Voorronde New York, gesprek met Nando Schellen.
Born in the Netherlands, Nando Schellen became Managing Director of Netherlands Opera, Amsterdam, later assuming the tide of Associate General Director and left the company after eighteen years of service in1986. Schellen is also a critic/analyst of music and opera, and has been published in European and American periodicals since 1976.
His artistic skills and training as a stage director developed as of 1976. He was Assistant Director for the Bayreuth Wagner Festival from 1979 to 1982, assisting Götz Friedrich (staging) and Harry Kupfer (dramaturgy). He is considered an expert on German Opera. Die Zauberflöte was his directing debut in 1982 at the international Holland Festival. In 1983 he made his North American debut directing Lohengrin at Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, an internationally acclaimed critical success.
In 1986, he started directing in East and West Germany with Eugene Onegin in Altenburg, followed in 1988 by The Merry Wives of Windsor in Aachen.
In 1987, Schellen became General Artistic Director and Artistic Advisor of several regional theaters in the Netherlands, while directing on a free-lance basis. Productions included the world premiere of Salto Mortale in Haarlem/NL and a drama production of Our Town (Thomton Wilder) in Enschede/NL. In 1990, he was appointed by the Dutch Government Interim General Director of the Sweelinck Conservatory of Music in Amsterdam, finding the Conservatory in a state of administrative and artistic disarray. He returned the school to its sound financial and artistic position.
He has been involved with the renowned Netherlands Wind Ensemble for 23 years as its President. From 1992 – 1996, he was General/Artistic Director of Indianapolis Opera. He directed in 1993 The Telephone and the children’s opera Jack and the Beanstalk, and in 1994 Arnold Schoenberg’s Erwartung and Verdi’s Rigoletto, all critical successes.
In 1995 he directed Richard Strauss’ Salome – featuring NAU Voice Teacher Deborah Raymond in the title role – for Arizona Opera. He returned in 1997 directing R. Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos in which he also performed the role of the ‘Haushofmeister’ in German. In 1998 he returned for Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. The success of all three productions was triumphant. In 1997 he directed Cosi fan tutte for Pamiro Opera in Wisconsin. In 1998 he made his debut at New Orleans Opera Association with Saint-Saens’ Samson et Dalila. The year 1999 marked his directing Nabucco in Bulgaria, which toured throughout Europe. In 2000 he directed Don Giovanni at Nevada Opera.
From 1998-2000 he has been director of the opera workshop in the international summer school ‘Oberlin at Casalmaggiore’ in Northern Italy. In May 2000 Northern Arizona University appointed him as Director of Opera Theater. Next to teaching opera history and dramaturgy, and a class of Movement and Acting for Singers, he directs opera scenes, chamber operas and main stage productions, such as in 2000-2001 Sondheim’s Into the Woods and Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte (in Italian); in 2001-02 followed by Mozart’s The Magic Flute (in German) and Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and in 2002-2003 Harvey Schmidt’s The Fantasticks, and Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas, with Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi in one production.
In the fall of 2003 he directed Schoenberg’s monodrama Erwartung (Expectation) featuring Deborah Raymond and Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf featuring Dr. Judith Cloud, in the spring of 2004 followed by Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro(The Marriage of Figaro). In the Fall of 2004 He directed Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine (The Human Voice) and Menotti’s The Telephone, in the spring of 2005 followed by Johann StrauÃŸ Jr.’s Die Fledermaus (The Bat). In the academic year 2005-2006 he directed in November 2005 Viktor Ullmann’s Der Kaiser von Atlantis at the occasion of the 60th anniversary of WWII and the end of Holocaust, in the spring of 2006 Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the occasion of the 250th birthday of the composer. In 2006-2007 he directs Menotti’s The Medium & The Old Maid and the Thief in the fall of 2006 and Mozart’s CosÃ fan tutte in the spring of 2007. Each year he organizes and directs at least one evening of Opera scenes featuring between 15 and 30 singers.
His production of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night visitors for the Flagstaff Symphony in 2003 and the same production for Springfield Regional Opera in Springfield/MO in the fall of 2004 were public successes. He guest directed A Little Night Music for the University of Arizona in the summer of 2002. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Italian Summer Opera program “Flagstaff in Siena” in Northern Italy beginning in 2007. He received his tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 2006. All his productions are performed in the original language with English super titles.