From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada. LA Opera: Otello (2023).
Katherine Syer is a dramaturg for spoken and lyric theater, with research specializations in historical and contemporary opera/theater production. Her work in these areas was at the core of her activities for nearly two decades at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, in the theater studies and musicology departments. Since moving to Los Angeles, she has worked with many graduate students in the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. Her scholarly publications include several studies of Wagner's creative process and dramatic art. An international opera critic for over 30 years, Syer is an avid performing arts advocate and public speaker.
As artistic consultant, Syer's collaboration with Moisés Kaufman on the play 33 Variations included script development and the final workshop leading to the 2007 world premiere (Arena Stage, Washington, D.C.) and Broadway run in 2009. With co-organizer and costume designer Olga Maslova, at the University of Illinois, Syer helped launch Sasha Velour's 2019 solo drag show Smoke and Mirrors and the Spurlock Museum's companion exhibit In Her Closet - How to Make a Drag Queen. With opera director Joel Ivany, Syer has previously collaborated as dramaturg on Hansel and Gretel (Canadian Opera Company, 2020).
In 2022, Syer participated in the Beth Morrison Projects: Producer Academy funded by the Mellon Foundation.