1. Faculty

Michael Mohammed

Director of Musical Theatre Workshop, Opera and Musical Theatre

COURSES TAUGHT

  • Beginning Theatrical Dance
  • Musical Theater Workshop

EDUCATION

  • EdD Candidate, Columbia University
  • MM, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • BA, Columbia University

ENSEMBLES

  • Bay Area Children's Theatre
  • Opera Parallèle
  • American Conservatory Theater

What is your hometown?

Vincennes, IN

What is your favorite recording?

Aria from Bachianas brasileiras No. 5 — Kathleen Battle and Christopher Parkening (1986)

Who were your major teachers?

Ruby Pleasure, Willene Gunn, and Jane Randolph.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

“Do well.”

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

“Why?”

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

I had a series of teachers who encouraged me to perform (including my undergraduate voice teacher Jane McMahon) and to direct (including SFCM's Kathy Cathcart). My journey can better be encapsulated in a series of experiences.

What was a turning point in your career?

Still turning.

What is your daily practice routine?

Always moving breath, always watching critically.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Handel, Mozart, and Sondheim.

Who are three students you have had the privilege of teaching?

Erin White with her unrelenting sense of empathy, Corinne Rydman with her tireless curiosity, and Molly HIll with her amazing way she can put it all together.

What is your unrealized project?

A movement-theatre piece involving Baroque and modern music.

Biography

SFCM productions include The Fantasticks, The Threepenny Opera, Very Good Eddie, and La bohème. An avid arts educator, Michael was on the inaugural creative team of Handful Players, which provides free performing arts programs for children. His production of Three Little Birds with Bay Area Children’s Theatre was seen by over 9000 children and adults, bringing Bob Marley’s messages of positivity to new audiences. Also for BACT, he choreographed the world premiere of She Persisted, based on Chelsea Clinton’s book of the same name. He is an Artist-in-Residence with the Theatre Department of the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts and is on faculty at the College of Marin and the Community Music Center. Michael is a doctoral candidate at Teacher’s College, Columbia University in the Music and Music Education department. His research is based on finding the intersections between opera and musical theatre and the role of diversity and inclusion in performance practice. He holds degrees from Columbia University (BA in Music and History/Sociology) and SFCM (MM in Vocal Performance). Michael also works as a stage director and performer. Highlights of his directing work include Song of the Nightingale (Town Hall Theatre), The Full Monty (American Conservatory Theater, MFA program) and Loving Repeating (Lesbian Gay Chorus of San Francisco). As a performer, Michael is equally at home in opera and musical theatre. His roles include the title role in Handel’s Orlando, Spirit/ First Witch (Dido & Aeneas), Fatty (The Rise and Fall of…Mahagonny), and Mitch (The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee).