January 5, 2016

Contact: Michele Abba

Acclaimed Stage Director to Present Vocal Master Class Jan. 28 at Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Highly regarded German stage director Daniel Witzke will present a vocal master class from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 28, in Room 218 of the Davidson Music Center (No. 45) at Cal Poly. Several of the Music Department’s leading voice students will perform and be critiqued. 

Witzke, considered one of the most respected and accomplished producers for new American musicals in the German-speaking world, works extensively in opera and musical theater in Europe and the U.S. He trained as a professional singer and actor in Vienna, Austria, and in Berlin and Hamburg, Germany.

As staff director at the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera), he revived, directed and assisted on more than 20 productions, including “Nabucco,” “Tristan und Isolde,” “Tosca,” “Turandot,” “Aida,” and “Die Fledermaus.” International career highlights include performances with the Hamburgische Staatsoper (Hamburg State Opera) of “La Forza del Destino,” “Don Giovanni” with the Spoleto Festival in the U.S., and “Tosca” with the Bregenzer Festspiele (Bregenz Festival, Austria).

Witzke was artistic director for the original German production of Elton John’s Broadway-hit musical “Aida” in 2003. With Witzke’s former production company, Big Fish Theatre Productions, he directed a number of highly acclaimed German premiere productions such as Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years” and “Songs for a New World” and Maury Yeston’s “December Songs,” among others.

For more than 15 years, Witzke has worked as an audition and acting coach and has translated several original off-Broadway musicals into German. He was appointed resident director for Seattle Opera in May 2012.

In master classes, Witzke’s approach offers storytelling techniques and character analyses, helping students connect events in their own life to the character’s journey in songs and roles.  
The free master class is open to the public and is sponsored by the Cal Poly Music Department, College of Liberal Arts, and Instructionally Related Activities program.

For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406.

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