Amanda Smith is a Toronto-based stage director and Founding Artistic Director of FAWN Chamber Creative, with whom she commissions, produces and directs new Canadian operas and interdisciplinary works that correlate classical music with other contemporary art forms. Described as a “visionary” by LUDVIG VAN, Amanda finds excitement in exploring the potential of audience experience with classical music through alternative 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, as demonstrated by her collaboration with Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra to help develop their late-night concert series Haus Musik. Amanda has created many other innovative performances, including Opera Lyra Ottawa’s Nuit Blanche production of Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot by Peter-Maxwell Davies, Emily and Waking Dreams - two immersive, interdisciplinary art song music-theatre performances for Open Spaces: Opera in the 21st Century at the Banff Centre - 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. Amanda has also enjoyed creating work for Opera Laurier, Against the Grain Theatre, Cowtown Summer Opera Academy and the Stratford Summer Music Festival.
Due to her personal interest in underground electronic music, Amanda has developed an extensive collaborative partnership with modular synth artist ACOTE. Together they build musical platforms for electronic and classical music to tell stories together. This season, Amanda and ACOTE are joining forces again, this time with dancer/choreographer Joey Eddy, to develop a dance-theatre performance for Nuit Blanche in Toronto. Later in the season, Amanda looks forward to directing Note of Hope, a new opera by the Iranian-Canadian Composers of Toronto, Massenet’s Cendrillon with Opera Laurier and Suites d’une ville morte - a new, short opera by composer Margareta Jeric and librettist Naima Phillips - as part of the Musique 3 Femmes’ Next Wave Workshop. This will be followed by the production of FAWN’s most recent creation project, an opera-ballet triple-bill, titled Pandora, by librettist David Brock and three Canadian composers: Joseph Glaser, David Storen and Kit Soden.
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.