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Michael A. Zampelli, S.J.
Rector, Jesuit Community
Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance
A member of the Santa Clara faculty since 1998, Father Michael Zampelli teaches courses in history, literature, and criticism for the Department of Theatre and Dance. In July 2010 he became Rector of the Santa Clara Jesuit Community.
Father Zampelli earned a Ph.D. in drama from Tufts University. He specializes in the work of the early modern Italian dramatist Giovan Battista Andreini, and the 17th-century commedia dell'arte in general.
Father Zampelli also directs productions at Santa Clara. Most recently he collaborated with professors Kristin Kusanovich and Gregory Dale Schultz on a production of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses. Past SCU credits include Diana Son's Stop Kiss, Carlo Gozzi's The King Stag, and Marc-Antoine Charpentier's opera The Death of Saul and Jonathan.
Father Zampelli has a special interest in retrieving historical (particularly Jesuit) performance pieces for contemporary production. He had the privilege of directing the modern premiere of the 1685 Jesuit opera Patientis Christi Memoria by Johann Bernhard Staudt. This professional production was produced in Boston in 2002 under the auspices of the Jesuit Institute at Boston College and in collaboration with John Finney and Boston's Ensemble Abendmusik. In March 2006, again in collaboration with Finney and Ensemble Abendmusik, Father Zampelli directed two Rome productions of the Jesuit mission opera San Ignacio de Loyola (Domenico Zipoli, Martin Schmid, and anonymous composers), originally written in the mid-18th century. This opera later toured in New England and California.
Currently, Father Zampelli is working on papers exploring Jesuit performance dynamics, Jesuit attitudes toward the professional theatre, and the theatre's spiritual functions—particularly in the lives of LGBT people and those consistently marginalized by mainstream religions.