Renowned Director Peter Sellars Emphasizes Importance of Arts through Workshops and Discussions


Peter Sellars visited the Department of Music at Case Western Reserve University on October 11, 2019 to share his knowledge and experience as a director. Sellars is world-renowned as a theater, opera and festival director for his groundbreaking interpretations of classic works.During his visit, Sellars held an open workshop with graduate students and faculty of the CWRU Historical Performance Practice program. He imparted his directorial vision, coaching performers to offer bold musical interpretations through staging, and discussed the influence the arts can have on important social issues today.

Following the workshop, members of the CWRU/CIM community had an opportunity to attend “Staging the Music: Peter Sellars in Conversation” with Dr. Susan McClary, Fynette H. Kulas Professor of Music at CWRU and author of The Passions of Peter Sellars: Staging the Music (University of Michigan Press, 2019). Throughout their discussion, Sellars described the arts as a medium that can connect people and create opportunities for honest dialogue about difficult and controversial topics. He emphasized the importance of teaching the arts in America today as well as the importance of artistic culture in education. Sellars also said that the arts can serve as a way for all people of varying social and economic background to connect.

What Sellars had to say made those in attendance reflect deeply on the work that can be done by contemporary artists and the impact it can have. He displayed
why he is one of the most visionary directors of our time.

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Susan McClary’s The Passions of Peter Sellars
Approaching Sellar’s theatrical strategies from a musicological perspective, McClary blends insights from theater, film, and literary scholarship to explore the work of one of the most brilliant living interpreters of opera.