Copeland Woodruff (he/him/his)

New Headshot Hat
Campus Address
Music-Drama Center
Room 261
Conservatory of Music
Director of Opera Studies and Associate Professor of Music

Copeland Woodruff is currently the director of opera studies at Lawrence University, Conservatory of Music. He has been on the directing and production staffs of the New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Yale Opera, Atlantic Coast Opera Festival (NJ), and Opera North (Philadelphia and New Hampshire). Mr. Woodruff has been on the faculties of the The Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory, Academy of Vocal Arts, Temple University, University of Memphis, Universität Bamberg, the Harrower Opera Workshop, Red River Lyric Opera, La musica lirica (Italy) and Festival of International Opera of the Americas (Brazil).

Mr. Woodruff is highly sought after as a teacher of the singing actor, and has directed more than 100 productions, including the 2013 world premiere of Raise the Red Lantern at the Tianqiao Theatre in Beijing, China. Since 2006, his productions have earned seventeen National Opera Association Best Opera Production Awards (including nine first-place awards) and nine awards in The American Prize (including two first-place awards), among other recognition. He is the first recipient of the Charles Nelson Reilly Prize in Directing from The American Prize (2018). He was recently recognized as an Honored Artist of the American Prize (2023), which is awarded to those who have proven themselves to be of "sustained excellence" over a number of seasons as laureates of The American Prize competitions.

He has enjoyed an extended relationship with Boston Conservatory’s Ensemble-in-Residence, Guerilla Opera. In addition to having served on their advisory board, he has directed three productions for the company, one of which (Rojahn’s Heart of a Dog) earned Second Prize in the American Prize for Opera Performance competition, professional division. Heart of a Dog was a favorite at the Opera America convention in May 2011 and its sold-out, two-week run in Boston garnered such reviews as: “…a brilliant stroke of staging” and “…stunning” (Boston Musical Intelligencer); “brilliantly physicalized in this extraordinarily well-acted production” and “a prime and rare example of opera properly compounded with theater” (Boston Lowbrow).

Mr. Woodruff is a proud member of the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and Actors' Equity Association (AEA).

Master of Science, Stage Direction in Opera, Indiana University, 1995
Master of Music, Vocal Performance, University of South Carolina, 1989
Bachelor of Music, Vocal Performance, University of South Carolina, 1986
Years at Lawrence