Mary Barrett Fruehan Associate Professor & Artistic Director of LSU Opera
228 Music & Dramatic Arts Building
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-2504
C: (225) 276-7217
P: (225) 578-3593
F: (225) 578-2562
Dugg McDonough is the Mary Barrett Fruehan Associate Professor of Opera and the Artistic Director of LSU Opera, becoming the first recipient of the endowed professorship in the fall of 2006. Starting with Il barbiere di Siviglia in 2002, he has staged over 50 LSU productions, including 2007’s highly acclaimed performances of Carlisle Floyd’s Willie Stark, which were filmed for the composer’s first commercial DVD, released by Newport Classic in 2008. Another video highlight came with David Amram’s Twelfth Night in 2010, again recorded by Newport Classic, and included in a documentary celebrating the composer’s 80th birthday.
As a professional director, McDonough has staged a wide variety of operas, operettas, and musicals, from Monteverdi to Sondheim to Heggie, for companies ranging from the New York City Opera to the Taipei International Arts Festival. Highlights in recent years include the workshop premiere of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Out of Darkness for Pensacola Opera; Elektra, Susannah, Dialogues of the Carmelites, La rondine, and The Tragedy of Carmen for Des Moines Metro Opera; Madama Butterfly for Opèra Louisiane and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra; Turandot for Jacksonville; Little Women, La cenerentola, La tragèdie de Carmen, and The Medium for Pensacola Opera; The Awakening (world premiere staging) for New Orleans Opera Association; and Tristan und Isolde in Sofia, Bulgaria (complete with commercial CD on Titanic Records and a video documentary). Most recently, in the summer of 2015, he staged two productions of Le nozze di Figaro for Operafestival di Roma and Land of Enchantment Opera in New Mexico, where he returns for Così fan tutte in 2016.
Among his additional credits, McDonough served for four seasons as Staff Stage Director for the New York City Opera, under the leadership of Beverly Sills, and he spent two summers on the production staff of The Santa Fe Opera (beginning his professional career as Assistant Director on the American premiere of the complete, three-act version of Berg’s Lulu). For two years, he served as Production Manager and Artistic Consultant for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, collaborating with such notable stage directors as Colin Graham, Frank Corsaro, and Jonathan Miller. Also a librettist, McDonough authored Ordinary People, a three-act opera with music by Robert Chumbley (world premiere workshop staging at Maryland Opera Studio in 2008), and he has recently been offered commissions for two new one-act stage works.
As a specialist in working with emerging performers, McDonough served for 20 years (1993-2012) as Co-Director of the Apprentice Artist Program of Des Moines Metro Opera. He has also stage directed for The Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Program, the San Diego Opera Center, the Young Artist Program of Florida Grand (formerly Greater Miami) Opera, and the National Company and Education Department of New York City Opera. As an adjudicator of vocal competitions, he has acted as judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, as well as the Charles A. Lynam Vocal Competition.
McDonough’s academic résumé includes, in addition to his years at LSU, a 1985-2002 tenure as Associate Professor and Director of Opera Theater at the Boyer College of Music of Temple University in Philadelphia. Other university teaching and directing credits include guest residencies at the University of Tennessee, University of Oklahoma, and the Shepherd School of Music of Rice University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Duke University; a Master of Arts in Dramatic Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and did extensive post-graduate study in theater history, operatic and dramatic literature, and stage direction for opera at Indiana University.