Conductor Robert Wood founded UrbanArias in 2009. Under his guidance, the company has achieved national recognition as an innovator in the field of opera, and has produced over 25 contemporary works in Virginia, DC, and New York City, eleven of which were world premieres, and seven of which were UrbanArias commissions. He conducts all of UrbanArias’ productions. Highlights inlcude Glory Denied (Cipullo), The Roost (Migó/de los Santos – world premiere, UrbanArias commission), The Last American Hammer (Hilliard/Boresi – world premiere, UrbanArias commission), Paul’s Case (Spears/Walat – world premiere), Three Decembers (Heggie/Scheer), Blue Viola (Hilliard/Boresi – world premiere, UrbanArias commission), As One (Kaminsky/Campbell/Reed), After Life and Josephine (Cipullo – world premiere/UrbanArias commission), and Independence Eve (Boquiren/Neer – world premiere).
Maestro Wood made his debut with the San Francisco Opera in 2004 with Verdi’s La traviata; he also conducted L’italiana in Algeri there, as well as several concerts. He recently conducted Rigoletto at Austin Opera, Silent Night at the University of British Columbia with the Vancouver Opera orchestra, Roméo et Juliette and Carmen at Opera Colorado, Die Fledermaus and As One at Hawaii Opera Theater, and Three Decembers at Kentucky Opera.
Mo. Wood has also conducted L’italiana in Algeri at Vancouver Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Hawaii Opera Theater, The Love for Three Oranges at Indiana University Opera Theater, La cenerentola at New Jersey Opera Theater, and The Nutcracker for San Francisco Ballet. Mo. Wood’s collaborations with the Wolf Trap Opera Company include Le Comte Ory and Die Zauberflöte. Additionally, Maestro Wood was appointed Conductor in Residence at the Minnesota Opera from 2006-2008, leading productions of L’italiana in Algeri, Le nozze di Figaro, La donna del lago, Rusalka, and Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Mo. Wood held the position of Chorus Master at The Santa Fe opera from 2001 to 2004, where he received critical acclaim for the choral contribution to the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Madame Mao, and the American premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin. Mo. Wood was a Merola Opera Program and Western Opera Theater participant, and spent several years in Vienna studying voice and singing in the Arnold Schönberg Chor. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, and completed his Master’s at Florida State University.