“The stage direction under Nathan Troup was impressive; soloists, dancers, and chorus moved fluently and purposefully on stage, the action always aligned with the story.” –Boston Musical Intelligencer
Athlone Artists is pleased to welcome Nathan Troup, a stage director well versed in the standard operatic repertoire who also “delivers with endearing earnestness” (The Boston Globe) new work premieres, uniquely curated site-specific projects and collaborative multidisciplinary performances. Troup’s 2019-2020 season highlights included engagements with Los Angeles Opera and Tanglewood Music Festival. Troup made his European directorial debut in October 2017 at Ireland’s Wexford Festival with his acclaimed production of Rossini’s La scala di seta described as “neatly dramatised” (Opera Today UK) and “especially well-crafted” (OperaWire).
Troup recently created and produced “A Winter’s Evening” with Boston Lyric Opera. The live, recorded performance – available online December 21st and running through the month of January – was the first full-length production created for the company’s streaming platform operabox.tv. Other streaming performances in the 2020-21 season include a multi-installment release of works by Benjamin Britten as part of Emmanuel Music’s Britten Chamber Festival, viewable HERE.
Troup’s work has garnered “Best of Boston” accolades and an Independent Reviewers of New England award nomination, and he was named Boston Lyric Opera’s Jane and Steve Aiken Emerging Artist director for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. Notable engagements include productions with Santa Fe Opera, The Glimmerglass Festival, Wolf Trap Opera, The Castleton Festival, and Des Moines Metro Opera where he served as a resident stage director for the company’s Apprentice Artist Program. He counts among his career highlights Lee’s Hoiby’s Bon Appétit, a production with Des Moines Metro Opera that became an Emmy-winning televised event on Iowa PBS; collaborations with Jessica Lang Dance on Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater for Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival and The Wanderer for BAM’s NextWave Festival; and partnerships with installation artist Lee Mingwei at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and visual performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Troup served as associate director on Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrek’s opera Proving Up for the inaugural Opera Omaha ONE Festival and stage director for the New York premiere.
Growing up in Selinsgrove, PA, Troup recalls his creativity being cultivated and encouraged at a young age by his parents and teachers. “My early interests included not only music and theater but also visual art, writing, and design; pursuits that would later intersect as I forged my directing career.” Troup received degrees in music from Susquehanna University and Boston University. It was at Boston University that he met Sharon Daniels, who would become one of his most impactful mentors. “She believed in me and my work and encouraged my directing pursuits before I even knew I was a director,” says Troup. “She mentored me not only as a director but as an educator and purveyor of the craft.” Troup also recalls his early work with one of Boston’s premiere musical organizations as another major turning point. “I was fresh out of graduate school and establishing my performance career when I landed a job on the administrative staff of Emmanuel Music.” It was there that Troup first came to know artists Craig Smith, Mark Morris, Peter Sellars, and filmmaker Errol Morris. “Their work was revelatory to me and it was an inspiring and transformative period of my life.”
Troup is now an associate professor of opera at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and on faculty at Boston University, and serves as director of TEDxCambridge. He has spent several seasons as an artist with Sarasa Chamber Music Ensemble’s award-winning outreach program making classical music accessible to neglected and incarcerated youth, which has earned recognition for “Outstanding Merit and Contribution” by Early Music America and the Commissioner’s Community Partner Award for the Boston Metro Region in recognition of outstanding service.
Troup was working in LA when COVID hit, giving him a pause to consider his best path forward. “I have always wanted to take an active part in reshaping our culture and being more inclusive, both as a professional director and while on stage,” he says. “In my position as an educator, I have a unique opportunity to play a part in the rebuilding and reconceiving of what this industry could be.” Troup has always been an advocate for new works, and actively promotes and supports artists who have been ignored or marginalized. He serves on the board of the female-run Guerilla Opera, whose mission is to “ferociously confront the status quo and provide a vehicle for cutting-edge music, creativity and authenticity.”
“We must prioritize understanding our work’s impact on humanity and put that at the forefront of our conversations and processes as creators and interpreters,” says Troup. “I want to use my platform to illuminate the work of artists interested in doing good things: having the hard conversations, unpacking tough topics, forging new outlets for our medium, and building together. During this time, I’ve seen clever, scrappy organizations flourish. And that’s part of the excitement going forward. We need social justice and human rights at the forefront of our work and as an inherent part of the process of creation. It’s about owning our responsibility as artists.”