Amanda Smith is a Toronto-based stage director and Founding Artistic Director of FAWN Chamber Creative. This past summer, Amanda directed and designed a new production of Don Pasquale as a part of the Stratford Summer Music Festival and joined the 2017 faculty of the Open Spaces: Opera in the 21st Century summer program at the Banff Centre. There she held the position of Stage Director for the Chamber Werx program, where she wove together art song and arias to create two immersive works of music-theatre, collaborating with modular electronics, dance as well as live and pre-recorded video. Due to her personal interest in underground electronic music, Amanda has developed an extensive collaborative partnership with modular synth artist ACOTE and together they build musical platforms for electronic and classical music to tell stories together.
Described as a “visionary” by LUDVIG VAN, Amanda finds excitement in exploring the potential of audience experience through alternative and immersive musical events, be it staged concerts or opera. Amanda’s repertoire interests span from Early Music to the very new, and everything in between. Regardless of musical era, her work is created to impact an eclectic audience. Amanda has shown this in her extensive work with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra’s new concert series, Haus Musik, Opera Lyra Ottawa’s Nuit Blanche performance of Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot by Peter-Maxwell Davies, Opera Laurier’s 2015, 2016 and 2017 scene productions, as well as the University of Toronto New Music Festival performances of Ghost of Gunby Hall by Gabreil Prokofiev and The Killing Flower by Salvatore Sciarrino.
With FAWN, Amanda commissions, produces and directs new Canadian operas and interdisciplinary works that correlate new classical music with other contemporary art forms. Some of the new works Amanda has directed for FAWN include the fully produced world-premieres of l’homme et le ciel by Adam Scime and Cryptomnesia by David Foley, as well as a semi-staged production of The Harvester by Aaron Gervais. In February 2017, Amanda led FAWN’s first devised opera workshop with three Canadian composers, librettist David Brock, dancer Jennifer Nichols and musicians from the FAWN Team. This workshop has inspired the creation of three short opera-ballets, which will be workshopped in summer of 2018 and produced in their 2019 season.
Amanda has an Opera Diploma in stage directing from the University of Toronto and previously graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she studied voice and directing.
Learn about FAWN Chamber Creative at fawnchambercreative.com.