Stage director and choreographer Bill Fabris enjoys a growing international reputation for excellent, innovative and entertaining productions. Equally at home in the worlds of musical theatre and opera, he recently directed the musical Nine at the Stadsschouwburg Theatre in Brugge, Belgium. Chautauqua Opera, Mr. Fabris directed H.M.S. Pinafore, The Mikado, The Gondoliers 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.
Fabris's work regularly appears on the stages of opera companies throughout the US. For Shreveport Opera he has directed My Fair Lady, Carousel and Le nozze di Figaro. His production of Massenet’s Le Jongleur de Notre-Dame won critical acclaim at Opera Boston where he returned to direct Candide. For Opera Carolina he has directed Die Fledermaus and The Pirates of Penzance; Opera Columbus: The Threepenny Opera; OperaDelaware: Der fliegende Holländer, Carmen, Cavelleria Rusticana, H.M.S. Pinafore, Pagliacci and Die Fledermaus. Amarillo Opera: Così fan tutte and Tosca. For Mobile Opera he has directed The Tender Land, Rigoletto, H.M.S. Pinafore, Gianni Schicchiand The Pirates of Penzance; Anchorage Opera: Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Pasquale, The Sound of Music, The Magic Flute, H.M.S. Pinafore and Trouble In Tahiti; Indianapolis Opera: Madama Butterfly, The Threepenny Opera, Die Fledermaus and The Pirates of Penzance. Opera Colorado Artist Center: Roméo et Juliette; Eugene Opera: Die Fledermaus, Sweeney Todd, La Traviata and The Mikado; Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre: Tosca, Aida, Man of La Mancha and L’elisir d’amore; Natchez Music Festival of Music: Così fan tutte, Oklahoma!, Falstaff, My Fair Lady, Tosca, Fiddler on the Roof and The Magic Flute 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."
Internationally, he directed A Little Sondheim Music and The Music of Leonard Bernstein Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona, Spain, 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 film festivals including Sundance and the Berlin International Film Festival and most recently, the St. Petersburg International Dance Film Festival.
For four seasons, Fabris has directed 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...” Other musicals include Little Shop of Horrors for Stage One, A Wonderful Life for Circa ’21 Playhouse, Carnival and Souvenir at Cyrano’s Playhouse and Fiddler on the Roof at Mt Gretna Summer Theatre.
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