Veteran stage director Dugg McDonough is the Winner of The American Prize for Directing, 2019. Mr. McDonough has staged operas, operettas, and musicals, from Monteverdi to contemporary American works 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, Sweeney Todd, and Out of Darkness for Pensacola Opera; Susannah, Dialogues of the Carmelites, La rondine, Elektra, and The Tragedy of Carmen for Des Moines Metro Opera; Madama Butterfly and Amahl and the Night Visitors for Opéra Louisiane; the world premiere staging of The Awakening for the New Orleans Opera; and Glory Denied for Baldwin Wallace Opera.
Mr. McDonough has also worked and directed for such companies as The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, New York Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Omaha, Opera Delaware, Knoxville Opera, Chattanooga Opera, and the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York. International credits include La cenerentola and Le nozze di Figaro for Opera Festival di Roma and a new production of Tristan und Isoldewith the Bulgarian Festival Orchestra in Sofia that resulted in both an acclaimed CD recording and an American documentary film.
For 20 years, Mr. McDonough served as 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 production of Elektrafor the Des Moines Metro Opera was praised by Opera Now as "a world-class production…everything about this Strauss one-act was first rate…Director Dugg McDonough imposed great clarity on the proceedings with tight blocking that utilized the entire playing space to fine effect." Of the same production, Opera News stated "director Dugg McDonough’s gripping mounting played exceptionally well… This Elektra was a brave endeavor, and one that paid off beautifully…This was DMMO’s strongest season in memory.” Opera News also praised McDonough's production of Dialogue of the Carmelitesfor Des Moines Metro Opera, stating "The next evening brought the festival’s piece de resistance --- a gripping mounting of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites… Dugg McDonough’s staging of the final scene was shattering with almost unbearable power in this intimate space.”
From 2002, Mr. McDonough has served as Artistic Director of the newly-named Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at LSU (Louisiana State University), where he has staged over 50 new productions, including the Collegiate Premieres of David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s Dog Days(2018) and Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell’s Elizabeth Cree(2019). His 2007 production of Carlisle Floyd's Willie Starkbecame the first commercial DVD of the composer’s operas and prompted video director Lawrence Kraman of Newport Classic Ltd. to write “I was blown away by the quality of the work, by the expertness of the direction of Dugg McDonough, which was just, I think, extraordinary." McDonough 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. He has also staged works and taught at Baldwin Wallace University’s Conservatory of Music, Loyola University New Orleans, the University of Tennessee, the University of Oklahoma, and the Shepherd School of Music of Rice University. McDonough received his music and dramatic arts education at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Indiana University.