Ted Huffman is a writer and director for the stage.
His most recent piece is Denis & Katya, a true-story opera created with composer Philip Venables for Opera Philadelphia. Denis & Katya won the 2019 Fedora Generali Prize and the 2020 Ivor Novello Award for Stage Work and is nominated for an International Opera Award and the Opernwelt Jarhrbuch Awards. 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 any 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.”
Additional 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), Luke Styles’ Macbeth (Glyndebourne), Ana Sokolovic’s Svádba (Festival Aix-en-Provence, Opéra Angers-Nantes, Les Théâtres de la ville de Luxembourg, Festival Ljubljana), Les mamelles de Tirésias (La Monnaie, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Dutch National Opera, Juilliard Opera, Aldeburgh Festival), and Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Central City Opera, Juilliard Opera, Greenwich Music Festival).
The truncated 2020/21 season will include the premiere of Denis & Katya in a new French version for Montpellier, and the revival of Madama Butterfly for Opernhaus Zürich. Productions postponed by the Covid-19 pandemic, including L’incoronazione di Poppea for Aix, The Time of our Singing for Brussels, and The Girl with the Pearl Earring for Zürich, have been re-scheduled for the 2021-22 season.
A native New Yorker, Ted studied Humanities at Yale University and apprenticed at San Francisco’s Merola Opera Program. He was a MacDowell Fellow with composer Philip Venables in 2017. They are currently at work on a new opera.