Peter Sellars

Peter Sellars, a director of opera, theatre and film, is renowned worldwide for his innovative treatments of classical material from western and non-western traditions, and for his commitment to exploring the role of the performing arts in contemporary society. 

He has served as artistic director of the Los Angeles Festival, the American National Theatre at the Kennedy Center, the Boston Shakespeare Company and the Elitch Theatre for Children in Denver. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize Fellowship and was awarded the Erasmus Prize at the Dutch Royal Palace for contributions to European culture.

Recent projects include directing John Adams's El Niño, a nativity oratorio, at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic's production; Handel's Theodora; Stravinksy's The Story of a Soldier with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, a 25-year survey exhibition of the work of American artist Bill Viola; Jean Genet's The Screens, adapted by poet Gloria Alvarez, with the Cornerstone Theater Company and performers from the community of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles; and Peony Pavilion composed by Tan Dun and featuring renowned Kun Opera performer Hua Wenyi.

He is currently a professor at the UCLA Department of World Arts Cultures/Dance, and past teaching positions include a visiting professorship at the Center for Theatre Arts at UC Berkeley.

Peter Sellars appears in the following:

Peter Sellars on Tyshawn Sorey's 'Josephine Baker' at Ojai Music Festival

Thursday, June 08, 2017

The final installment in our series of highlights from the 2016 Ojai Music Festival features Tyshawn Sorey's "Josephine Baker" performed by Julia Bullock, ICE and Sorey himself.


Peter Sellars Hosts Music of Kaija Saariaho from Ojai Music Festival

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

The third in our four-part series of highlights from the 2016 Ojai Music Festival features music of celebrated Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho performed by Calder Quartet and ICE.


Peter Sellars Shares Music of Leila Adu, Caroline Shaw and Du Yun

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

We continue our four-part series of highlights from the 2016 Ojai Music Festival with music of remembrance from Roomful of Teeth, ICE, Calder Quartet, Bridget Kibbey and Claire Chase.


Peter Sellars Hosts First in Four-Part Series from Ojai Music Festival

Monday, June 05, 2017

Listen to the first in a four-part series of music live from the 2016 Ojai Music Festival, hosted by Peter Sellars with performances from Roomful of Teeth and ICE.


'Helga' Podcast Premieres with Opera Director Peter Sellars

Monday, November 14, 2016

Q2 Music's new podcast, Helga, features probing conversations with artists who have a unique voice and a stake in the matter of social change. The first guest is director Peter Sellars.


Desdemona Tells Her Side

Monday, October 31, 2011

Shakespeare’s heroine from the play Othello, Desdemona, is the subject of a new musical work getting its New York debut at the White Light Festival. We’ll learn more about Toni Morrison’s female-centric “Desdemona” with director Peter Sellars – plus, Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré and actress Tina Benko will perform live in our studio.

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The Greene Space

Preview of John Adams' Nixon in China

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

7:00 PM

WQXR will host a special preview of the Metropolitan Opera's staging of John Adams' iconic Nixon in China. The event will feature a discussion with Adams about his most famous opera, as well as performances of key arias by several of the leads in the Met production.