Stephen Lawless was Director of Production for the Glyndebourne Touring Opera from 1986 to 1991, where his work culminated in an immensely successful production of Death in Venice, which was subsequently recorded by the BBC for television and video release. The production was revived at the 1992 Glyndebourne Festival.
He made his début with the Kirov Opera in Leningrad producing Boris Godunov which was broadcast live on British television, the first ever live telecast of an opera from the Soviet Union to the U.K.
His productions include Boris Godonov for the Vienna Staatsoper; Der Fliegende Holländer, Daphne, Capriccio, Semele and Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci for the New York City Opera; Il trovatore, Vanessa, and L’elisir d’amore for Washington and Philadelphia Opera; Un ballo in maschera, Il trovatore, L’elisir d’amore, Don Pasquale and Falstaff for Los Angeles Opera; Capriccio and Boris Godonov for San Francisco Opera; Le nozze di Figaro and La bohème for the Lyric Opera Chicago; Le nozze di Figaro, Cavallaria rusticana and Pagliacci, La clemenza di Tito, Maria Stuarda, Anna Bolena and Boris Godonov for Dallas Opera; Scarlatti’s Griselda for the Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin; Boris Godonov and Un ballo in maschera for La Fenice in Venice; Orfeo, Tancredi and a double bill of Iolanta and Francesca da Rimini for the Theater an der Wien; Die Fledermaus for the Opera de Geneve; Falstaff and Die Fledermaus for Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Le nozze di figaro, Tosca, Der Rosenkavalier and Un ballo in maschera for the Hong Kong Festival; Peter Grimes, Die Fledermaus, Otello and William Tell for Graz Opera; Acis and Galatea, Venus and Adonis, Dido and Aeneas, and Don Chisciotte in Sierra Morena for the Innsbruck Festival; Salome and Der Ring des Niebelungen for the Nürnberg Opera; Maria Stuarda for the Canadian Opera; L’elisir d’amore, Faust and Carmen for Santa Fe Opera, Die Fledermaus for the National Performing Arts Centre in Beijing, Der Rosenkavelier for the Boshoi and Otello, Die Fledermaus for Korean National Opera, The Flying Dutchman for Washington National Opera, Handel’s Silla for the Opernhaus Halle; Romeo et Juliette in Santa Fe; Le nozze di Figaro for Kansas City and Philadelphia Opera; La clemenza di Tito for Opera Theater St Louis and Russalka for Magdeburg Opera. He received great critical acclaim for his production of Don Giovanni at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.
Recent engagements include Le nozze di Figaro for Minnesota Opera and Palm Beach Opera, Romeo et Juliette in Barcelona, Anna Bolena for Canadian Opera Company, Roberto Devereux for San Francisco Opera, and Katya Kabanova for Scottish Opera.