American Stage Director, Matthew Ozawa, has an international career spanning all artistic disciplines having worked for prestigious companies worldwide including Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Siam, Macau International Festival, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Additionally, Ozawa is the Founder and Artistic Director of Mozawa, a performing arts company that generates creative and cultural hybrid works of art with the aim to break down that barriers that exist between differing artistic media and cultures.
In the 2016 – 2017 season, he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for Don Quichotte, to Arizona Opera for Madama Butterfly, and to Skylight Music Theatre for Sweeney Todd. He made directorial debuts at Minnesota Opera with Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, North Carolina Opera for Le nozze di Figaro, and at Des Moines Metro Opera for A Little Night Music. In the 2017-2018 season, Mr. Ozawa makes his directorial debut at Opera Colorado with La bohème and debuts at Kentucky Opera, leading a new production of Il barbiere di Siviglia. In the Fall of 2017, Mr. Ozawa joins the faculty at The University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor in the School of Music, Theater, and Dance.
His most recent acclaimed productions include: L’Opera Seria (American Premiere – Wolf Trap Opera), After the Storm (World Premiere- Houston Grand Opera), Nabucco (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Hand Eye (Eighth Blackbird / Carnegie Hall), Arizona Lady (American Premiere – Arizona Opera), Second Nature (World Premiere – Lyric Unlimited – Lyric Opera of Chicago), Y Portraits: Awakening (World Premiere – Mozawa), Snow Dragon (Opera Siam), Tsuru (World Premiere – Houston Ballet / Asia Society), Porcelain (Prologue Theater Company), Snow Dragon (World Premiere- Skylight Music Theater), Fallen (World Premiere – Mozawa), Les Mamelles de Tiresias / Le Pauvre Matelot (New Production – Wolftrap Opera), Don Giovanni (Lyric Opera of Chicago – Ryan Opera Center), Canciones y arias (Lyric Unlimited), A Little Night Music (Houston Grand Opera), Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Lyric Opera of Chicago – Ryan Opera Center), and the world premiere of The Memory Stone (Houston Grand Opera – HGOco).
Other directing and choreography credits include scenes for the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Scenes, a site specific Act III of Crowded House: The Winter’s Tale for The State Theater, The Pride for Prologue Theater Company, the electro-theatre piece Radio Ghosts for New Leaf Theater, La Boheme for Opera North, several student matinee performances and second casts for Lyric Opera of Chicago, Falstaff for Opera in the Heights in Houston, and A Son at the Front at the Athenaeum Theater in Chicago. Ozawa made his New York directorial debut, directing/ choreographing, writing, conceiving and producing Bound Shadow. In addition, he has directed numerous theater and opera productions for Oberlin College and Conservatory, including Tales from Ovid, Suddenly Last Summer, and The Crane Wife (world premiere opera) among others.
As an Associate and Assistant Director, Ozawa has worked for Canadian Opera Company, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Opera Theatre of St Louis, Opera Colorado, Macau International Festival, Indianapolis Opera, and Off-Broadway. He has worked with world-renowned directors including Peter Sellars, Francesca Zambello, David Alden, Bob Falls, Rob Ashford, Gary Griffin, Francisco Negrin and James Robinson.
Besides working professionally in opera and theater, Ozawa is equally comfortable in the world of music and dance having studied with world-renowned composer/ director/ choreographer Meredith Monk as well as dancer Simone Forti.
A proponent of arts education, Ozawa has acted as Lecturer for the School of Music at DePaul University and Lecturer / Stage Director of Opera for the School of Music at North Park University. As an acting and movement coach, Ozawa has worked with young singers at the Santa Fe Opera, Ryan Opera Center (Lyric Opera of Chicago), DePaul University, Rider University and North Park University.
Ozawa has received numerous awards, honors and fellowships. In 2012 Ozawa was the Judges’ Winner of the 24hr Opera Competition for Atlanta Opera. In 2011, he studied with Anne Bogart during the SITI Summer Theater Training Program at Skidmore College. In 2010 he was a Charles MacKay Career Development Honoree at Opera Theatre of St Louis. He was awarded a directing fellowship with Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2007, followed by a dramaturgy fellowship in 2008. Ozawa was also awarded the James S. McLaughlin Memorial Prize in Theater for his work at Oberlin (BA in Musicology and Music Theory), as well as being honored Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Lambda.