Named as one of Musical America’s Top 30 Innovators in Classical Music, Josh Shaw is the Executive and Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Project (POP), which has been described as “L.A.’s most exciting new opera company.” Over the past ten seasons, Mr. Shaw has directed over 35 productions at POP, including The Rake’s Progress, Ariadne auf Naxos, La Calisto, Tosca: A Moving Production; and La Boheme: AKA “The Hipsters”. Mr. Shaw’s reimagining of Die Entführung aus dem Serail as an episode of Star Trek has gained national attention and has been produced with record-breaking numbers.
Since turning his attention to directing in 2011, Mr. Shaw has directed over 80 productions at companies including New Orleans Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Orlando, Intermountain Opera, Opera in the Heights, The Southern Illinois Music Festival, Opera Neo, Gulfshore Opera, Queen City Opera, and Salt Marsh Opera. Mr. Shaw’s Barber of Seville at Opera Santa Barbara was described as “riotously funny” and “thoroughly amusing from overture to final bow.” His work as a director has been described as “Brave and unflinching,” “Ingenious,” “Relentlessly and adorably rambunctious,” “with enough good comic ideas for at least three productions.” As a producer, he has been praised for his “supreme savvy” and “high level of production quality” with “the power to enthrall and captivate audiences.”
Recent projects include US premieres of Gluck’s La Corona and Il Parnaso confuso, a new 2020 inspired English adaptation of Cosi fan tutte, a drive in Don Pasquale, and Bizet’s little-known Italian opera buffa, Don Procopio. In 2018 Mr. Shaw directed Tabasco: A Burlesque Opera, a newly rediscovered operetta by G. W. Chadwick, last performed in 1894, which was described as “delightful, packed with humor, and a feast for all the senses” by The New Orleans Advocate. In addition to directing the production, Mr. Shaw also wrote a new book and additional lyrics for the project that celebrated the McIlhenney Company’s 150th anniversary.
In addition to the rewrite of Tabasco and the new book and lyrics for Abduction from the Seraglio, Mr. Shaw has written several English version librettos including a Wild West setting of Die Lustige Witwe, a contemporary setting of Die Schauspieldirektor, a production of Die Zauberflöte set in the world of 1980s video games, and a groundbreaking production of Madama Butterfly sung in Japanese and English, a co-production of POP and Opera in Heights (Houston).