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James Haffner
Stage Director

James Haffner is a Professor of Opera at the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in Stockton, CA.  He is the Producing Stage Director for Stockton Opera and has worked with the Bay View and Bear Valley Music Festivals.  James is also a Fulbright Scholar (Komische Oper, Berlin) and has taught at the Technische Universität, Berlin as well as Webster University and California State University, Fullerton.

James’ production of La Cenerentola holds the distinction of being the first opera to be invited to perform as part of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival national showcase.  Further honors from KC-ACTF include Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill and the west coast premiere of Glen Roven’s Heart’s Desire.  Work recognized by the National Opera Association include La Cenerentola, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Dido and Aeneas.  Professional credits include the German premiere of Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day; Das Mahagonny Songspiel, which was presented as part of the inaugural Brecht Fest at the Berliner Ensemble; and Dido and Aeneas with the first annual Museumsinsel Fest, Berlin.

James is a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique and an Associate Teacher with the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium.  His article “Musical Synthesis of the Michael Chekhov Technique” was recently published in the International Association of Theatre Critics journal, Critical Stages.  He is a frequent guest artist, having led master classes at Stanford University, Oberlin Conservatory, National Opera Association Conference, Directors’ Lab—West (Pasadena Playhouse) and the American Choral Directors Association—Western Division Conference.

James is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing and an Artist’s Diploma in Opera Stage Directing.