Dugg McDonough (Stage Director/Teacher/Writer) has staged operas, operettas, and musicals, from Monteverdi to Sondheim, for companies ranging from the New York City Opera to the Taipei International Arts Festival. Recent professional successes have included Little Women, La cenerentola, The Medium, La tragédie de Carmen, and Sweeney Todd for Pensacola Opera; Susannah, Dialogues of the Carmelites, La rondine, Elektra, and The Tragedy of Carmen for Des Moines Metro Opera; Turandot and Madama Butterfly for the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; L’Ile de Merlin and The Awakening (world premiere staging) for the New Orleans Opera Association; and Madama Butterfly for Opéra Louisiane. Other companies for which he has worked include The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, New York Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, OperaDelaware, Knoxville Opera, Chattanooga Opera, Baton Rouge Opera, Carmel Bach Festival, the Wesley Balk Institute, Opera/Music/Theater Institute of New York, and the Center for Contemporary Opera of New York. One notable achievement was a new production of Tristan und Isolde in Sofia, Bulgaria that resulted in both an acclaimed CD recording and an American documentary film.
As a committed director and mentor of emerging artists, McDonough was, for 20 years, Co-Director of Des Moines Metro Opera’s Apprentice Artist Program, one of the longest-running and most respected singer training organizations in America. His continual associations with young artists have also provided him opportunities to direct for the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, Florida Grand Opera, the San Diego Opera Center, and the Education Department of the New York City Opera. As an assistant director early in his career, he was given opportunities to work with some of the great theatrical minds of the past century, such as Frank Corsaro, Jonathan Miller, Wesley Balk, and Colin Graham (for whom he was Assistant Director on the American premiere of the completed, three-act Lulu at Santa Fe).
On the academic front, McDonough has, since 2002, held the titles of Mary Barrett Fruehan Associate Professor of Opera and Artistic Director of LSU Opera at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where he has staged over 40 new productions. He began his academic directing and teaching in the mid-1980’s for the Boyer College of Music of Temple University, where he held the position of Director of Opera Theater and produced a noteworthy list of Philadelphia, and world, premieres. Other institutions for which he has staged and taught include Loyola University New Orleans, the University of Tennessee, the University of Oklahoma, and the Shepherd School of Music of Rice University. His outstanding achievements in university opera have included 2007’s LSU Opera revival of Carlisle Floyd’s Willie Stark that produced an acclaimed commercial DVD, as well as another LSU revival, David Amram’s Twelfth Night, the video of which was included in a film documentary celebrating the composer’s 80th birthday.
As a writer, McDonough authored the libretto for a new American opera, Ordinary People, based on the popular novel by Judith Guest, that received its staged premiere at the Maryland Opera Studio in 2008. He has recently been offered commissions for original libretti for two, new one-act operas.
McDonough received his music and dramatic arts education at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel, Hill, and Indiana University. His own directing, teaching, and lecturing have taken him to such international destinations as Switzerland, Japan, Taiwan, and Finland.
During this summer of 2015, McDonough is thrilled to be making his directorial debut with Land of Enchantment Opera, staging a new Le nozze di Figaro (an opera he also staged earlier in the summer for Operafestival di Roma in Italy).