Martha Collins, celebrated Canadian stage director and operatic performer, has been named the new Director of Education at Sarasota Opera. In her new role, she will oversee development of Sarasota Opera’s Youth Opera and Adult Education Programs, alongside community engagement efforts.
Collins joined Sarasota Opera as a stage director in 2004, and has since directed a number of productions including Dialogues des Carmélites (2017), Nabucco (2019), and Romeo and Juliet (2020). She most recently directed The Happy Deception and Dido and Aeneas, both performed during the 2021 Winter and Spring Opera Festivals. Since 2005, she has directed the annual Sarasota Youth Opera production every year, in addition to a number of other productions at various organizations including Tri-Cities Opera, Opera Southwest, New York University, and New England Conservatory.
Prior to directing, Ottawa-born Collins gained acclaim as both an operatic and concert performer. She appeared in productions with the Canadian Opera Company, Festival Ottawa, Vancouver Opera, Calgary Opera and Toronto’s Opera in Concert. She was a finalist in the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition in 1985, and chosen to perform for Prince Charles and Princess Diana at the opening gala of the World’s Fair in Vancouver in 1986. Her film/tv credits also include the Norman Jewison film “Moonstruck” (1987), in the role of Mimì.
Collins also starred in the CBC-broadcasted production of Carmen (1986), in which she sang the role of Micaela, alongside Jean Stilwell, Jacque Trussel and Tom Fox. Collins is well remembered for performing the role whilst dancing in pointe shoes. The production was directed by Lucian Pintilie.
Collin says she is “excited to take on an expanded role in passing on this art form that I love to others.” She will continue to direct productions for Sarasota Opera.