
For four seasons, Mr. Fabris has been directing musicals for the Ash Lawn-Highland Summer Festival. His production of Kiss Me, Kate enjoyed a successful run, as did Fiddler On The Roof and Oklahoma!. Critics called his original conception for The Wizard of Oz at Ash Lawn-Highland "one of the most entertaining and visually interesting performances ever...” Favorite musicals include Little Shop of Horrors for Stage One and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
As choreographer, Mr. Fabris recently recreated Jerome Robbin’s Fiddler on the Roof for Chautauqua Opera and Mt Gretna Summer Theatre. Other credits include Guys and Dolls for TheatreVirginia, the world première of Tonkin for OperaDelaware, La Fille du Régiment for Opera Pacific, Die Fledermaus for Opera Company of Philadelphia, and the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway revival of Of Thee I Sing.
Mr. Fabris was on the faculty of Westminster Choir College (1998-2006), where he co-designed the musical theatre program and directed the Westminster Opera Theater. For Westminster, he directed over 25 productions including: Little Women, Anything Goes, Gianni Schicchi, Albert Herring, Der Vampyr, The World Goes ‘Round, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Candide, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Così fan tutte, Beatrice and Benedict, Hansel and Gretel and Amahl and the Night Visitors.
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