Octavio Cardenas

Born in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, stage director Octavio Cardenas has been captivating audiences with his visionary, visceral, and physical style of directing. Upcoming productions include a new production of Piazzolla's Maria de Buenos Aires for Des Moines Metro Opera; a new production of Turandot for Mississippi Opera; and the world premier of Bless Me Ultima for Opera Southwest.


Recent productions include Puccini’s La Boheme for the Minnesota Opera; Carmen for Opera Santa Barbara; Maria de Buenos Aires for Opera Grand Rapids; Philip Glass’ Galileo Galilei for Des Moines Metro Opera; Die Fledermaus for Baylor Opera; and Florencia en el Amazonas for the Tulsa Opera young artist program. Octavio’s recent productions of Silent Night for Fort Worth Opera and Kansas City Lyric Opera were described as “a breathtaking realization” with “many brilliant touches.” The Kansas City Star called the Lyric Opera’s production “one of its finest performances in recent memory.” Other recent productions include Rappaccini’s Daughter for Des Moines Metro Opera; The Magic Flute for Opera Neo in San Diego; The Giver for Minnesota Opera; and As One for Urban Arias.


 As Director of Opera for Baylor University, Octavio has directed productions of L’elisir d’amore; Turn of the Screw; Dialogues of the Carmelites; and Rita. Mr. Cardenas currently serves as the Head of the Directing Staff at Des Moines Metro Opera and has also been on the directing staff at the Chautauqua Opera. He joined the Minnesota Opera Artists Program for four consecutive seasons, working on all main stage productions and directing Andrew Sinclair’s production of Pearl Fishers. Other directing credits include Susannah for Loyola Opera Theatre, which won the award for “Best College Production 2012” by the Gambit Magazine in New Orleans.


Mr. Cardenas received his MFA in Theatre from UCLA; a Masters in Music from the University of South Carolina; and a BA in Music from Centenary College in Louisiana.

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