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Paul Houghtaling

Stage Director


Stage director, choreographer, and bass-baritone Paul Houghtaling has worked extensively on the world's leading stages, including productions at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Central City Opera, The Bard Music Festival, The Santa Fe Opera, and The Center for Contemporary Opera in New York. Of his new production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, The New York Times wrote, "It was an exhilarating event. You couldn't monetize it. You couldn't commodify it. You could only experience it." He made his debut with Mobile Opera as stage director for Candide in 2012, and returned to Mobile in 2016 to direct a new production of Douglas Stuart Moore’s The Devil and Daniel Webster. He spent three seasons with Red River Lyric Opera in Texas, directing productions of Alcina, H.M.S. Pinafore, and La Cenerentola.


In 2013, Paul made his debut with Opera on the James, directing new productions of Gianni Schicchi and Suor Angelica. For Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Paul has directed The Gondoliers and Cosi fan tutte, which was described as "grand entertainment from beginning to end, staged brilliantly by Paul Houghtaling." In 2014, Paul returned to Natchez Opera to direct H.M.S. Pinafore and was invited back for The Pirates of Penzance in 2015. Other credits include Argento’s Postcard From Morocco for Chamber Opera of Boston; Don Giovanni for Ars Nova in Huntsville, Alabama; Telemann’s The Schoolmaster for Anchorage Opera; Shall We Dance for the Abilene Philharmonic; Let’s Fall in Love and Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, fully-staged reviews for the Tuscaloosa Symphony; and Café d’amour for the Alaska Dance Theater.


Paul serves as the Director of Opera Theatre at the University of Alabama, and he is the Artistic Director of the Druid City Opera Workshop. His work with the UA Opera Theatre has won prizes at the National Opera Association’s Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition and Opera Production Competition, and that group’s outreach work in conjunction with National Opera Week has caught the attention of Opera America. He is currently the immediate Past-President of the National Opera Association (NOA).


Recent seasons at Alabama have included productions of Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, The Consul, The Merry Widow, Pagliacci, Suor Angelica, The Gondoliers, Patience, Così fan tutte, The Mikado, A Little Night Music and Street Scene, which was supported by a major grant from the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. He is also an avid proponent of new works, and mounted recent chamber operas by Tony Solitro, Leanna Kirchoff, Philip Seward, Lisa DeSpain, and Rachel Peters. This season, Houghtaling staged two world premieres:  Michael Ching’s RSBE: Remove Shoes Before Entering, and Joseph Landers’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, which was recorded by Alabama Pubic Television for broadcast later in 2020.  He holds a BA from The College of the Holy Cross, a BM from The New England Conservatory of Music, an MA from Hunter College of CUNY, and a DMA from The City University of New York. 

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