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Artist's website:



Stage Director

In an opera career that has spanned over three decades, Stage Director, Layna Chianakas has portrayed over 50 leading opera roles across the United States, including over 100 performances of Carmen. Her successful career as a mezzo-soprano has given her a unique understanding of singers and what they need to be successful.  She combines her abilities as an artist and educator to create productions that combine the contemporary with the traditional, with an emphasis on meticulous dramaturgical research. 


Her extensive stage directing credits include, Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Cavalli’s L’Ormindo, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, the National Opera Association’s award-winning Postcard from Morocco by Argento, Ravel’s The Bewitched Child/L’enfant et les Sortilèges, Strauss’ Die Fledermaus/The Revenge of the Bat, and a fully-staged and conceptualized Mendelssohn’s Elijah, among others, for the San José State Opera Theater.  For Opera San José, she directed La Voix humaine, Hansel & Gretel, Carmen and Il barbiere di Siviglia.  As the Stage Director for Vivace Youth Chorus’ Summer Youth Opera, she has staged the West Coast premiere of Rachel J. Peter’s Rootabaga Country , and productions of Menotti’s Chip and His Dog and Krasa’s Brundibar. She directed Ben Moore’s Odyssey for Opera Santa Barbara’s Youth Summer Opera Program, Verdi’s Nabucco for West Bay Opera, and a double-bill of Zemlinsky’s Eine florentinische Tragödie and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi for Livermore Valley Opera, which received first place in the 2021 American Prize in Opera Performance. Most recently, she directed a double bill of Falla’s El amor brujo and Puccini’s Il Tabarro, and Tosca  for Opera Santa Barbara, Ching’s Speed Dating, Tonight! (Opera Santa Barbara’s Chrisman Studio Artists), a San Francisco Classical Voice award-winning Otello on a week’s notice for Livermore Valley Opera, and Madama Butterfly for the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra with Yulan Piao in the title role. This spring, Ms. Chianakas returned to Opera Santa Barbara to direct The Light in the Piazza for the Chrisman Studio Artists and she will direct La Bohème for The Santa Cruz Opera Project in June, and Tosca for Amarillo Opera and Carmen for Indianapolis Opera in Fall 2023. 


Ms. Chianakas maintains a private voice studio and is a sought-after master clinician, administrator, and vocal director for musical theatre productions.

Layna Chianakas

"Stage Director Layna Chianakas, grabbed the reins of this Tosca, and made sure the

action stayed at a level of electrifying tension and terse staging throughout."


-Voice Magazine

Opera Santa Barbara

"All I've Ever Known"
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