David Ostwald’s career includes work with students and professionals in a wide range of plays and operas from ancient to contemporary. As reflected in the “Thoughts” page on this web site, he is positive and supportive in his approach, and dedicated to finding an effective expression of the core meaning of each piece. His years of experience and his calm and concentrated manner promise a thoroughly professional result.
In his opera work, building on his strong musical background, David has specialized in creating fully integrated productions, deeply grounded in the music and the text and performed in venues which offer the audience a sense of immediacy. He works extensively with the singers to help them create characters who are three dimensional and believable. His play productions are distinguished by the same respect for the material, and intense work with the actors, and also take advantage of David’s imaginative ability to see any potential commentary on our contemporary social dilemmas.
With over 40 years of experience directing a wide variety of dramatic material, David is unusually qualified to help young directors learn to analyze a piece and find the expressive means to bring that analysis to life. He is deeply committed to helping each participant find his or her unique directing voice.
Mr. Ostwald is available on a limited basis for guest directing and residencies.
Acting for Singers
David’s special expertise is helping singers create believable characters. His approach is multi-faceted: he uses a variety of exercises including improvisations to help the participants develop essential skills. He then helps them use those skills to create dramatic interpretations based on the implications of the music and the text. His approach is as useful for performing songs, arias and lieder as it is for creating entire roles in musicals or operas.
Residencies can be of varying lengths with a one day minimum. A typical one-day schedule might include a group acting class focusing on believability in the morning, afternoon sessions with individual singers in which they work on performing a specific piece in a believable manner, and an evening master class in which they present that material. (The master class could be open to the public.)
Longer residencies are extremely valuable in helping the participants really absorb what they are learning. They can include sessions in which the participants practice spontaneity and veracity using speaking and singing improvisations. In other sessions the students might work on taking each in-breath in character, exploring how to modify their natural movements to be expressive of their character while maintaining a good vocal technique, and discovering how to turn the composer’s music into their characters’ inner thoughts.
Please email David to discuss how he can best serve your company, your singers or your students, and to make all arrangements.