- Bachelor of Arts, University of Washington, 1973
- Master of Fine Arts, University of Washington, 1977
Jonathon Field has become one of America’s more versatile and popular stage directors. A trailblazer in the world of opera, Field is fascinated with traditional as well as modern stage techniques. He has developed and used video-projected scenery for more than 25 years in productions that have been called “brilliant,” “dazzling” and “riveting.”
Field directed the American premiere of Lost Highway, an opera based on the David Lynch film that played to sold-out performances at the Miller Theater in New York. He directed the world premiere of the jazz opera Leave Me Alone in a partnership between Oberlin Conservatory and Real Time Opera, which was one of the first operas to broadcast live on the internet. His productions for Lyric Opera of Chicago of Trouble in Tahiti, Gianni Schicchi, The Old Maid and the Thief, and The Spanish Hour were successfully revived at the Illinois Humanities Festival. He directed touring productions of La Cenerentola and Die Fledermaus for San Francisco Opera’s Western Opera Theatre, which played in over 20 states. In recent years Field directed 10 productions with Arizona Opera, being deemed by the press “their most perceptive stage director.” From 2000 through 2006 he served as artistic director of Lyric Opera Cleveland, where he presented the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, and the Ohio premieres of works by John Adams, Mark Adamo, and Philip Glass. Field received a Northern Ohio Live Award for his work on Don Giovanni in Cleveland, which was called “an electrifying production that has come to be the hallmark of Field’s tenure.”
Field has been praised for his international work as well, having directed The Riverboat Show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Dido and Aeneas at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, and Suor Angelica and Menotti’s Amalia al Ballo at the Urbania Festival in Italy. He has collaborated with such esteemed artists as Teresa Zylis-Gara, Jerome Hines, Pablo Elvira, Giorgio Tozzi, and Angelina Reux. Field’s expertise extends from the avant-garde to musical comedy. In 1996, he introduced computer-generated scenery to the opera world in a production of Candide at West Bay Opera in Silicon Valley with assistance from Apple Inc. The press called the show “virtual Voltaire—the backgrounds are as varied as the story.” He pioneered the use of video-projected scenery in productions of The Turn of the Screw, Tales of Hoffmann, and Der Freischütz. In the realm of operetta and musical theatre, Field staged H.M.S. Pinafore for Opera Omaha, Trial by Jury for Lake George Opera, Bernstein’s Wonderful Town in Chicago, and Merry Widow and Countess Maritza in San Francisco. For the Oakland Symphony he translated and choreographed Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, using members of the Oakland Ballet.