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Meet James Robinson

Artistic Director

James Robinson has served as the Artistic Director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis since 2008, during which he has directed such acclaimed productions as Terence Blanchard’s Champion and Fire Shut Up in My Bones, John Adams’ The Death of Klinghoffer, Marc Blitzstein’s Regina, Jack Perla’s Shalimar the Clown, and Ricky Ian Gordon’s “27.” Robinson plays an instrumental role in curating artistic programming at OTSL, and is a resource for rising composers and librettists across the nation.

Outside of his work at OTSL, Robinson’s Grammy Award-winning production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess opened the 2019 Metropolitan Opera season and has also been seen at the English National Opera and the Dutch National Opera. In 2021, he received worldwide critical acclaim for remounting OTSL’s 2019 world premiere Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Metropolitan Opera (that company’s first production of a work by a Black composer). In the 2022–23 season, Robinson will direct the highly anticipated world premiere of M. Butterfly by Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang for the Santa Fe Opera before returning to the Metropolitan Opera for a new production of Terence Blanchard’s Champion.

Renowned for his championing of world premieres and newer works, Robinson has had great success on many opera stages, including San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Australia, Royal Swedish Opera, Seattle Opera, LA Opera, the Wexford Festival, and the Santa Fe Opera. His work has also been seen at the Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, London Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony.