Stage director and scenic designer Grant Preisser continues a national career in opera. His 2018-19 season commenced with his third production at UrbanArias in Washington, D.C. directing and designing the world premiere of Peter Hilliard and Matt Boresi’s The Last American Hammer, conducted by company general director Robert Wood. This production was also featured as part of Opera America’s New Works Forum in New York this past January. Grant’s time with UrbanArias was followed by a return to Opera Orlando where he provided scenic design for a new production of Tales of Hoffmann directed by Eve Summer and conducted by Jorge Parodi, and directed and designed the company’s holiday production of Hansel & Gretel.
This winter Grant returns to University of Michigan as visiting professor of opera, teaching acting and movement courses and directing and designing a new production of Alcina, conducted by Stephanie Rhodes Russell. He will also make his debut with Opera in the Heights in Houston, directing and designing Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires, conducted by company artistic director Eiki Isomura. In May Grant will direct a concert version of Così fan tutte for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by music director Ward Stare.
Past seasons featured Grant’s work as scenic designer for Opera Orlando productions of Brundibar, La bohème, and La Cenerentola, as well as co-directing and designing a new production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. Grant directed University of Michigan’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by Martin Katz, and Opera Steamboat’s young artist production of The Cunning Little Vixen, conducted by Joshua Horsch. He returned to the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara as assistant director for L’elisir d’amore working alongside acclaimed director James Darrah and conductor Speranza Scappucci. He also directed part of the OperaFest scenes program working with John Churchwell as music director. Grant is equally at home with new repertoire directing and designing the Usonian Edition premiere of Daron Hagen's Shining Brow with UrbanArias, having also directed and designed The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat for the company in its previous season.
Additional directorial and design experience includes productions of Don Pasquale, Don Giovanni and L'incoronazione di Poppea, as well as original outreach productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the premiere of Lori Laitman’s The Three Feathers in collaboration with the composer. He recently directed The Magic Flute for Lawrence Opera Theatre, designed the world premiere of The Woman of Salt, and provided scenic design for Postcard from Morocco and a double bill of the American premiere of The Prodigal Child and Menotti’s The Medium produced by Florida State Opera.
Having received his undergraduate degree in voice from Florida State University, Grant served as production coordinator for the Florida State Opera for two seasons before attaining a graduate degree in interior design. After establishing himself as a designer and design educator as associate vice president of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Hong Kong, he married his expertise in classical music and design by completing another master’s degree in stage direction and design before beginning his professional directorial career.