Benjamin Spierman began professional life working for the Bronx Council on the Arts as their Grants Coordinator and as the Founding Director of their Business Center for the Arts. In the late 1990s he left the Bronx Council, and began to work across the country as a Stage Manager and Assistant Director. In those capacities, he worked for Central City Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Light Opera Oklahoma, Mississippi Opera, Mobile Opera, Opera Theater of Saint Louis, Palm Beach Opera, Rogue Valley (OR) Opera and Virginia Opera. Most notably, Assisted on Saint Louis’s Lewis and Clark Bicentennial premiere production of Dream of the Pacific and on Central City’s American premiere production of Britten’s Gloriana (where he also directed opera scenes and Central City’s annual production of Henry Mollicone’s The Face on the Barroom Floor).
As a director, his work includes critically acclaimed productions of both familiar and unfamiliar pieces. Familiar works directed include productions of Madama Butterfly, The Merry Widow, Le nozze di Figaro, and La fille du regiment (Indianapolis Opera); Turandot and Don Giovanni (Dayton Opera); Carmen and The Magic Flute (Opera Idaho); and La Bohème (Syracuse Opera). Unfamiliar works are represented by New York premiere productions of Kirke Mechem’s The Rivals, Marc Blitzstein’s Regina and the Weber/Mahler posthumous collaboration Die Drei Pintos, all for Bronx Opera (of which he is Associate Artistic Director and Resident Stage Director). He is also Resident Stage Director of Long Island’s North Shore Music Festival; for them, he has directed Rigoletto, Don Pasquale, Pagliacci, The Barber of Seville, and Gianni Schicchi/Il tabarro.
Other work in and around New York City has included Verdi’s Falstaff, Massenet’s Cendrillon, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury for Rutgers University in New Jersey (the first two won National Opera Association prizes) and a Blackbox production of Ariadne auf Naxos for New York City’s dell’Arte Opera Ensemble (winner of the American Prize for Opera). Other recent regional work includes Bellini’s Norma and Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette for Florida’s St. Petersburg Opera, Carmen and The Merry Widow (for Minnesota’s Northern Lights Music Festival); and Hansel and Gretel and Gianni Schicchi/Buoso’s Ghost (Amarillo Opera). In 2016-17, he returns to Idaho (Die Fledermaus), North Shore (Madama Butterfly), and Bronx Opera (Sir John by Love by Vaughan Williams), as well as making his Opera San Jose (and California) debuts with Lucia di Lammermoor and La Bohème. Also a sought-after dramatic coach, he has worked with singers at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College (CUNY), New York Lyric Opera Theatre (NY), Westchester Summer Vocal Institute (NY), Buck Hill-Skytop Music Festival (PA), and Opera Breve Vocal Intensive (TX), in addition to coaching privately. He is a native and resident of The Bronx, New York, where he lives with his wife and frequent artistic collaborator, soprano Hannah Spierman.