Skip to page content

Zack Winokur

About this Artist

Stage Director, Choreographer, Dancer, Zack Winokur, born in Boston, Massachusetts is a graduate of The Juilliard School.  A dynamic range of activities in the 2018-19 season includes a new production of A Little Night Music at Nederlandse Reisopera, choreography for a new production by Lotte de Beer of Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Dutch National Opera, and, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, both Henze’s El Cimarrón in a new production with the American Modern Opera Company and Perle Noir: Meditations for Joséphine with Julia Bullock, Tyshawn Sorey, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and text by Claudia Rankine.  Zack Winokur makes a new work on the Los Angeles Dance Project, partnering with visual and performing artist, Emily Mast, at LUMA Arles and he directs the world premiere of The Black Clown at the American Repertory Theater written by Michael Schachter with a libretto adapted from the Langston Hughes poem by Davóne Tines and the composer; this music theater experience animates a Black man’s resilience against America’s legacy of oppression by fusing vaudeville, opera, jazz, and spirituals to bring Hughes’ verse to life onstage.  Zack Winokur is the co-artistic director, alongside Matthew Aucoin, of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC).

Highlights of last season included a new production of Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Cincinnati Opera; a pairing of Gluck’s Orfeo and Matthew Aucoin’s Orphic Moment at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater; Monteverdi’s Il Ballo delle ingrate with William Christie at Juilliard; a tour of Were You There, a new piece he conceived with Davóne Tines, with performances at the American Repertory Theater, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, and Big Ears Festival; as well as the choreography of Rameau’s Hippolyte et Aricie at Juilliard in a new production by Stephen Wadsworth. Zack Winokur also performed in Gerard & Kelly’s Modern Living, in Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, as part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial.  AMOC, in its first season, inaugurated an annual festival, the Run AMOC! Festival, at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, held its first major teaching residency at Harvard University, and was the Artist-in-Residence at the Park Avenue Armory.

Zack Winokur’s recent production of Cavalli's Venetian baroque masterpiece La Calisto for The Juilliard School, was hailed as 'one of the most elegant and imaginative shows seen in New York this season' in Opera News and garnered rave reviews in a plethora of other publications including The New York Times and Vogue as well as receiving a nomination for Best Production of the Year in Opernwelt, the only American production to be nominated.  

He has contributed to music video The Virus for A Tribe Called Red, as well as to productions for the Salzburger Landestheater and National Sawdust (Orphic Moments); Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, Grand Theatre de Luxembourg, (Svadba- European Premiere); La Nuova Musica at St. John’s Smith Square (Dido and Aeneas); Luminato Festival (A Study on Effort) - named one of the top three shows in Toronto by The Globe and Mail in 2016; Opera Omaha (A Flowering Tree); Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, La Monnaie, Aldeburgh Music, Dutch National Opera, (Les Mamelles de Tirésias); Central City Opera (Der Kaiser von Atlantis); Juilliard Opera (Le nozze di Figaro, Il turco in Italia, Der Kaiser von Atlantis); the Royal Opera House (Most of the Boys - World Premiere); International Contemporary Ensemble (Mesh- World Premiere); the Museum of Arts and Design (Triptych- World Premiere); and has re-staged Episode 31 by Alexander Ekman for the Joffrey Ballet.

Zack Winokur has choreographed for film with Academy Award-nominated director Mike Figgis, collaborating on Burlington Project, a commission from the Royal Academy of Arts in London, and Dancing on Glass with pianist Rosey Chan and fashion house Boudicca that was exhibited in Paris, London, Beijing, Tokyo, and Barcelona.  His choreography also has been seen at David Lynch’s Club Silencio and the Centre Pompidou for the opening of A Shaded View on Fashion Film Festival as well as for choreographic installations that took over the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden over the course of days.  

The artist has curated shows at the 92nd St. Y and both has programmed and has been commissioned to make several new interdisciplinary works for The Juilliard School.  In 2014-15 Zack Winokur was the fourth recipient of the Marcus Institute Opera Directing Fellowship at The Juilliard School under the mentorship of Stephen Wadsworth.  He was nominated for a United States Artist Fellowship in 2013, awarded a Jerome Robbins New Essential Works grant in 2012, and in 2011, with Ted Huffman, received a "Best Opera Direction" nomination in Opernwelt for Henze's El Cimarrón.