Director, Opera Theatre
Building 37, Room 132
Born in the Netherlands, Nando Schellen became Associate General Director of Netherlands Opera, Amsterdam, and left the company after eighteen years of service in1986. Schellen is also a critic/analyst of music and opera, and has been published in European and American periodicals since 1976.
He was Assistant Director for the Bayreuth Wagner Festival from 1979 to 1982 He assisted Götz Friedrich (staging) and Harry Kupfer (dramaturgy). He is considered an expert on German Opera. Die Zauberflöte was his directing debut in 1982 at the international Holland Festival with the teatro Comunale from Bologna/Italy. In 1983 he made his North American debut directing Lohengrin at Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, an internationally acclaimed critical success.
In 1986, he started directing in Germany with Eugene Onegin in Altenburg, followed by The Merry Wives of Windsor in Aachen. From 1990-93, the Dutch Government appointed him Interim General Director of the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam.
He has been involved with the renowned Netherlands Wind Ensemble for 23 years as its President. From 1992 - 1996, he was General/Artistic Director of Indianapolis Opera. He directed The Telephone, the children's opera Jack and the Beanstalk, Arnold Schoenberg's Erwartung and Verdi's Rigoletto.
In 1995 he directed Richard Strauss' Salome – featuring NAU Voice Teacher Deborah Raymond in the title role - for Arizona Opera, followed by R. Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos in which he also performed the 'Haushofmeister', in German. In 1998 he returned for Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. The success of all three productions was triumphant. In 1997 he directed Cosi fan tutte for Pamiro Opera in Wisconsin. In 1998 he directed Saint-Saens' Samson et Dalila. at new Orleans Opera, followed by Nabucco in Bulgaria, which toured throughout Europe. In 2000 he directed Don Giovanni at Nevada Opera.
From 1998-2000 he has been director of the opera workshop in the international summer school 'Oberlin at Casalmaggiore' in Northern Italy. In May 2000 Northern Arizona University appointed him as Director of Opera Theater. In addition to teaching opera history and dramaturgy, and a class of Movement and Acting for Singers, he directs opera scenes, chamber operas and main stage productions.
He directs all his operas in the original language. Until 2013 he has directed 65 complete operas and numerous opera scenes, including musicals and operettas. In all cases projected English super titles guarantee that the audience does not miss anything if the detailed progress.
Contemporary operas like Erwartung featuring Deborah Raymond (2x), Pierrot Lunaire (Nov.2012), La Voix Humaine (5x), Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf featuring Dr. Judith Cloud, Hindemith’s Hin und Zurück (2010) and Britten’s Albert Herring (2011), the Rape of Lucretia (2009) belong to his favorite works.
In the academic year 2005-2006 he directed in November 2005 Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis at the occasion of the 60th anniversary of WWII and the end of Holocaust,
He includes musicals, as The Fantasticks, A Little Night music and Into the Woods, and operetta, such as Johann Strauß Jr.’s Die Fledermaus (The Bat).
He directed for NAU Opera many Mozart productions such as Die Zauberflöte (2x), Cosi fan tutte (3x) le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni.
Important productions between 2006 and 2013 include Menotti’s The Medium & The Old Maid and the Thief, L’Elisir d’Amore (2011), and Puccini’s Double Bill of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi (2012).
His guest production of Menotti’s Amahl and the NightVisitors for the Flagstaff Symphony in 2003 and the same production for Springfield Regional Opera in Springfield/MO in the fall of 2004 were public successes.
He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Italian Summer Opera program “Flagstaff in Italy” in Northern Italy beginning in 2007. Among his productions there le Nozze di Figaro (2009) and la Traviata (2013)
were international successes.