Dr. Michael Shahani made his Island City Opera debut conducting the March 2015 double-bill production of Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino. This year, Dr. Shahani will conduct the Friday, January 26th performance of Island City Opera’s production of a Rimsky-Korsakov double-bill; Mozart & Salieri, and, Kashchey the Immortal.
Dr. Shahani has conducted more than 450 performances of 80 operas and musicals. He is a faculty member at City College of San Francisco (CCSF), and has conducted most of the City Summer Opera productions and CCSF musical theater productions since 1989 including Kurt Weill’s The Silverlake (U.S. premier), The Threepenny Opera (original version San Francisco premier), and Happy End (San Francisco premier), Ernst Bacon’s A Tree on the Plains (world premier), Britten’s Paul Bunyan (San Francisco premier), Sondheim’s Assassins (San Francisco premier), Robert X. Rodriguez’s Frida (West Coast premier), K. A. Hartmann’s Simplicius! (U.S. premier), and Gordon Getty’s Plump Jack (world premier complete staged version). He currently conducts the City College Masterworks Chorale and the Cinnabar Singers.
Dr. Shahani founded both the Hesperian Ensemble Orchestra and the Moraga Chamber Orchestra in the San Francisco area. He has served as Musical Director for VOICES/SF Opera Ensemble, Theater Concord, San Francisco Recreation Symphony, Lyric Theatre of San Jose, Valhalla Productions, and Contra Costa Musical Theater for which he won the Shellie Award for Outstanding Musical Director for Sweeney Todd.
He has been a guest conductor with the Varna Philharmonic, Pleven Philharmonic, and Rousse Philharmonic orchestras in Bulgaria, the China Film Philharmonic in Beijing, the Orquestra Sinfonica de Londrina in Brazil, and the San Francisco Concerto Orchestra. He has competed in numerous international conducting competitions including the Mario Gusella International Conducting Competition in Pescara, Italy in 1997 and 1999, the Bartok International Opera Conducting Competition in Cluj, Romania in 2007, and the Blue Danube Opera Conducting Competition in Burgas, Bulgaria in 2009. He is a member of the Conductors Guild.
Dr. Shahani’s teachers include Marie Sloss (piano), Fred Ewing (voice), David Ahlstrom, Michael Senturia, Murry Sidlin, Gunther Schuller, and Harold Farberman. Michael was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and lives in Walnut Creek, California