David Paul is an award-winning director for opera, theater, and film. Born in Germany and based in Brooklyn, his work spans material from five centuries and all genres, and strives to make performance a medium for direct, human communication, regardless of the platform. His work has been praised by the New York Times and Washington Post for its energy, humor, and emotional depth, and has been seen across four continents in five languages.
As a director for opera, Paul is in high demand across the world. Recent credits include productions for LA Opera, the Metropolitan Opera / Juilliard, Washington National Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Arizona Opera, North Carolina Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Music Academy of the West. On the theatrical stage, he has directed at Washington’s Shakespeare Theatre Company, Alaska’s Perseverance Theatre, Columbia University, and served as Assistant Director on the Broadway production of Terrence McNally’s “Master Class”.
Driving innovation in the arts, Paul has been involved in several major genre-bending ventures. He developed, wrote, and directed the film “Dichterliebe: POETLOVE”, a cinematic adaptation of classical songs from the 19th Century by Robert Schumann, winning awards from the Hong Kong Art House Film Festival, Geneva Film Festival, and IndieFest, and screening at festivals around the world.
“afterWARds”, his 80-minute, 4-character reinvention of Mozart’s “Idomeneo”, celebrated its world premiere at Pittsburgh Opera in 2019. He also co-curated “The Romeo and Juliet Project”, a new retelling of the classic story through words, music, and dance, based on the various classic adaptations in different genres, which celebrated its triumphant premiere at the Chautauqua Institution during the 2013 season. Ongoing ventures include “Opera in VR”, a set of short films featuring operatic scenes shot in 360-degree virtual reality; “The Baron”, an adaptation of the life story of tennis legend Gottfried von Cramm; as well as various music and video related projects.
Equally passionate about training the next generation of singing actors, Paul has rapidly gained recognition as one of his generation’s most dynamic directors and acting teachers for young singers. He is on faculty at the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artist Development Program and the Juilliard School, and has directed projects with emerging artists at the Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Arizona Opera, Boston University’s Opera Institute, Rice University, Juilliard, Berlin Opera Academy, the Tel Aviv Summer Opera Festival, and Westminster Choir College. He has also given master classes in Japan, China, Israel, and throughout the United States.
David Paul studied acting and directing at Columbia University, and apprenticed with directors Robert Falls, Michael Kahn, Rebecca Guy, and Stephen Wadsworth. Highlights of the 2019/20 season include new productions of “Die Zauberflöte” for North Carolina Opera and “Cosi fan tutte” for the Juilliard School, as well as his return to Arizona Opera for Puccini’s “La bohème”.