Taylor Rachel Carnes is a native Californian stage director currently residing in Dallas, Texas. Taylor recently received her Graduate Artist Certificate in Opera Stage Directing from the University of North Texas. She was the first director in the program. Taylor directed Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti in March 2022 and Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire in 2023 for UNT Opera. She worked as the Associate Director on their touring production of Carmen in 2023. Taylor will return as a guest director next year to direct La Rondine for UNT Opera.
Carnes was a 2022-23 recipient of the National Opera Association's JoElyn Wakefield-Wright Stage Director Fellowship.
Taylor served as the Assistant Director at Austin Opera for their production of Pearl Fishers in spring 2023. She plans to return to Austin Opera in 2024.
Taylor joined the Young Artist Program at The Glimmerglass Festival in 2022, where she served as Assistant Director to Denyce Graves on her new production of Carmen. She also assisted Francesca Zambello and Brenna Corner on the premiere of The Jungle Book by Kamala Sankaram and Kelley Rourke.
Carnes served as the 2019 Aspen Opera Center Assistant Director to Edward Berkeley for the Aspen Music Festival and School, where she was a staff member for three consecutive seasons.
Beyond her work in opera and musical theater, Ms. Carnes directed, wrote, and produced the short film Almost Charming in 2019. Taylor was nominated "Best Director" for the film at the London International Motion Picture Awards in 2020. Almost Charming won “Best Romantic Comedy” at the Top Shorts Film Festival, “Honorable Mention: Romantic Comedy” at the Los Angeles Film Awards, and "Award of Distinction" at the Canada Shorts Film Festival. The short film was an "Official Selection" in thirteen film festivals, recognized both nationally and internationally.
Carnes has a background in stage management and supertitle design, working with companies including Boston Lyric Opera, Opera UCLA, Pasadena Opera, and West Edge Opera. In 2020, she served as an Assistant Stage Manager and Projection Caller for the world premiere of Eurydice at LA Opera.
Taylor Carnes received a Graduate Artist Certificate in Opera Stage Directing from the University of North Texas in 2023. She graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, magna cum laude, from the University of the Pacific Conservatory of Music in 2019.