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School of Music

Faculty and Staff

Ellen Douglas Schlaefer

Associate Professor / Director of Opera Studies and Opera at USC
School of Music

Phone: 803-777-0058

School of Music Room 320


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Schlaefer has staged “Faust” for The Washington Opera (now known as The Washington National Opera); “La Bohème” and “Don Giovanni”(Lyric Opera of Kansas City);“Scott Joplin and Treemonisha” (Opera Memphis); “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Carmen, La Boheme” (Green Mountain Opera Festival, Va.); “La Bohème” and “Romeo et Juliette” with the National Symphony Orchestra and Wolf Trap Opera, Vienna Va.; the Francesca Zambello production of The Little Prince” (Houston Grand Opera, Tulsa Opera); “Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Aida” (The Connecticut Opera); “The Magic Flute” (Opera Memphis, Houston Ebony Opera); “La Bohème” (Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Carolina, Connecticut Opera, Augusta Opera); “Porgy & Bess” (Opera Illinois, Connecticut Opera); “La Traviata” (Cleveland Opera, Opera Memphis, Connecticut Opera); “Rigoletto” ( Opera Carolina, Piedmont Opera); “Salome,” “Norma,” “Die Fledermaus,” “Tosca,” “The Ballad of Baby Doe,” “Il Tabbaro,” “Romeo et Juliette” (Connecticut Opera); “Madama Butterfly” (Artpark & Co., Connecticut Opera, Houston Ebony Opera Guild); “Lucia di Lammermoor”(Orlando Opera); “Fidelio” (Cleveland Opera); “I Pagliacci”(Eugene Opera, Connecticut Opera). Other operas staged include “La Dolorosa,” “The Face on the Barroom Floor,” “Luisa Fernanda,” and “Bastien & Bastienne” (Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Tour);“Amahl & the Night Visitors,” “Gianni Schicci”(Dayton Opera); “Brundibar” (Tulsa Opera); “The Medium” (Augusta Opera); “The Telephone” (Augusta Opera, Dayton Opera); “Le Ville,” “Edgar,” “Martha,” “Linda di Chamounix,” “La Pietra del Paragon” and “The Toy Shop” (Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia), “L’Elisir d’amore” (Shenandoah University) and “Love makes the World Go Round” (Opera on the James).

Additional directing projects include the dramas“I Am My Own Wife,” “In The Next Room or the vibrator play;” “Doubt-a parable,” “The Goat or Who is Sylvia”(Trustus Theatre)“Master Class,”“I Am My Own Wife,” “Grace & Glorie,” “You Can't Take it With You” and “The Sister Rosensweig” (Workshop Theatre of SC)“Comedy of Errors”(University of Dallas); musicals “She Loves Me”(Coastal Carolina University);“A Chorus Line,” “South Pacific,” “Oklahoma,” “The Merry Widow” and “The King & I”(Artpark, Lewiston, N.Y.) and “Sweeney Todd” for The Princeton Festival (Princeton, N.J.) and for Workshop Theatre of S.C.

Schlaefer served as the production stage manager for The Santa Fe Opera from 1987 until 2000 and for the Washington Opera 1986 to 1994. Additional stage managing credits include productions with Opera Company of Philadelphia, San Diego Opera, Seattle Opera, The Washington Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Pacific and the Merry Go Round Playhouse. She has been the tour manager for the Kennedy Center Imagination Festival and production stage manager for the World Alpine Ski Championships in Vail, Colo.

Early in her career, Schlaefer assisted directors Francesca Zambello, Gian Carlo Menotti, Julius Rudel, Sonja Frissell, Ann-Margret Pettersson, Ted Pappas, Michael Ehrman, Baayork Lee and Roman Terleckyj on productions with The Washington Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Colorado, Central City Opera, Charleston Symphony, The Israel Festival (Jerusalem, Israel), Teatro Comunale di Modena (Italy), Spoleto Festival (Melbourne, Australia) and New York Harlem Productions (Munich, Germany).