Paula Suozzi (Stage Director)
Born and raised on the east coast, Paula Suozzi was educated at The Catholic University of America from which she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Directing. She began her professional career as an assistant stage manager with Baltimore Opera Company for two seasons working on main stage operas as well as running the education tours for several weeks each fall and spring. As an assistant stage manager, and then assistant director at San Francisco Opera for 6 seasons, Ms. Suozzi had the opportunity to work with leading directors, singers and conductors in the field of opera. Beginning in 1991 and continuing until the present, Ms. Suozzi has been assistant director, coach, and teacher at New York City's Metropolitan Opera. In 1995 she began her affiliation with Skylight Opera Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by directing a new production of Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel1995 Critic's Top Ten List). Immediately following this, she was asked to join the staff in a position which she would create - Associate Artistic Director where she remained for 7 seasons.
At Skylight, Ms. Suozzi created notable productions of Weill's Threepenny Opera (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 1998 Top Ten List), Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor, Britten's The Turn of the Screw, Mozart's, and a new adaptation and translation of Gounod and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Ms. Suozzi has directed with numerous regional opera companies around the country including Tulsa Opera Association, Cincinnati Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera and Canadian Opera Company where she was a Dora Mavor Moore award nominee for Best Director. In 1999 Milwaukee Business Journal recognized her in their annual "40 Under 40" for success in her chosen field. In 2000 the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recognized Ms. Suozzi in their "15 to Watch" article as well as in January 2003, Milwaukee Magazine chose Ms. Suozzi as one of "50 People You Should Know" cover story.
Look for Ms. Suozzi's operatic work in upcoming productions at the Florentine Opera Company (Verdi's Macbeth, February 2006) and Lyric Opera of Chicago debut (Tchailovsky's Eugene Onegin).
Ms. Suozzi's theatre directing includes Milwaukee Shakespeare's premier production of Macbeth, Twelfth Night with Bialystock and Bloom Company, Pinter's The Caretaker, as well as Wilder's The Long Christmas Dinner, and Nicky Silver's The Food Chain. Ms. Suozzi has led numerous master classes, directed two mainstage shows with First Stage Milwaukee as well as taught for two summers with their theatre academy. Ms. Suozzi has coached drama for at Tanglewood Music Festival for the casts of Gianni Schicchi and Falstaff as well as worked as a private coach throughout her career. Ms. Suozzi's dramatic coaching was an integral part of the Resident Artist Program at Skylight Opera Theatre which was developed during her tenure there.
In September of 2003, Ms. Suozzi took over the reigns at Milwaukee Shakespeare with an eye towards continuing the development of the company into a nationally recognized Shakespeare theatre.
Ms. Suozzi lives in Milwaukee with her husband, actor/director/writer Jonathan West and their daughters Dorothea and Carmela.