Acclaimed stage director, Joseph Bascetta, is recognized for his high artistic standards and insightful direction and is continually gaining notoriety for his productions. Most recently Mr. Bascetta returns to Carnegie Mellon University after previously directing Die Fledermaus to direct an Evening of Opera Scenes, and teach acting classes. The 2013-14 season included directing Tosca for Fresno Grand Opera and Townsend Opera and Rigoletto for Livermore Opera.
Previous productions include La Bohème for Opera Lyra, Carmen for Phoenix Opera and Rigoletto for Fresno Grand Opera, Macbeth for Opera Lyra in Ottawa Canada, Macbeth for Fresno Grand Opera with Metropolitan Opera star Mark Rucker. He also directed Tosca for Mobile Opera and La Rondine for the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance in NYC, and Eugene Onegin for Opera Lyra Canada. For the 2008-2009 season Mr. Bascetta directed productions of Il Trovatore, for Indianapolis Opera,
La Traviata, Opera Lyra Ottawa Canada, Faust and La Bohème, Fresno Grand Opera, and The Marriage of Figaro, Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance NYC. His 2007-2008 season included La Bohème for Opera Columbus, La Traviata for Opera Lyra Ottowa, and La Bohème for the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Opera Tampa. This was televised on PBS in Florida. He also directed Madama Butterfly and Porgy and Bess for Fresno Grand Opera. The 2006-2007 season included directing South Pacific, and Cenerentola, and Manon Lescaut, for Fresno Grand Opera and La Traviata for Mobile Opera. In 2005- 2006 Mr. Bascetta directed The Merry Widow and Otello for Fresno Grand Opera, and Tosca for Shanghai Grand Opera, for the opening of the new Opera House in Podong Shanghai, Aida for Opera Columbus, and La Bohème for the Astra Theatre in Malta, with La Scala tenor Joseph Calleja.
International career highlights include an outdoor extravaganza of Turandot for the renowned Pula Opera Festival in Croatia, a production that received much acclaim and was televised nationally. In addition, Mr. Bascetta directed Otello for the prestigious Taipei Music Festival at the National Theatre in Taipei, Taiwan, and a captivating production of La Sonnambula with world famous bass, Bonaldo Giaiotti at the Festival de Opera in Tenerife, Spain. A frequent guest of Asia's leading opera festivals, Mr. Bascetta debuted with the Singapore Lyric Theatre directing Faust, debuted in Seoul Korea at the Kim Cha Kyung Opera where he was invited to stage an outdoor spectacular of Carmen in Seoul's Olympic Park which was televised throughout Korea, directed Rigoletto for the National Theater of Taipei, and directed Cavalleria Rusticana in Shanghai, China at the new international Opera House. Mr Bascetta also made his debut in Malta as artistic advisor as well as stage director for Macbeth, and subsequently returned to Malta as artistic advisor and stage director for productions of Rigoletto, Aida, and La Gioconda with star Ghena Dimetrova.
In 1999 he helped start the new Fresno Grand Opera and soon became its Artistic Director. He directed the company’s first production of Madama Butterfly with Maria Spacagna. He has gone on to direct productions of Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Rigoletto, and most recently Tosca and La Traviata with Fresno Opera. Other engagements include La Cenerentola for Providence Opera, Die Fledermaus, Carmen and an Opera Gala Concert for Fresno Opera, Madama Butterfly and Tosca for Mississippi Opera, Un Ballo in Maschera at the Astra Theater in Malta, Die Fledermaus for Gold Coast Opera, and Tosca for Providence Opera and Boston Academy of Music, La Bohème for Opera Lyra in Ottawa and Madama Butterfly for Providence Opera. Additional opera companies he has worked with include Berkshire Opera, Buffalo Opera, Capital Artistic Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Cincinnati Opera, Connecticut Grand Opera, Dayton Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Jefferson Performing Arts Society of New Orleans, Michigan Opera Theatre, New York Shakespeare Company, Ontario Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Pensacola Opera, Pittsburgh Opera Theatre, Saskatoon Opera, the Shubert New Haven Opera, the Singapore Lyric Theatre, the Taipei Music Festival in Taiwan, the Tenerife Opera Festival in Spain, Toledo Opera, Virginia Opera, and Washington Lyric Opera.
Mr. Bascetta received great acclaim for his production of Porgy & Bess at Toledo Opera, where he has also directed Carmen, Gianni Schicchi, and
Il Barbiere di Siviglia. At Hawaii Opera Theatre, he has directed an insightful production of La Traviata, a spectacular Turandot, Aida, and La Bohème. Other productions include Aida for the Buffalo Opera commemorating their tenth anniversary season, Turandot for Tulsa Opera, Madama Butterfly for Mississippi Opera, Faust for the Connecticut Opera Association with Justino Diaz, Madama Butterfly for Virginia Opera and La Bohème and Faust for Dayton Opera.
Mr. Bascetta has been the Artistic Director of the Berkshire Opera, The Ontario Opera, The Capital Artist Opera, and Fresno Grand Opera.
Mr. Bascetta has studied with renowned Opera Director Frank Corsaro and established the Opera Studio of New York for the purpose of bringing the acting values of Stanislavsky and Actors Studio to Opera.
Education, Training, Teaching Experience and Awards:
Bachelor of Fine Arts - Music Education, Ball State University, Indiana
Mr. Bascetta began his career in New York City where he received the coveted Show Business Award for Best Director of the Year for his direction of
Floyd's Susannah and Ward's The Crucible.
Mr. Bascetta's background includes training with the Royal Shakespeare Company of London (Morgan Shepherd & Keith Taylor), dance and performance training in vocal and choral technique, experience as a music educator and intensive study of Stanislavsky acting technique with Stella Adler, among others. In addition to his extensive directing experiences, he has educated singers in his unique dramatic approach, through acting classes tailored especially to the needs of opera singers. As a result of studying with the renowned opera director, Frank Corsaro, Mr. Bascetta established the Opera Studio of New York, for the purpose of bringing the acting values of Stanislavsky and Actors Studio to opera. Additional teaching credits include:
- Stage Director---SUNY Purchase College
- Stage Director and teacher for Shanghai Conservatory, Shanghai, China.
- Acting teacher for International Opera School of the Societa dei Concerti in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy.
- Acting Teacher and Stage Director Carnegie Mellon University
- Acting Teacher and director for A.I.M.S. in Graz, Austria.
- Advisory board member, acting teacher and stage director for Martina Arroyo Foundation, Prelude to Performance, New York City, New York.
- Teacher - "Master Classes" for Francisco Casanova, (Metropolitan Opera Star), Vocal Studio (3+ years).