Skip to main content
Skip to main menu Skip to spotlight region Skip to secondary region Skip to UGA region Skip to Tertiary region Skip to Quaternary region Skip to unit footer


Daniel Ellis

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Academic Professional (Opera/Musical Theatre)

Stage Director, Daniel Ellis, continues to garner wide attention for developing new work with renowned artists while bringing innovative and imaginative theater and opera to diverse audiences. Daniel made his European debut in 2016 directing the third revival of Barrie Kosky and Suzanne Andrade’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte at the Komische Oper in Berlin and has subsequently directed the Cincinnati Opera (2017) and Opera Philadelphia’s Inaugural “O” Festival (2017) revivals of the production. Mr. Ellis was honored to direct the European debut of Sir David McVicar’s production of Wozzeck at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland (2017) and again for the Finnish National Opera (2019).  He will be directing a new production of L'elisir d'amore as a part of Minnesota Opera's upcoming 2023-2024 season.  

In addition to opera, Daniel works extensively in theatre and musical theatre, highlighting voices that are rarely heard bringing stories that challenging all to listen and engage others around them.  In 2019, he was praised for his “sensitive, intuitive and astutely intelligent direction” of The Elephant Man for Williams Street Repertory and has had the pleasure of working on over 10 world premieres.  Most recently, Daniel directed the short film, Heart of Stone, which will preimere at the 2023 L. A. Queer Film Festival and 2023 Cinema Diverse Film Festival (Palm Springs).  

Awards include: 2021 recipient of Opera America’s Robert L. B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize (L’elisir d’amore); 2nd place honor in the 2015 American Prize in Directing Competition (The Beaux’ Stratagem, Minneapolis, MN); 3rd Place award in the 2014 American Prize in Directing (Griffelkin, Minnesota Opera’s Project Opera). He is an alumnus of Minnesota Opera Residence Artist Program, an associate member of the Stage Director and Choreographers Society (SDC), and a member of AGMA.  

Of note:

Recipient of the OPERA America 2021 Robert L. B. Toblin Director/Designer Prize 

Short Film - Heart of Stone (2022) - Director - accepted to the 2023 L. A. Queer Film Festival and Cinema Diverse 2023 (Palm Spring Queer Film Festival)

Awarded the Director's Choice and Audience Choice awards - Cinema Diverse 2023 for Short Film - Heart of Stone (2022)

2nd place honor in the 2015 American Prize in Directing

3rd place honor in the 2014 American Prize in Directing


Articles Featuring Daniel Ellis

The department would like to congratulate Daniel Ellis, joint faculty member with Hugh Hodgson School of Music, on his…

Faculty member Daniel Ellis's short film, Heart of Stone, was recently awarded both Director's Choice and Audience Choice awards at Cinema Diverse 2023, a part of the Palm Springs Queer Film Festival. The short, created alongside and…

Athens, GA – UGA Theatre presents “A Little Night Music,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Directed by Daniel Ellis. Performances will be held in the Fine Arts Theatre on…

UGA Theatre and Film Studies will be holding auditions and callbacks for our Spring Semester productions of Sweat, The Wolves, and A Little Night Music on October 20-23…

Support us

We appreciate your financial support. Your gift is important to us and helps support critical opportunities for students and faculty alike, including lectures, travel support, and any number of educational events that augment the classroom experience. Click here to learn more about giving.

Every dollar given has a direct impact upon our students and faculty.