PC: Shannon Langman
Nicole Kenley-Miller is known for her colorful and embodied productions of opera and music theatre, both on stage and film. Her work was most recently featured on The Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America Series. She is very much at home both on and off the stage as a director, producer, singer, and creative artist. As Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Sugar Land Opera, she helped establish the former Imperial Theatre, the first professional theatre space in Fort Bend County.
Nicole’s credits as stage director include Sondheim on Sondheim, The Bartered Bride, Albert Herring, La Rondine, The Secret Marriage, and Gianni Schicchi for the Moores Opera Center at University of Houston; Amahl and the Night Visitors for Opera in the Heights; Hansel and Gretel, The Impresario, and the US premiere of Howard Blake's The Station for Sugar Land Opera; and the Texas premiere of Alice Parker's choral opera, Family Reunion, for Houston Baptist University. For the screen, she created opera films of Trouble in Tahiti and A Hand of Bridge featuring the students at UH. Her direction and design concept for the films garnered multiple awards from national and international film competitions, are finalists in the running for The American Prize, and took first prize in the National Opera Association Opera Production Competition in 2021. In 2023, she will take over as the new Stage Director of Houston's Gilbert and Sullivan Society, directing The Pirates of Penzance as her first production with the company.
Throughout her career, she has worked fluidly between the opera and music theatre genres. Most recently she directed the first musical produced by the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at University of Houston, a collaborative production of Little Shop of Horrors between the Schools of Music and Theatre and Dance. Previously her work in music theatre has included Camelot and a revue of Rodgers and Hammerstein for Lone Star College – Cy Fair; a revue of Leonard Bernstein's music for Houston Baptist University; Annie for the Navasota Arts Alliance; and multiple music theatre workshops for the former Imperial Performing Arts in Sugar Land.
Following a Master's degree from Eastman School of Music, she received her DMA from University of Houston with a concentration in opera directing. Nicole has recently accepted a position as Assistant Professor and Opera Stage Director at The University of Oklahoma.
Her latest creative venture is the founding of Intersection Arts, an organization which explores the convergence of different art forms to speak to social and cultural issues of our day. Its first production is a newly-composed theatrical music work, The Women Have Something to Say, which celebrates women’s voices. Excerpts of the show were featured on the Kennedy Center’s pandemic livestream series Arts Across America.