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Isabel A. Milenski

Adjunct Associate Professor of Music


BA, 1996, Evergreen State Coll


Isabel Milenski is Artistic Director of Hofstra Opera Theater. Since 2008 at Hofstra she has taught and directed bi-annual opera scenes performances as well as produced the annual opera. She specializes in working with young singers, teaching performance techniques focused on physical and psychological approaches which emphasize interpretation, improvisation and performance. Her teaching methods draw from the Michael Chekhov technique, Anne Bogart (Viewpoints), Meyerhold, as well as influences of commedia dell’arte and Stanislavsky, to name a few.

Under the artistic leadership of Ms. Milenski, the productions at Hofstra have spanned from the baroque repertoire such as Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea to modern works such as Benjamin Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera (upcoming). She is the founder and Artistic Director of Floating Opera New York, most recently she has staged Lucio Silla for Odyssey Opera in Boston, Le Nozze di Figaro for New York Lyric Opera at Carnegie Hall and Cosi fan tutte and Cenerentola for the Williamsburg (VA) Opera. Ms. Milenski made her Lincoln Center debut directing The Marriage of Figaro at the Juilliard School. Other local credits include Apollo and Daphne for Pocket Opera of New York and an off-Broadway musical, Woody Guthrie Dreams. At the Getty Center in Los Angeles she has directed PeriEuridice, and Virginia Woolf's play Freshwater. For the Long Beach Opera (CA) she has staged ShostakovichMoscow, Cherry Town, JanacekJenufa, Milhaud's Trois Operas Minutes, Richard Strauss' The Silent Woman, and Handel's Semele. In the Bay Area she staged a fiery adaptation of Homers Odyssey as a rock opera for Oaklands (CA) famous foundry The Crucible.

Ms. Milenski received her M.F.A., which focused on Interdisciplinary Studies from Goddard College. She was a recipient of a Director Apprenticeship at the San Francisco Operas Merola Program where she subsequently returned to work with Adler Fellows at the San Francisco Opera Opera Center. She has been on faculty of the Manhattan School of Musics Summer Voice Festival where directed CavalliLa Calisto and MonteverdiLincoronazione di Poppea and at the Cincinnati Conservatory where she directed Cosi Fan Tutte, Argento's The Voyage of Edgar Allen Poe and BrittenThe Turn of the Screw, recipient of a National Opera Association award. Other opera  productions include Smetana's The Bartered Bride, Kurt Weill's Street Scene and The Pirates of Penzance for Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids (MI). More teaching credits include Penn State University, The Juilliard School, Beijings National Center for the Performing Arts, Hong Kongs Academy for the Performing Arts as well as the Tokyo International Voice Festival and Oberlin in Italy.

Hofstra’s productions since 2009 under Ms. Milenski’s tenure include: L’incoronazione di Poppea (2009), Die Fledermaus (2010), Don Giovanni (2011), Princess Ida (2012), Alcina (2013), Dido and Aeneas/The Reformed Drunk (2014), The Conspiritors/Die Winterreise(2015), La Vie Parisienne (2016), The Beggar’s Opera (2017).

Recent Courses Taught

Course Title Level
MUS 020 (CP) ENSEMBLE Undergraduate
Photo of Isabel Milenski

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