Timothy Nelson is active as a director and designer in both North America and Europe. From 2002-2012 he served as Artistic Director of American Opera Theater, directing and designing a diverse body of productions including baroque masterpieces Messiah, La Calisto, Jephtha, the American premiers of La Didone and David et Jonathas at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and a national tour of his acclaimed circus production of Acis and Galatea, called by the New York Times "The Future of Opera". Other work includes productions of Rigoletto for Sardinia's Festival Ente Concerti, Aureliano in Palmira for the famed Festivale della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca, Riders to the Sea for Amsterdam's Grachtenfestival, Dido and Aeneas and Vivier's Love Songs for Operadagen Rotterdam. Most recently Nelson directed L'Incoronazione di Poppea at London's Barbican for the Academy of Ancient Music and Les Pêcheurs de Perles for the Nationale Riesopera.
Nelson served as Artistic Director of the Netherlands Opera Studio. He is also Artsitic Director of the Accademia Europea dell'Opera; as well as a regular guest director and designer at the Center for Opera Studies in Italy. Other guest credits include Bard College, Georgetown University, Indiana University, Oberlin College, Royal Hague Conservatory, and Peabody Conservatory.
Nelson was an awardee in the Opera Europa Directing Prize, and was also awarded Belgium's Goude Meeuw for his production of Sondheim's Merrily We Roll Along in Bruges. Next to his contribution to Operadagen Rotterdam, upcoming projects include Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria with the Academy of Ancient Music at London's Barbican Hall, The Lighthouse with Nationale Reisopera and Budapest's Armel Festival, and Stradella's San Giovanni Battista with Gotham Chamber Opera in New York.