Matthew Lata Interview for Arts Chat – Listen
Matthew Lata is the Director of Opera at Florida State University. One of America’s most respected directors of opera, he has directed more than one hundred productions with leading opera companies throughout North America, including the Lyric Opera of Chicago (Aïda, Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni), The Washington Opera (Don Giovanni), Florida Grand Opera (Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, La forza del destino, Otello, Il trovatore), Anchorage Opera (Gianni Schicchi), Baltimore Opera (Carmen), Connecticut Opera (Turandot and Il trovatore),Chattanooga Opera (Rigoletto), Chautauqua Opera (Tosca), Cleveland Opera (Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci), Opera Columbus (Madama Butterfly, Rigoletto, Il trovatore, L’italiana in Algeri), Lyric Opera of Kansas City (Romeo et Juliette, La Cenerentola, Madama Butterfly, and Die Zauberflöte), Hawaii Opera (Andrea Chenier, Un ballo in maschera, Die Fledermaus, Don Giovanni, L’italiana in Algeri, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte), Michigan Opera (Il trovatore), Mobile Opera (Carmen), Opera Pacific (Turandot), Opera de Puerto Rico (Tosca, Turandot), Orlando Opera (Susannah), Portland Opera (Der Rosenkavalier, Romeo et Juliette), Opera Carolina and Toledo Opera (Susannah), Tulsa Opera (Tosca), Utah Festival Opera (Carmen, Madama Butterfly, La traviata), and Wolf Trap Opera (L’italiana in Algeri). He also directed the world premiere of Anton Coppola’s Sacco and Vanzetti to international acclaim for the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
In recent seasons, he has directed Faust in Memphis, Don Giovanni in New Orleans, and L’elisir d’amore in Grand Rapids in addition to productions at Florida State University. This past season, he directed s productions with the Lyric Opera of Chicago (The Magic Flute), New Orleans Opera (Un ballo in maschera), Opera Memphis (Tosca), and Opera Grand Rapids (La bohème).
Mr. Lata began his career as a director on the staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for five seasons. During that time he directed revivals of several productions and special productions for the Lyric Opera of Chicago Center for American Artists. He served as an apprentice with Frank Corsaro and Lotfi Mansouri under the auspices of the National Opera Institute and as production stage manager and assistant director for an number of theaters prior to joining the staff in Chicago. He has been a script consultant for various theaters, including the New Playwright’s Theater in Washington and the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.
He has served as Director of Opera and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Missouri/Kansas City, a member of the adjunct faculty of Northwestern University, and as a guest director at the Academy of Vocal Arts, Yale University Illinois State University, and others.
Mr. Lata is a graduate of Brandeis University and studied voice and Music at Guildhall Academy in London. He is married to noted mezzo-soprano Phyllis Pancella.