Called “the searching young director” in the New York Times’ 2017 Classical Music SEASON Preview, R. B. Schlather (born 1986, cooperstown, usa) is widely recognized as one of the most ambitious, creative and edgy artists in classical music. His 2017 exhibition of Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thompson’s opera "The Mother of Us All" at the historic Hudson Opera House was named one of the “Ten Best Opera Performances of 2017” in the New York Times, “entirely fresh and contemporary” (Wall Street Journal), “Avant-garde opera for the people” (New Yorker Magazine), and the “finest operatic experience of the season” (New York Observer), among other accolades.
in 2019 he returns to philadelphia to direct a new production of mozart’s “don Giovanni” for Curtis Opera Theater / Opera Philadelphia, makes his directing debut with the santa fe opera with a new production of “cosi fan tutte,” and debuts with oper frankfurt directing an immersive installation of handel’s “tamerlano” in the bockenheimer depot.
Recent performances include staging and co curating fluxus event scores at the walt disney concert hall with christopher rountree for the los angeles philharmonic centennial season. This ‘Fluxconcert’ was singled out in Alex Ross’ “Notable Events 2018” (New Yorker Magazine).
IN THE 2017/18 SEASON SCHLATHER DEVISED AN INSTALLATION OF DAVID HERTZBERG’S OPERA ‘THE WAKE WORLD" AT THE BARNES FOUNDATION, A WORLD PREMIERE COMMISSIONED BY OPERA PHILADELPHIA FOR THEIR INAUGURAL O17 FESTIVAL. "THE WAKE WORLD" WAS AWARDED THE HONOR OF 'BEST NEW OPERA 2017' BY THE MUSIC CRITICS ASSOCIATION OF NORTH AMERICA. HE then directed THE WORLD PREMIERE OF HERTZBERG'S NEXT OPERA - "THE ROSE ELF" - AS THE FIRST PRODUCTION IN UNISON MEDIA'S SUMMER SERIES, 'THE ANGEL'S SHARE,' IN A CATACOMB AT THE HISTORIC GREEN-WOOD CEMETERY In Brooklyn, NY, JUNE 2018, which was awarded WQXR’s coveted ‘Freddie’ for ‘Best New Opera,’ ‘costume,’ and ‘opera production.’
IN 2018 MR. SCHLATHER performed HANDEL’S "ARIODANTE" FOR OPERA OMAHA'S ONE FESTIVAL AT THE BEMIS CENTER FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS WITH THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY ENSEMBLE. THIS PRESENTATION CONTINUEd SCHLATHER’S EXPLORATIONS OF HANDEL’S OPERAS BASED ON LUDOVICO ARIOSTO’S ‘ORLANDO FURIOSO,’ PRECEDED BY AN ARTIST RESIDENCY AT NATIONAL SAWDUST (2016), AND PERFORMANCES OF "ALCINA" (2014) AND "ORLANDO" (2015) IN THE MAIN GALLERY OF WHITEBOX ART CENTER IN CHINATOWN, NYC. NAMED ONE OF THE 'TOP 10 PIVOTAL MOMENTS FOR OPERA AND CLASSICAL PERFORMANCE 2015' (WQXR), THESE INNOVATIONS IN PUBLIC ACCESS TO OPERA PRODUCTION GAINED DISTINGUISHED ATTENTION IN THE NEW YORK TIMES, CALLED BY ART CRITIC HOLLAND COTTER A “FASCINATING SPECIES OF PERFORMANCE ART” AND CLASSICAL MUSIC EDITOR ZACHARY WOOLFE “A GIFT GIVEN TO THE NEW YORK CULTURAL SCENE.”
past HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE A CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED NEW PRODUCTION OF 'DOCTOR ATOMIC' FOR CURTIS OPERA THEATER, PHILIP GLASS' "MADRIGAL OPERA" DEVELOPED WITH CHORAL CHAMELEON AND JOHNNY GANDELSMAN AT NATIONAL SAWDUST, A DOUBLE BILL OF "BASTIANELLO" AND "THE JUNIPER TREE" AT WOLF TRAP OPERA, "TURANDOT" FOR THE BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL AT THE RICHARD B. FISHER CENTER, "IN THE PENAL COLONY" FOR BOSTON LYRIC OPERA'S ANNEX SERIES AT THE CYCLORAMA AT BOSTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS, AND PERFORMANCES OF DAVID LANG'S "LITTLE MATCH GIRL PASSION" CONCEIVED WITH MIAMI-BASED ILLUMINARTS AT THE PEREZ ART MUSEUM MIAMI (2016) AND THE SCHOOL | JACK SHAINMAN GALLERY (2016).
SCHLATHER HAS PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS AS A STAGE DIRECTOR WITH THE SANTA FE OPERA, LOS ANGELES PHILHARMONIC, OPERA PHILADELPHIA, NATIONAL SAWDUST, CURTIS INSTITUTE OF MUSIC, International Contemporary ensemble, brooklyn youth chorus, BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL AT THE RICHARD B. FISHER CENTER, WOLF TRAP OPERA, BOSTON LYRIC OPERA, OPERA OMAHA, SYRACUSE OPERA, GRAN TEATRE DEL LICEU, ENGLISH NATIONAL OPERA, CANADIAN OPERA COMPANY, TANGLEWOOD MUSIC FESTIVAL, NEW YORK CITY OPERA, GLIMMERGLASS OPERA, And (LE) POISSON ROUGE.
HE HAS PARTICIPATED IN CONFERENCES AT PRINCETON UNIVERSITY AND THE BANFF CENTRE FOR ARTS AND CREATIVITY, TAUGHT AT THE CURTIS INSTITUTE OF MUSIC, BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY, AND ITHACA COLLEGE (WHERE HE IS AN ALUMNUS OF THE SCHOOL OF HUMANITIES AND SCIENCES WITH A B. A. IN ART HISTORY), AND WAS AN ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE AT NATIONAL SAWDUST FOR THE 2016/17 SEASON. HE HAS PERFORMED AT THE GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM AND THE KITCHEN IN GERARD AND KELLEY’S ‘TIMELINING.’ HIS SOLO PERFORMANCE ‘DON’T CALL ME CRUEL, BABY,’ (2015) WAS PERFORMED AT CATCH! AND PRELUDE NYC.
MR. SCHLATHER IS A MEMBER OF A.G.M.A. AND is REPRESENTED BY COLUMBIA ARTISTS.