Praised for his "artistic authority," "fluidity of expression," and "great delicacy of feeling," Michael Sakir takes on the role of music director of Opera Memphis in the 2017-18 season. In this capacity, he will conduct Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri and Alessandro Scarlatti's Baroque comedy The Triumph of Honor. This season, he also returns to Des Moines Metro Opera as conductor for Mark Campbell, Kimberly Reed, and Laura Kaminsky's opera As One, as well as the Opera Company of Middlebury for Andre Previn's contemporary masterpiece A Streetcar Named Desire. Sakir also makes his debuts with Shreveport Opera conducting Mozart's The Magic Flute and with the Janiec Opera Company at the Brevard Music Center conducting Puccini's Madama Butterfly and Bernstein's Candide.
In the 2016-17 season, Sakir made his guest conducting debuts with Intermountain Opera Bozeman in Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment, Opera Company of Middlebury in Puccini's Il trittico, and returned to Opera Orlando for Donizetti's Don Pasquale and Opera Memphis for Jake Heggie's Three Decembers. He also made his debut with Washington National Opera as cover conductor for Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking.
Other recent guest conducting engagements include Eugene Opera in Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw, Opera Orlando in Mozart's The Impresario and Poulenc's Les mamelles de Tirésias, Des Moines Metro Opera in Philip Glass' Galileo Galilei, Northwestern University for Dead Man Walking, American Opera Projects for As One, Opera in the Ozarks for Rossini's La Cenerentola, and Opera North (NH) for Aaron Copland's The Tender Land.
Sakir has held chorus master, assistant conductor, and coach positions for nearly three dozen productions with Santa Fe Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Sarasota Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Pensacola Opera, and Opera Boston.
In August 2017, Michael Sakir was a participant in OPERA America's Leadership Intensive, a unique program that identifies the most promising professionals in the field of opera administration and provides them with a unique experience designed to bolster their leadership capacity and advance their careers.
Sakir holds bachelor degrees in Piano Performance and Music History from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a graduate degree in Orchestral Conducting from The Boston Conservatory. He is a native of Northern California.