Cori Ellison, a leading creative figure in the opera world, has pioneered the role of the dramaturg in American opera. She has served as staff Dramaturg at Glyndebourne Festival Opera and New York City Opera, as well as dramaturg on productions including Orphic Moments at National Sawdust/Salzburger Landestheater; Aci, Galatea, e Polifemo at National Sawdust; the Ring Cycle at Washington National Opera; Opera Boston’s production of Shostakovich’s The Nose; and a triple bill of Offenbach operettas at the Bard Festival. This coming summer, she will be dramaturg for Cincinnati Opera’s production of L’incoronazione di Poppea.
Active in the development of new American opera, she has been a core faculty member at American Lyric Theatre since its founding in 2007, teaching operatic dramaturgy in its Composer Librettist Development Program and mentoring its resident artists. Last fall, she began developing the curriculum for and teaching ALT’s new Dramaturgy Fellowship, the first and only training program for opera dramaturgy in the U.S. She has long been a sought-after collaborator in the development of new operas for commissioners including Opera Philadelphia, Glyndebourne, Canadian Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Arizona Opera, Beth Morrison Projects, White Snake Projects, New York City Opera’s annual VOX American Opera Showcase, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, and SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music.
Dedicated to nurturing young singers, Ms. Ellison teaches at the Ravinia Steans Music Institute Program for Singers and the Crested Butte Opera Studio, and has taught master classes for singers at venues including the University of Toronto, Mannes, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Boston University, and the University of Texas at Austin. She has led seminars for the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artists Program, serves as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions and numerous other vocal competitions, and coaches singers privately.
Her English singing translation of Hansel and Gretel, premiered by New York City Opera, is published by Schott and has been performed throughout the US. She has also authored singing translations of Shostakovich’s Cheryomushki (Cherry Tree Towers), premiered at the Bard Festival, and Spontini’s La vestale, premiered at English National Opera.
She has presented talks and appeared on panels and symposia throughout the US and Europe, including at Santa Fe Opera, Park Avenue Armory, Metropolitan Opera Guild, San Francisco Opera Guild, Carnegie Hall, Opera Orchestra of New York, Schomburg Center for Black Culture, Guggenheim Museum’s Works and Process Series, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Wagner Societies of New York, Chicago, Washington, and Northern California, American Institute for Verdi Studies, Royal Opera House/Covent Garden, Ireland’s Wexford Festival, and Switzerland’s Verbier Festival.
She is part of the team that launched the Metropolitan Opera’s pioneering simultaneous translation system, Met Titles, and has authored opera supertitles for companies worldwide. She regularly appears as a commentator and quiz panelist on the Metropolitan Opera’s radio broadcasts, and has contributed articles to publications including the New York Times, The Guardian, Opera News, Gramophone, BBC Music, Ms, The New Grove Dictionary of Opera, The Compleat Mozart, and the Metropolitan Opera Guide to Opera on Video.