Mike Lopinto, originally from New Orleans, grew up surrounded by the pageantry activity associated with the city’s annual Mardi Gras celebrations and was also a part of a successful restaurant family. He parlayed his talents into numerous artistic endeavors including event planning, directing, designing, choreographing and music. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Southern Mississippi where he served as principal bassoonist for the school’s premiere ensembles as well as numerous other orchestras around the South. Lopinto spent a decade teaching in some of the most successful programs in Texas winning state and national honors and judging music and visual arts events internationally.
He completed his Doctor of Musical Arts at Southern Miss and currently serves as the Assistant to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences for Arts Administration and PR/Marketing and Event Coordinator for the School of Music. Lopinto brought a new level of recognition to arts programs in Mississippi, most notably the acclaimed symphony orchestra at his alma mater. While there, he coordinating events with classical celebrities from Plåcido Domingo, Renée Fleming, and Sir James Galway to pop icons Dionne Warwick, the Pointer Sisters, and Patti LaBelle as well as directing the award-winning Symphony Galas and later, the College of Arts and Letters Galas. He is the artistic director of FestivalSouth® that has reshaped summers in the Hub City and the creative director of Consult M, a multi-faceted arts development organization that has worked regionally with performing arts organizations, including Opera Mississippi and the Natchez Festival of Music.
A true Renaissance man, he holds a Master of Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Mobile and has written, directed, music directed, designed sets and lighting for numerous productions, most recently directing Showbiz Centennial (2020), The Drowsy Chaperone (2018), Magic of the Musical Stage (2018), Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera (2017 – Winner of the American Prize for Musical Theatre 2018-19), Showbiz Harmony (2016), Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins (2015), Showbiz Showstoppers (2014) and Sweeney Todd (2013) for the School of Music as well as Sondheim in the City in its Off-Broadway premiere in 2011. Lopinto is one of the founding members of The Hub City Players, a professional theatre company that has produced LOL Comedy Cabarets, variety shows and more statewide. Among his credits there, he has directed The Hub City Players productions of James and the Giant Peach (2017– Winner of the American Prize for Musical Theatre 2018-19), Rock of Ages (2016), and Sister Act (2019 - Winner of the Best of the Pine Belt Award for Best Theatrical Production) to open the 10th anniversary of FestivalSouth, and a return to the stage post pandemic in Broadway in the'Burg (2021). Plans are underway to re-mount the Covid-delayed regional premiere of Kinky Boots.
On stage, his theatrical credits include Les Misérables (Thenardier), Hairspray! (Edna Turnblad), The Producers (Roger DeBris); Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey II), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth), Cats (Old Deuteronomy), A Catered Affair (Mr. Halloran), Annie (Daddy Warbucks), Carousel (Mr. Snow), Die Fledermaus (Frosch) and many more. He has become a familiar emcee for the Mystic Krewe of Zeus and his voice can be heard at all Southern Miss games as "The Voice of The Pride" and on commercials across the South.