Stage director Octavio Cardenas captivates audiences with his visionary, visceral, and physical style of directing. Born in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, Opera News has praised him for creating “an immersive theater experience” while the Dallas Morning News hailed him for bringing “every character and situation to life.” Recent projects include Lohengrin by Salvatore Sciarrino as a pop-up digital opera installation: a site
specific opera for COVID times in collaboration with artist Lance McGoldrick and Opera Southwest, Cruzar la cara de la Luna with Opera Santa Barbara, Barber of Seville with Opera Delaware, and the world premiere of the opera Zorro with Fort Worth Opera.
Mr. Cardenas’ recent productions of Silent Night for Fort Worth Opera and Lyric Opera of Kansas City were described as “a breathtaking realization” with “many brilliant touches.” The Kansas City Star called the Lyric Opera’s production “one of its finest performances in recent memory.” Other recent productions include La boheme for Minnesota opera to which the Start Tribune acclaimed, “what makes the production a success, is Octavio Cardenas’ staging.” His production of As One for UrbanArias was acclaimed by MD Theater Guide, “Under the direction of Octavio Cardenas, the two stars playfully make great use of both stage and energetic space—it seemed the theatre condensed and expanded with Hannah’s journey.”
He has served as the Head of Directing Staff at Des Moines Metro Opera and member of the directing staff at Chautauqua Opera and Director of Baylor Opera Theater at Baylor School of Music. Mr. Cardenas is currently the Visiting Director of Opera at Chapman University and in the fall of 2022 will be joining the faculty at Eastman School of Music as Professor of Opera.