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, 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.
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; “AfterWARds”, an 80-minute, 4-character reinvention of Mozart’s “Idomeneo”; “The Baron”, an adaptation of the life story of tennis legend Gottfried von Cramm; as well as various music-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 the faculty at the Juilliard School and the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artist Development Program, while directing projects at educational institutions including the Lyric Opera Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center, the Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Program, Boston University’s Opera Institute, 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 the United States.
David Paul studied acting and directing at Columbia University, and apprenticed with directors Robert Falls, Michael Kahn, and Stephen Wadsworth. Highlights of the 2018/19 season include his debuts with Arizona Opera and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, as well as return engagements at Pittsburgh Opera, North Carolina Opera, and the Washington National Opera.