Conductor Joseph Mechavich is known for his exceptional artistry and infectious energy which he brings to every performance. His passion and commitment to excellence in the art form has helped him to forge strong personal and career-defining relationships with a number of opera companies and orchestras in the United States and abroad. Maestro Mechavich has presided over productions of Porgy and Bess for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Nixon in China for Auckland Philharmonia/New Zealand Opera, Il barbiere di Siviglia for The Washington National Opera, Madama Butterfly for New York City Opera, Florencia en el Amazonas for Arizona Opera and Roméo et Juliette for Florida Grand Opera. “One of the best things about this production [Roméo et Juliette] is the conducting of Joseph Mechavich, who led the proceedings superbly…You rarely hear this score with the kind of big-boned force with which Gounod wrote it, but Mechavich let it rip, with first rate results.” (Palm Beach Artspaper). Upcoming engagements for the 2016-17 Season include the world premiere of Riders of the Purple Sage for Arizona Opera, Turandot for Calgary Opera, as well as Madama Butterfly and Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Kentucky Opera.
In addition to his impressive command of the standard operatic repertoire, Maestro Mechavich is also known for his deep commitment to American opera. Of his Nixon in China at San Diego Opera, Broadway World extolled “The expertise in 21st century operatic repertoire that conductor Joseph Mechavich demonstrated in 2012’s Moby-Dick has surely increased exponentially as portrayed in his rendering of John Adam’s complex score. Mechavich showed great command and sensitivity throughout, both controlling and supporting the orchestra in their task of performing parts that were most difficult and intricate.” Mo. Mechavich is a champion of the music of Carlisle Floyd and Jake Heggie. He has conducted productions of Floyd’s Susannah, Of Mice and Men, and Cold Sassy Tree and recorded Wuthering Heights which is the first recording in a multi-year project to record Floyd’s unrecorded operas. Of his recoding of Wuthering Heights, Milwaukee Magazine states “but the real star here is Mechavich, who guided the orchestra and voices through Carlisle Floyd’s often tempestuous orchestrations. He and the orchestra painted wonderful sonic pictures, but always in the service of the story and drama.” Mo. Mechavich has conducted highly acclaimed productions by Jake Heggie such as Moby-Dick, Great Scott, Out of Darkness and in coming seasons Dead Man Walking. In an interview with Classical Singer Magazine Heggie enthuses, “Joey is the very best kind of opera conductor…A real theater man who understands that dramatic pacing is absolutely everything. He’s a wonderful storyteller with baton in hand. He loves singers, loves words, loves the stage, loves the orchestra, and forces collectively to tell compelling stories…”
In past seasons Maestro Mechavich has conducted productions for Calgary Opera, Utah Opera, The Aspen Music Festival, Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Dayton Opera, Madison Opera, New England Conservatory of Music, Oberlin Opera Theatre, Opera Saratoga and Virginia Opera. On the concert stage, Maestro Mechavich has appeared with the Florida Orchestra, The Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Waterbury Symphony, Virginia Symphony and the Sarasota Orchestra.
In 2010, Maestro Mechavich was named Principal Conductor of Kentucky Opera. Previously, he held the position of Principal Conductor for Opera Birmingham from 2004-2010, Director of Music for Orlando Opera from 1998- 2000 and served as cover conductor for The Santa Fe Opera from 2004-2007. A native of Long Lake, Minnesota, he studied at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the Yale University School of Music.