Cynthia S Stokes
Associate Professor, Applied Intercultural Arts Research – GIDP
Endowed Chair, Amelia T Rieman
Music Bldg, Room 229
M.F.A. University of California at San Diego
American stage and opera director Cynthia Stokes’ professional career is devoted to developing community through the power of live performance in unexpected locations and thru the use of new media. Her site-specific installations include: La hija de Rappaccini staged in an architectural slot canyon on the campus of the University of Arizona; Queen of Carthage, set overlooking the Pacific Ocean for La Jolla Playhouse’s WOW Festival; and Dominic Argento’s The Andrée Expedition with American baritone, Michael Chioldi set in an abandoned marble quarry.
She reimagined Andrée as an intimate VR experience with Chioldi and media designer Peter Torpey. The Andrée Expedition 360 VR insists upon intimacy and encourages an active role for the audience, the performer and pianist; all three floating on an ice pack suspended in air and suspended in time. It was presented at SXSW in March 2022 and at the National Opera Association in 2023.
Directing highlights include Silent Night, Piedmont Opera; Le nozze di Figaro, San Antonio Opera, Roméo et Juliette, San Diego Opera; Pagliacci, Opera San Jose; Madama Butterfly, Opera Philadelphia; Homies and Popz (tour), Los Angeles Opera; Margaret Garner, Cincinnati Opera and Opera Carolina. She worked as directing staff for Dallas Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, The Florentine Opera, Opera Pacific, and Glimmerglass Opera.
Recent funding includes Arizona Commission on the Arts; UA Provost Grant for a Digital and Performing Arts Lab; and a Qualcomm Ideas Grant. She holds an M.FA. in Directing from UC San Diego and is the Amelia Rieman Endowed Chair for Opera Theater at University of Arizona.