Sam Helfrich is an opera and theater director based in New York.
Recent opera highlights include the world premieres of Enemies: A Love Story, based on the novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer (composer: Ben Moore) at Palm Beach Opera, and Embedded, by composer Patrick Soluri, at Fargo-Moorhead Opera; Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos and Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire at Virginia Opera: Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking and John Adams’ Nixon in China at Eugene Opera; Philip Glass’ Kepler (in its American premiere), Charpentier’s Louise, and Anthony Davis’ Amistad at Spoleto Festival/USA; Menotti’s The Consul and Poulenc’s La Voix Humane at Glimmerglass Opera; Rameau’s Les Indes Galantes, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Handel’s Agrippina with Boston Baroque; Philip Glass’ In the Penal Colony and Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn; a fully staged Handel Messiah with the Pittsburgh Symphony; the world premiere of Michael Dellaira’s The Secret Agent at Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, Armel Opera Festival in Hungary, and Opera Avignon in France; And Philip Glass’ Orphée at Virginia Opera, Portland Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Pittsburgh Opera.
Recent New York theater productions of Tape, by Stephen Belber, and the world premiere of Owned, by Julian Sheppard, played to wide acclaim, and he recently directed a production of Arthur Miller’s After the fall at NYU/Tisch.
Upcoming projects include a new production of Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld at Virginia Opera, a world premiere with the Pittsburgh Opera, semi-stagings of the Bach St. John Passion and the Mendelssohn Elijah with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and a new theatre/symphonic production of Lermontov’s Masquerade with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn.
Mr. Helfrich has recently been appointed Associate Arts Professor and Area Head of Dramaturgy in the NYU/Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Department of Design for Stage and Film. He has also held guest teaching positions at Yale School of Drama, Yale School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and Shenandoah Music Conservatory
He received his BA in Russian Literature, as well as his MFA in Theater Arts, from Columbia University.