Stage director, dramatic coach, and arts administrator VERA LÚCIA CALÁBRIA has over 30 years of experience in opera and classical music. Born in Brazil, she began at the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich in 1977, and at San Francisco Opera in 1979 as assistant to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. Productions staged for San Francisco Opera from 1983 to 2001 include Carmen, Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci, La forza del Destino, Der fliegende Holländer, and Falstaff. Other credits include Madama Butterfly in Strasbourg and Cologne, Manon in Vienna, Munich, and at the Metropolitan Opera, Parsifal in Barcelona, Falstaff in Chicago, Tosca in Montpellier, Tannhäuser in Honolulu, and Carmen in Zurich, Cologne, Chicago, and Tel Aviv.
She now divides her time between stage productions and work with young singers as director and dramatic coach. Productions include La Finta Giardinera and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges/L’Heure Espagnole at UCLA, Der fliegende Holländer, Idomeneo and Aida at Los Angeles Opera, Il Barbiere di Siviglia at San Francisco Opera Center, and Cavalleria/Pagliacci at San Francisco Opera, The Queen of Spades at the Teatro Real, Madrid (Spain), Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Opera Indianapolis, La Canterina, Gigantes y Cabezudos, The Pirates of Penzance, The Magic Flute, and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges at CSULA, and Der Rosenkavalier at Israeli Opera, Bluebeard’s Castle / L’Heure Espagnole, The Bear / La Navarraise, and The Rape of Lucretia at Yale University, Le Nozze di Figaro at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven, and all three of Mozart's da Ponte Operas at Rice University.
Besides her work as stage director, she has conducted master classes and workshops on Commedia dell’Arte in opera at CSULA, UC Santa Barbara, and UCLA among others. Her work as dramatic coach on role interpretation took her to Israeli Opera and the Staatsoper Berlin’s Young Artist Program, to Pepperdine University’s Songfest, the Wagner Theatre Program in New York, to LA Opera’s Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program, and the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindeman Young Artist Development Program. In 2014 she started working with private studios, and these students have begun to excel in competitions. This is the second year in a row, p.e., that they have won the top places at the prestigious Spotlight Award Competition in Los Angeles. She is also a member of the CSU Fullerton faculty, teaching Performance Technique and directing.
Vera Lúcia Calábria has collaborated on several video productions with Brian Large (II Trittico, Andrea Chenier and Nabucco from Milan's La Scala; Der fliegende Holländer from Bayreuth, Lear from Munich), and Derek Bailey (Aida and Madama Butterfly from La Scala).
She speaks Portuguese, German, Spanish, Italian, French, and English.