Ted Huffman is a writer and director for the stage.
He recently directed L’incoronazione di Poppea for the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, nominated for Best Production at the International Opera Awards 2022 and named in the New York Times’ Best Classical Music Performances of 2022; the world premiere of Stefan Wirth’s The Girl with the Pearl Earring for Opernhaus Zürich, winner of Opernwelt’s Best World Premiere 2022; and the world premiere of Kris Defoort’s The Time of our Singing for La Monnaie, winner of Best World Premiere in the International Opera Awards 2022.
This season, he will write and direct his third stage work with composer Philip Venables, an adaptation of Larry Mitchell’s cult 1977 book, The Faggots and Their Friends Between Revolutions. Faggots is a co-production of Manchester International Festival (MIF), the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Bregenz Festival, and Skirball Center (NYU). He will also direct a new production of Roméo et Juliette for Opernhaus Zürich (filmed for Arte), and revivals of The Time of Our Singing for Theater St. Gallen and L’incoronazione di Poppea for Opéra royal de Versailles and Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía.
His most recent original piece is Denis & Katya (2019), a true-story opera created with Venables for Opera Philadelphia, and subsequently staged by Dutch National Opera, Staatsoper Hannover, Opéra national de Montpellier, and Music Theatre Wales. Denis & Katya won the 2019 Fedora Generali Prize and the 2020 Ivor Novello Award for Stage Work and nominations at the International Opera Awards and the Opernwelt Jarhrbuch Awards for Best World Premiere. Critics have called it “an intimate, haunting triumph” (New York Times); “bracingly original and bleakly powerful” (The Telegraph); “a monumental, dramatically shattering event” (Parterre Box); “a ruthlessly original piece that exposes our modern world…drastically revises the operatic genre” (The Sunday Times) and “the most brilliantly original operatic work I’ve seen in a decade…a sensitive, subtle and deeply questioning meditation on youth, voyeurism, and the age of social media” (Musical America).
His previous opera with Venables, 4.48 Psychosis (Royal Opera, London), was the first ever permitted adaptation of British playwright Sarah Kane’s work. The opera won the 2016 UK Theatre Award for Opera and the production was nominated for an Olivier Award, a Royal Philharmonic Society Award and Sky Arts South Bank Award. The original production and subsequent revivals in New York City (Prototype Festival) and Strasbourg (Opéra national du Rhin) attracted wide critical attention: “A new brand of opera” (The Times) “rawly powerful and laceratingly honest” (The Telegraph); “ 4.48 Psychosis is a remarkable achievement” (The Guardian); “sledgehammer power” (The New Yorker); “opening our eyes to what musical theatre is capable of” (The Times Literary Supplement); “one of the most exhilarating operas in years” (Spectator). Alex Ross wrote in The New Yorker, “4.48 Psychosis will have a long life, but it’s hard to imagine a better production than the one Ted Huffman mounted for the Royal Opera.”
Other past productions include Madama Butterfly (Opernhaus Zürich), Rinaldo (Oper Frankfurt), Salome (Oper Köln), Arthur Lavandier’s Le premier meurtre (Opéra de Lille), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Deutsche Oper Berlin, Opéra national de Montpellier), Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno (Royal Danish Theater), Die Vögel (Opéra national du Rhin), Luke Styles’ Macbeth (Glyndebourne), Ana Sokolovic’s Svádba (Festival Aix-en-Provence), and Les mamelles de Tirésias (La Monnaie, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Dutch National Opera, Juilliard Opera, Aldeburgh Festival).
A native New Yorker, Ted studied Humanities at Yale University and apprenticed at San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program. He was a MacDowell Fellow in 2017 with composer Philip Venables. They are currently at work with playwright Nina Segal on a new opera.