English opera director, Garth Bardsley, has been appointed as a visiting associate professor in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions’ Program for Vocal Performance. In this newly created role, Bardsley will complement and strengthen artistic practice within the opera studies track.
An award-winning director from the United Kingdom, Bardsley has a unique interdisciplinary background with experiences spanning the globe. He has directed, produced, and performed for various opera companies, conservatories, and festivals; starred as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and in the West End production of Jerry Herman’s The Best of Time. A playwright, poet, and lyricist, his collaborative works with composers Ben Parry and Gregory Wanamaker have been performed and broadcast across the UK and America. He is also a sought-after instructor with more than 26 years’ experience in higher education at the Royal Northern College of Music, Bath Spa University, and the Royal College of Music.
At NYU Steinhardt, Bardsley will help aspiring singers navigate the dramatic demands of operatic composition through borrowing techniques typically employed in musical theater.
“Opera companies around the world demand so much more from singers these days; acquiring the skills of an actor and integrating those skills into a sung performance is imperative. Bad acting should not be synonymous with opera!” Bardsley said.
Bardsley uses musical theatre repertoire to help singers recognize the relationship between text and music and to explore the subtext of the characters they will embody.
Fiona Bardsley, a TV, radio, and stage actress — and the wife of Garth Bardsley — will also be teaching at NYU Steinhardt. She will teach acting classes for singers, designed to give them the tools to create convincing characters, as well as connect the physicality of acting with singing.