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director

Claire's focus as a director is on creating a strong sense of ensemble and interconnectedness between performers, using the body to deepen the audience's absorption of the music, and empowering performers to follow their instincts. In 2022, they joined the faculty of both Northeastern Illinois University and Roosevelt University as an opera director. As their first full production at NEIU, in the spring of 2023 Claire led the students in a reimagined production of Handel's Semele, in which "the gods" are really aliens who have colonized a willing cult of Earthlings. At Roosevelt, Claire spent the 2022-2023 school year devising a new pastiche opera in collaboration with Juniors and Seniors in the Vocal Music Performance program, culminating in a 90-minute long, fully staged and costumed production in the O'Malley Theatre.

 

Claire's largest body of directorial work is in contemporary works, much of it with their home organization, Thompson Street Opera Company, Claire feels equally at home in screwball comedies and experimental non-linear narratives, and particularly enjoys creating performances in intimate spaces where the audience is an arms length from the performers. 

Their most recent project was the US premiere of Il nostro posto nel mondo, an expansive love story that follows two souls through reincarnation in different bodies, genders, social classes, and even species. To help the audience follow the transformations, some of which are into real-life historical figures, period costume elements were combined with projections.

Projects earlier in the 2023-2024 season include the the second-ever performance of a new libretto & translation of Offenbach's The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein (NEIU), co-directing the Chicago premiere of Nkeiru Okoye's We've Got Our Eye on You (TSOC), and creating a double bill of Kurt Weill's The Tzar Gets His Photograph Taken and Viktor Ullmann's Der Kaiser von Atlantis, in which the Tzar from the first piece transforms into the Kaiser in the second piece (Roosevelt). 

 

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"The sense of ensemble upon which Thompson Street prides itself is palpable... present[ing] a fully operatic experience without upsetting the ethos of the intimate black box theatre is a testament to DiVizio’s art."

 

THE KAMIKAZE MIND - 2022
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