Artistic Director

Dylan F. Thomas is the Co-Founder, Artistic Director, and Principal Stage Director for Valley Opera and Performing Arts (formerly Center Stage Opera). Over the past 14 years, he has directed over 30 operatic and musical theater productions, featuring some of the brightest current stars of the opera world — including Rod Gilfry, Milena Kitic, and Rodell Rosel – as well as some of the most promising up-and-coming artists the region has to offer. As Artistic Director, Thomas helps steer the artistic direction in which the company goes, and works cooperatively with other senior staff and board members to grow the company and increase its impact on the community. A true “Jack of all trades”, he has also written many shows for VOPA’s “Opera Tree” community outreach branch, designed and built numerous sets, written supertitles, designed lighting and sound, and worn many other hats within the company in order to create the best experience possible for audiences, artists, and theater technicians alike. In addition to his tireless work behind the scenes, Thomas has also performed numerous roles with VOPA, including Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Alfredo in La Traviata, Cavaradossi in Tosca, Alfred in Die Fledermaus, and Don Jose in Carmen. He has also headlined VOPA’s wildly popular “Best of Broadway” series, as well as many outreach performances to senior communities, schools, women’s groups, and our popular “Amici della Musica” dinner and song series.

Metropolitan Opera soprano Ana Maria Martinez described Dylan F. Thomas as “thinking out of the box in an intriguing and captivating way… an inspiring director and mentor, particularly for young artists.” Baritone Quinn Kelsey, of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Metropolitan Opera, says that Thomas, “utilized his own intuitive twists on the storyline of certain pieces to give me as a singer a different perspective of my interpretation”. Kelsey says that Thomas’ unique new production and staging concepts “… could prove quite useful in bringing more and more audiences back to the opera. Mr. Thomas’ insight just seems to me to be a very healthy way to reenergize opera productions.”

In June 2018, Mr. Thomas directed Pagliacci for Opera Fairbanks in Alaska, with Metropolitan Opera conductor Gregory Buchalter in the pit. He has also recently directed for Santa Monica College, as well as California State University, Los Angeles, where he directed productions of Die Fledermaus (with original dialogue written by Thomas), Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and Glass’ highly challenging work, Hydrogen Jukebox.

Mr. Thomas is one of the creators of a new American Opera entitled Marie’s Orchard, for which he conceptualized the story, inspired by Willa Cather’s novel “O Pioneers!”, and penned the libretto. He worked closely with composer Philip Westin on the creation of this extraordinary new work, and he directed the world premiere of the opera with Center Stage Opera (CA).

For the Pacific Symphony in Costa Mesa, CA, Thomas has written and directed numerous shows for the Family Musical Mornings series, including A Halloween Spooktacular, Superheroes!, and scripted introductions to Hansel and Gretel and Mozart’s The Magic Flute. He also wrote and directed a Casablanca-themed show for the Pacific Symphony’s prestigious annual Gala.

Mr. Thomas directed the semi-staged concert Opera Under the Stars at Orange County’s Opera Pacific, which featured super-stars Ana Maria Martinez and Quinn Kelsey performing operatic favorites with the Opera Pacific Orchestra under the baton of Maestro John DeMain. Thomas worked as the outreach stage director at Opera Pacific, where he staged the educational outreach show entitled Fun With Opera. He wrote and directed Opera Soup for Opera Pacific’s Opera in the Park presentation, and directed The Tinker of Tivoli for their Opera Camp program, for which he also acted as Program Director.

As a singer and actor, Thomas has performed extensively in the operatic, musical theater, jazz, and theater genres. As a Festival Artist at Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theater, Thomas covered the role of Otello in Verdi’s dramatic opera, and performed the musical theater roles of King Francis in Rex by Rodgers and Harnick, and Constable in Fiddler on the Roof. For ten months during 2006, Thomas was engaged as a performer in three different variety shows at Universal Studios in Osaka, Japan. There he performed not only opera repertoire, but musical theater and jazz as well. He was the tenor soloist in the holiday spectacular, A White Christmas Carol, seen by upwards of 40,000 people each performance, in addition to an operatic street theater show and various holiday jazz shows.

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