La Muerte small
Death dancing at Juliet's Ball
Romeo and Julieta
In English and Spanish
Adapted, translated and directed by Peter M. Webster
Old Globe Theatre and CECUT
(Cultural Arts Center of Tijuana, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico)
On Tour at Balboa Park, San Diego, California

Peter M. Webster
is a director and producer of new and classic works for theatre and opera. His goal is to create projects that embrace a wide array of cultural, social and ethnic points of view, reinterpreting classic works to reflect a diverse population, and inventing new works that take this diversity as a starting point: from cultural specifics to a universal understanding.
For the Ensemble Theatre he created an Afro-Centric A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, in collaboration with the African American Studies Program at the University of Houston, Alley Theatre, City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where students composed and performed a percussion score commissioned for the production. The Ensemble Theatre also commissioned DISTANT VOICES, a play with music, chronicling the inhabitants of the second-oldest African-American cemetery in Houston, College Memorial Park. This piece, with an original jazz and gospel score by multi-instrumentalist Horace Alexander-Young was conceived, designed and directed by Webster, received a major production grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and garnered a Finalist award from the famed Susan Smith Blackburn International Prize for its author, Celeste Bedford-Walker.

Working with the Latino communities in Houston, Webster wrote, designed and directed a
Pastorela (Shepherd’s Play) LA MÚSICA DEL CIELO (Music from Heaven) and UN MOSAICO MUSICAL MEXICANO (A Mexican Musical Mosaic) a pageant with traditional music that examined the role of women in the Mexican Revolution as exemplified by songs with women in the title. Collaborating with MECA (Multicultural Education and Counseling through the Arts) Alley Theatre, and the City of Houston Parks and Recreation Department, he adapted and translated a Spanish-English ROMEO AND JULIET that toured ten city parks. As Artistic Director of Mappamundi, a not-for-profit production company, he created the YOUNG HOUSTON PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL. Plays created by students aged 6 to 21 years were developed during summer workshops in city parks and presented at the Alley Theatre in collaboration with The Ensemble Theatre.

He served as dramaturge and stage director for the Spanish and English language chamber opera,
ILLUSIONS/ILUSIONES, a work commissioned by Utah Symphony and Opera, with score, libretto, set and costumes created by a multi-ethnic group of International Baccalaureate Students. The work was premiered at the Winter Olympics at Salt Lake City, toured to schools, theatres and community centers throughout Utah, and won the Success Award from Opera America.

Mr. Webster’s World Premiere production for Houston Grand Opera of
Mark Adamo’s opera of LITTLE WOMEN was broadcast nationally on PBS Great Performances, and he directed the West Coast and International Premieres of this most-produced American work in the history of opera.

For The Old Globe Theatre and CECUT (Centro Cultural de Tijuána, the Arts-Center for Tijuána, Baja California, Mexico) he prepared a new translation and adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet titled
ROMEO and JULIETA, it featured a bilingual blend of professional actors and students from nine high schools in San Diego and Tijuána. The cast of sixty-five, including forty dancers, toured to five locations in San Diego, Chula Vista and Tijuána, performing free for audiences estimated at seven thousand.

Webster was librettist of the operatic version of
James Thurber’s beloved fable, THE THIRTEEN CLOCKS, with music by Christopher Theofanidis. The work had its World Premiere at the great Moores Opera Center in Houston.

Works in development include
DADD, An Ephemera in Sixteen Scenes for Singers & Dancers, with noted composer Mark Kuss, VOCES DEL RÍO/VOICES FROM THE RIVER with Guggenheim Award winning composer Gabriela Ortíz, NOAHS ARKS, an opera for children with composer Bruce Adolphe, THE FORBIDEN CHAMBER, a thriller for chamber ensemble and singers with composer Marc Mellits, and THE KING OF PERSIA: A Journey through an American Landscape with composer and Yale University faculty member Jack Vees.

Webster is in demand as a text and performance practice coach for opera singers. He was Director of Dramatic Studies at Houston Grand Opera Studio, and is proud to have had as student-artists singers of the caliber of
Joyce DiDonato, Beth Clayton, Chad Shelton, Eric Owens and Derrick Parker, among many others. His approach is practical, lean and intuitive. Familiar arias leap into bold, fine relief when attention is given to the details of dramatic arc and specificity.

Mr. Webster is establishing a professional opera company in New Haven,
OPERA IN THE STREETS, which will present site-specific, fully-produced operatic productions free to the public. Maestro James Sinclair, Music Director for the renowned Orchestra New England will serve as Music Director, and Orchestra New England will provide the symphonic honors to the project.