E. Loren Meeker is a stage director whose work has been seen at leading companies across the United States, South America, Asia, and Europe. In November of 2019, she was named General & Artistic Director of Opera San Antonio, having previously served as Artistic Advisor at that company. Ms. Meeker continues her collaboration with Opera San Antonio during the 2023-2024 season, directing productions of Hansel and Gretel in the fall and The Pirates of Penzance in the spring. She also travels to Opera Omaha for her company debut with a new production of Verdi’s La Traviata.
A diverse artist whose background in dance and theatre allows her to bring a unique vision to her work, Loren has received critical acclaim for recent productions of Carmen at Washington National Opera and Lucia di Lammermoor at New Orleans Opera. Tim Smith, of Opera News wrote "There was nothing routine about the production of Carmen at the Kennedy Center Opera House. Attractively cast, fluently directed by E. Loren Meeker and incisively conducted by Evan Rogister, the venture crackled with energy from the top of the Prelude to Act I." Theodore P. Mahne of the Times-Picayune titled his review of Lucia, “ 'Lucia di Lammermoor’ more than a mad scene in director’s strong vision”. He went on to say, “Meeker's concept behind this weekend's production is to transfer Sir Walter Scott's Scottish tale from the late 16th-century House of Stuart to the period roughly of ‘Downton Abbey’: Edwardian Britain. The result is both a theatrical and musical success, a production filled with vitality.”
Over the last two seasons, Ms. Meeker’s highlights include a reprisal of her production of La bohème with The Glimmerglass Festival, Hansel and Gretel for New Orleans Opera, a new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte for her debut with Arizona Opera, Le nozze di Figaro with Austin Opera, and Verdi’s Rigoletto at Opera San Antonio.
During the COVID-19 impacted 2020-2021 she directed a pair of filmed productions at Houston Grand Opera for streaming on Marquee.tv: David T. Little and Royce Vavrek’s Vinkensport (co-directed with Ryan McKinny) and Mozart’s The Impresario, and during the summer, she directed the Apprentices at Santa Fe Opera in two evenings of scenes programs.
During the COVID-19 shortened 2019-2020 season, Ms. Meeker directed Tosca for Opera San Antonio, followed by productions of Madama Butterfly with Portland Opera and Florida Grand Opera. She returned to Washington National Opera to direct their production of Don Giovanni, with the performance run unfortunately cut short by the pandemic.
The previous season, Ms. Meeker directed a new production of Turandot for New Orleans Opera, directed Les pêcheurs de perles and remounted Zambello’s Florencia en el Amazonas for Houston Grand Opera, and directed a new production of Susannah for Rice University. She directed a new production of Lohengrin at Opera Southwest, at Boston University she directed The Cunning Little Vixen, and co-directed a new production of Show Boat with Francesca Zambello at The Glimmerglass Festival.
Her most recent credits include The Cunning Little Vixen (The Glimmerglass Festival), Rigoletto (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Daughter of the Regiment (Atlanta Opera), La pietra del paragone (Wolf Trap Opera), La bohème (Opera San Antonio, The Glimmerglass Festival, San Diego Opera), Amleto (Opera Delaware), Show Boat and Manon (The Dallas Opera), Die Fledermaus (Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, New Orleans Opera), Manon Lescaut (Singapore Lyric Opera), Manon (Teatro Colón), Madama Butterfly (North Carolina Opera), Carmen and L'elisir d'amore (Finger Lakes Opera), and Cendrillon and Vinkensport, or the Finch Opera (Boston University Opera Institute). In addition to her work with standard repertoire, Loren has directed five world premieres for Houston Grand Opera (HGOco) and Jason and the Argonauts for Lyric Opera of Chicago (Lyric Unlimited).
Loren has been on the directing staff at some of the most prestigious opera companies in the nation including Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Diego Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Florida Grand Opera, and Central City Opera where she was the 2006 recipient of the John Moriarty Award. These opportunities have allowed her to work with many distinguished directors who have greatly influenced her career, such as Sir David McVicar and Francesca Zambello.
While in residence at Central City Opera Loren was able to lend her talents as a movement teacher and choreographer. Her work as a choreographer has also been seen at Glimmerglass Festival (Orpheus in the Underworld), Houston Grand Opera (Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni), and Opera Boston (La Vie Parisienne).
Loren began her training at a young age developing skills as a dancer and gymnast, later combining her talents in these disciplines with her love for acting and singing. She attended Boston University where she received a BFA, summa cum laude, in Theatre Studies (focus in directing and choreography). After graduating she began to apply her diverse background to opera.
Loren has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work. Two of Loren’s productions for the New Orleans Opera have won the Gambit “Best of Opera” award – Faust (2017) and Die Fledermaus (2015). DC Metro Theater Arts named her production of Carmen for Washington National Opera the “Best Opera of 2015”. Other awards and honors include: Lakmè, Rutgers University, first prize in Division IV of the Opera Production Competition sponsored by the National Opera Association; Cendrillon, Boston University Opera Institute, nominated for 6 "Best Of" ArtsImpluse Theatre Awards.