Stage director Jessica Derventzis hails from Toronto, Ontario and came to opera by way of playing piano. She began her studies at Queen's University as a music major, but quickly added theatre to her education after accompanying rehearsals for the opera company in her first year. She went on to direct "Les Dialogues des Carmélites" and "Trouble in Tahiti" while in Kingston. After graduating, Jessica took over the theatre department at her old high school, Mentor College. She spent 5 years there moulding young minds and directing over 20 productions including: "Little Shop of Horrors," "Twelve Angry Men," "Crazy For You," "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee," "The Real Inspector Hound," and Neil Simon's "Rumors."
Since leaving education, Jessica has worked steadily assisting and directing throughout Canada. She created an indie opera company with her best friend, conductor Stuart Martin, Stu&Jess Productions. Together, they have produced "The Medium," "Le Docteur Miracle," and "L'Heure Espagnole"in Montreal. Jessica also has the incredible honour of being mentored by Rob Herriot and has assisted him on four productions with Calgary Opera, including "Candide," "Le Portrait de Manon," "Die Zauberflöte,"and "L'Enfant et les Sortilèges."
Most recently, Jessica directed the Canadian premiere of Ned Rorem's "Our Town" with Opera Nuova and "La Voix Humaine" with Little Opera on the Prairie. Coming up next, she will be co-directing "Die Fledermaus" with Opera 5 in Toronto and "Die Zauberflöte" with Opera Kelowna.
Jessica has also been working steadily as a stage manager. She has stage managed for the Toronto Fringe Festival, Summerworks, as well as critically acclaimed productions of "My Name is Rachel Corrie" (Hart House Theatre), "The Crackwalker" (Staged and Confused Productions), and "Nightmare Dream" (iftTheatre/Newface/Obsidian).
Also an avid travel blogger, feel free to check out her travel woes and whoas at www.pagingpassengers.com.
Photography Brent Callis