“…He [Heggie] draws on an unusually wide range of sources, from shades of Philip Glass to echoes of John Williams. At times, the score (expertly conducted by Joseph Mechavich) sounded cinematic, which seems exactly the point of this production…”[Moby Dick] – San Diego Union Times
Regarded as a conductor of authority and warmth, Joseph Mechavich is known for his exceptional artistry and infectious energy which he brings to every performance as well as the personal and career-defining relationships he has forged with a number of opera companies and orchestras. Of his Roméo et Juliette at Florida Grand Opera, the Palm Beach Artspaper extolled “One of the best things about this production is the conducting of Joseph Mechavich, who led the proceedings superbly. Tempos were beautifully judged, and the orchestra played wonderfully for him. You rarely hear this score with the kind of big-boned force with which Gounod wrote it, but Mechavich let it rip, with first rate results.”
Maestro Mechavich presided over Jake Heggie’s highly acclaimed opera, Moby-Dick, for both San Diego Opera and Calgary Opera as well as productions of Il barbiere di Siviglia for The Washington National Opera, Porgy and Bess for Deutsche Oper Berlin and Roméo et Juliette for Florida Grand Opera. Engagements for the 2013-2014 season included La bohème for Kentucky Opera, L’Incoronazione di Poppea for New England Conservatory of Music, Tosca for Dayton Opera, La traviata for The Florentine Opera and Madama Butterfly for Calgary Opera. Engagements for the 2014-15 season include a return to Calgary Opera for their production of Silent Night, Fidelio and A Street Car Named Desire for Kentucky Opera, a recording and performances of Wuthering Heights with Florentine Opera, Nixon in China for San Diego Opera and Die Zauberflöte for Opera Colorado. Future seasons will see his return to Kentucky Opera and debuts with Nashville Opera and Arizona Opera.
Critical acclaim abounds for Maestro Mechavich: “…Mechavich wrapped the whole performance in a kind of musically magic aura that resulted in one of the very best all-round productions ever…” Opera News (L’Elisir d’amore, Dayton Opera); “…Mechavich was in emotional sync with Gounod’s rich swelling melodies…” Sun-Sentinel (Roméo et Juliette, Florida Grand Opera). In past seasons he has conducted highly recognized productions for Calgary Opera, Utah Opera, The Aspen Music Festival, Tulsa Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Oberlin Opera Theatre, Opera Saratoga and Virginia Opera.
On the concert stage, Maestro Mechavich has appeared with the Florida Orchestra, The Oberlin Chamber Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, Hartford Symphony, Waterbury Symphony, Virginia Symphony and the Sarasota Orchestra. He has collaborated on ballet productions with the Orlando Ballet, Nutmeg Ballet (CT) and Sarasota Ballet.
In 2010, Maestro Mechavich was named Principal Conductor of Kentucky Opera. Previously, he held the position of Principal Conductor for Opera Birmingham from 2004-2010, Director of Music for Orlando Opera from 1998-2000 and Cover Conductor for The Santa Fe Opera from 2004-2007. A native of Long Lake, Minnesota, he studied at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the Yale University School of Music.