Gino Quilico 

Performing Artist


My directing is personally focused on the characters and how to get the singers to find within themselves the proper emotions to interpret there individual characters. However, I always put the music first, It must first pass through the voice. My approach is also very much focused on the text to make the singer believe in what he or she are interpreting.

It is very important to have a functional set on stage to serve the interpreters. Therefore I do not believe in large and lavish productions. I strongly focus on the lighting to express the moods and to put the focus on the artists. What is important to me is the music, the drama and  interpretation.

5 Steps on how to direct an Opera

Musical Score Analysis

As a director I first study the story by analyzing reputable resources on the opera itself.

For example researching books written about the opera, images of characters in the historical setting, specific markings that the composer indicated on the musical score. For example Puccini in la Boheme writes several stage directions for the characters. I am of the opinion that composers indications in the score must be honored.

Set Design

Once all the research is complete I establish my own vision of the production. What period does the story takes place in? Will I make an accurate representation of this period? Or it can be a more abstract contemporary vision.

This will dictate the costume design

Cast Selection

In most settings cast selection can be done in coordination with the stage director,

however it’s the artistic director of the opera company that usually has the final say.

Auditions are held unless I have someone particular in mind for the role.

My goal is to match the roles with the correct voices and physical appearance.

There are some occasions where a production will be created around a specific artist.


I like to divide the musical score and the libretto.

The libretto contains the movement indications and acting guidance of how I would like the performers to interpret their roles as actors. The musical score is controlled by (the maestro) the conductor who has final word on any musical decisions. Fostering good relationships between the stars the stage director and the conductor is vital for the success of the production.

As a stage director I keep in mind the body position of the performers as they are singers and I consider myself a singers director.

Character development

I direct the singers towards developing the characters and their relationships.
For example love, hatred, jelousy, desire, sadness are all emotions that I guide the artist to embody while delivering the vocal performance,... and this makes the Opera come to life.