Robert DeSimone combines an active career as Stage Director, Pianist, Coach, Administrator.
Originally a pianist, he received his musical education in Switzerland, Italy, England and the United States. He studied piano with Emanuel Bay, Paul Stoye and John Crown. A protégé of Nora Quarrie, Sadler Wells Theatre in London, he spent four years training in the tradition of England’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His opera studies include work with stage directors Hans Zimmerman, Herbert Graf, coach/conductor Luigi Ricci, Sergius Kagen and Hans Willi- Hausselein.
He has directed over one hundred operas in major theatres in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Brazil, Panama, Finland, Norway, Mexico, Costa Rica, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles Music Center, Lincoln Center, Seattle Opera and opera companies throughout the States.
Robert’s arts administration posts include: Administrative Coordinator for the Music Center Opera Association Los Angeles, Director of the City of the Angels Opera, Executive Director for the Visual Arts Center of Alaska, Co-Director of the Accademia Vocale di Lucca in Italy, and the Artistic Director of Opera Panama.
A recipient of awards from the Adolph’s Foundation, National Thespian Society, Italian Government, National Association of Piano Teachers, Austin Circle of Theatres, National Association of Teachers of Singing. He has received special commendation for his work with contemporary opera and the operas of Giacomo Puccini and has been a judge for the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the Butler Opera International Competition, and major international voice/opera competitions in Peru, Panama, Mexico and Europe. Robert has hosted the cablevision series “Encore,” and is an active lecturer and presents masterclasses in opera.
Robert is the former Director of the Sarah and Ernest Butler Opera Center and recipient of the Sarah and Ernest Butler Professorship in Opera. Dr. DeSimone is currently Professor Emeritus, Butler School of Music, University of Texas at Austin.