Copeland Woodruff

Stage Director


Copeland Woodruff is a multi-award-winning stage director, who has directed more than 60 opera productions. He most recently won the Charles Nelson Reilly Prize for stage directing in The American Prize competition, where his productions of The Beggar’s Opera and Hydrogen Jukebox tied for first prize. Having served on the directing staff for some of the most prominent companies in the United States, Copeland's professional credits include work on productions of La Traviata, La Boheme, and Don Giovannifor New York City Opera; La Fanciulla del Westand Abductionfor Santa Fe Opera;Gianni Schicchiand Suor Angelicafor Chautauqua Opera, Rigolettoand Carmenfor Michigan Opera Theatre, The Ballad of Baby Doefor Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh; Heart of a Dogfor Guerilla Opera; Face on the Barrom Floor for Opera North; and the World Premiere staging of An die fernen Geliebtenat National Sawdust, NYC.


Mr. Woodruff serves as director of opera studies at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI. He has also held teaching appointments and directed for The Julliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, Temple University, University of Memphis, and Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. Copeland has also been on the faculty of the summer training/production programs such as La Musica Lirica, Red River Lyric Opera, Opera Breve, FIO Americas, Atlantic Coast Opera Festival, the Beijing Musical Theatre Institute; and he was the acting teacher and a stage director for the Harrower Summer Opera Workshop for 15 years.


Copeland has enjoyed an extended relationship with Boston Conservatory’s Ensemble-in-Residence, Guerilla Opera. He has directed three productions for the company, one of which (Rojahn’s Heart of a Dog) was a favorite at the Opera America convention in May 2011. Its sold-out, two-week run in Boston was called: “…a brilliant stroke of staging” and “…stunning” (Boston Musical Intelligencer); “brilliantly physicalized in this extraordinarily well-acted production” and “a prime and rare example of opera properly compounded with theater” (Boston Lowbrow).


Maintaining a long-term connection with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company, Copeland is dedicated to expanding the capacities of the operatic medium in collaborative work.  He holds a Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of South Carolina and a Master of Science in Opera Stage Direction from Indiana University, as well as Master’s work in Theatrical Design (lighting) at the University of South Carolina.