(b. Charleston, South Carolina) 

Marcus Shields is a New York City based director who specializes in the presentation and performance of classical music and opera. 

He is a 2019 finalist for the Opera America Robert L Tobin Director-Designer showcase and is the recipient of the 2017 Drama League Opera Directing Fellowship in conjunction with the Metropolitan Opera and Wolf Trap Opera. 

His work ranges in scale from installation/ performance art to fully produced theater and blends his various skills (pianist/ singer/ visual artist/ director) into cross disciplinary pieces that explore methods of meaning making in classical music. 

He has professional directing affiliation with The Juilliard School, Santa Fe Opera, Opera Theater Saint Louis, Arizona Opera, Curtis Institute of Music, the Merola Opera Program, Lyric Opera Chicago, the Atlanta Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra 

In partnership with Neal Goren, Shields serves as the Executive Director of Catapult Opera, a new American production company dedicated to bringing the intimacy and power of chamber opera to audiences across the United States and beyond. 

Trained as a musicologist, he has, at times, moonlighted as a proposal writer, worked as a rehearsal pianist/ music director (Northwestern University’s musical theatre program), and sung professionally (concert/ opera) throughout the United States. In collaboration with pianist Alan Darling, he founded a Chicago based artist collective (no tiny birds) dedicated to non traditional recital presentation. 

Currently, he serves as Visiting Assistant Professor of Opera Directing at University of Cincinnati's College Conservatory of Music. 


A.D., College Conservatory of Music (UC), 2017

M.M., College Conservatory of Music (UC), 2015

B.M., Northwestern University, 2012