Crystal Manich, international director, has been called “masterly in presenting the dramatic confrontation” and for her “nuanced”, “imaginative” and “lively staging” by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal among other publications. As a diverse director of theatre, she strives to make opera a viable theatrical and intimate experience for a new audience and was co-artistic director of Opera Omnia in New York, a company that produced 17th and 18th century opera in intimate and casual spaces in Manhattan. She is also founder and artistic director of Wanderlust, a group that will perform music theatre pieces in public spaces. In 2014 Wanderlust received a grant from the Koneen Saatio Foundation in Finland to develop a new project for museums entitled Women in the Woods. Crystal has directed musicals and operas at various companies in the United States and abroad with Buenos Aires Lírica in Argentina and Pinchgut Opera in Australia. She also served as Assistant Artistic Director on Cirque du Soleil's Quidam tour in South America in 2009-2010.
Engagements for the 2016-2017 season include a return to Pittsburgh Opera directing Handel's Riccardo Primo; Carmen for Opera Columbus; La Cenerentola with Arizona Opera; Cunning Little Vixen for Opera Santa Barbara; and La bohème with Opera Omaha. She will also return to Australia to direct a double bill of Rameau: Anacréon and Pigmalion. She will make her debut at Santa Fe Opera directing the Apprentice Scenes program in August of 2017.
Crystal holds a BFA in Drama-Directing from Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama with a double major in European Studies and a Masters in Arts Management from CMU's Heinz College for Public Policy and Management. Crystal has studied acting with some of the top teachers in the industry including Patsy Rodenburg. She is a proud member of the Michael Chekhov Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists.
Crystal is fluent Spanish and Italian, speaks basic French, German, Brazilian Portuguese in addition to knowledge of Czech and the Cyrillic alphabet.
She started her professional career as an assistant director in her hometown of Pittsburgh, where she was raised by Puerto Rican parents.
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