Boston’s dog days of summer can be espe­cially sti­fling for fans of clas­sical music. Their stag­na­tion, of course, has less to do with the heat and more to do with the city­wide drought of con­certs and per­for­mances. That’s where the Boston Mid­summer Opera comes in.

The Boston Mid­summer Opera stages per­for­mances each summer, choosing pieces that appeal to vet­eran oper­a­goers and first timers alike. This season, Antonio Ocampo-​​Guzman, an asso­ciate pro­fessor of the­atre in Northeastern’s Col­lege of Arts, Media, and Design, will make his oper­atic direc­to­rial debut with a new pro­duc­tion of com­poser Otto Nicolai’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. William Shake­speare wrote the orig­inal play, a comedy set in the Eliz­a­bethan era.

It has been a won­derful expe­ri­ence because my first love has always been opera,” said Ocampo-​​Guzman, who had led acting work­shops for opera singers but never directed them on stage.

The Merry Wives of Windsor is quite pop­ular in Europe but is seldom per­formed in the United States. Ocampo-​​Guzman said audi­ences and com­pa­nies here tend to prefer Giuseppe Verdi’s Fal­staff, an opera adapted from the same Shake­speare play.

Ocampo-Guzman’s ver­sion of Windsor fea­tures an Eng­lish trans­la­tion of the orig­inal German score. But he’s worked hard to ensure that the per­for­mance remains true to its German roots by writing lines in Sprechge­sang, a style of dra­matic vocal­iza­tion between singing and speaking.

Directing an opera poses par­tic­ular chal­lenges, Ocampo-​​Guzman noted, once of which is ensuring that the actors remain in con­stant con­tact with the conductor.

If I’m directing a play I’ll let my actors find the shape of the scene through impro­vi­sa­tion and we’ll create the staging organ­i­cally,” he said. “Singers in an opera have to find a way to follow the con­ductor and be in a posi­tion where their voices can carry out over the orchestra.”

The actors, Ocampo-​​Guzman said, must simul­ta­ne­ously ful­fill dual respon­si­bil­i­ties. “Opera singers exist in two worlds at the same time,” he said. “They have the story they’re telling on stage, but they also have to nego­tiate the music that they’re singing. Every­thing has to go hand-​​in-​​hand.”

The Merry Wives of Windsor, the Boston Mid­summer Opera’s eighth annual pro­duc­tion, will be per­formed at Boston University’s Tsai Per­forming Arts Center on July 24 and July 26 at 7 p.m. and on July 28 at 3 p.m. A pre-​​concert lec­ture begins one hour before each performance.

Photo by Brooks Canaday.