francesca zambello is the general & artistic director of glimmerglass festival
visit glimmerglass festival's website: www.glimmerglass.org/

stay up to date with francesca via the glimmerglass festival blog:
www.glimmerglassoperablog.org/

 

An internationally recognized director of opera and theater, Francesca Zambello's American debut took place at the Houston Grand Opera with a production of Fidelio in 1984. She debuted in Europe at Teatro la Fenice in Venice with Beatrice di Tenda in 1987 and has since staged new productions at major theaters and opera houses in Europe and the USA. Collaborating with outstanding artists and designers and promoting emerging talent, she takes a special interest in new music theater works, innovative productions, and in producing theater and opera for wider audiences.

Photo by Daniel Chavkin

Francesca Zambello has recently been awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for her contribution to French culture and the Russian Federation's medal for Service to Culture. Other honors for her work include three Olivier Awards from the London Society of Theaters and two Evening Standard Awards for Best Musical and Best Opera. She has also received the award for Best Company Achievement. The French Grand Prix des Critiques was awarded to her twice for her work at the Paris Opera. Other awards include Best Production in Japan, the Palme d'Or in Germany, the Golden Mask in Russia and the Helpmann Award in Australia.

Francesca Zambello most recently developed and directed the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis' Heart of a Soldier for the San Francisco Opera, where she served as Artistic Advisor from 2006-2011. Other recent opera projects have included the first international production of Carmen to ever be presented at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing, the world premiere of An American TragedyCyrano and Les Troyens for the Metropolitan OperaCarmen and Don Giovanni at the Royal Opera House, Boris GodunovWar and PeaceBilly Budd and William Tell at the Paris Opera, and The Ring for the San Francisco Opera.

Recent theater projects have included Show Boat in London at the Royal Albert Hall; a new musical, Rebecca, for Vienna's Raimund Theater, Stuttgart's Palladium Theater (presented by Stage Entertainment), and in St. Gallen, Switzerland; Tibet Through the Red Box, a new play by David Henry Hwang for the Seattle Children's Theatre; The Little Prince with Oscar-winning composer Rachel Portman; Napoleon in the West End; The Little Mermaid for Disney on Broadway; the musical of The Little House on the Prairie and The Master Butchers at the Guthrie Theater, and Aladdin in Disneyland. Other recent works have included a film of Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors for BBC Television, as well as a new film for the BBC, Sony and PBS of The Little Prince, and, West Side Story for the floating stage in Bregenz.

Photo by Karin Cooper

Ms. Zambello has also served as a guest professor at Yale University and The Juilliard School. She is the Artistic & General Director of Glimmerglass in Cooperstown, and was recently named Artistic Advisor to the Washington National Opera.

An American who grew up in Europe, she speaks French, Italian, German, and Russian. She attended Moscow University in 1976 and graduated cum laude from Colgate University in 1978. She began her career as an Assistant Director to the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. From 1984-1991 she was the Artistic Director of the Skylight Music Theater. She has been guest professor at Harvard and Berkeley Universities.

Francesca Zambello lives in New York and London.

 

 
 

Francesca Zambello was featured in The New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" column on November 26, 2007.

"The other evening, Francesca Zambello, the opera director, was waiting in a restaurant on Forty-sixth Street. Zambello, who is best known for psychologically probing interpretations of the operatic repertoire — her dark, interior Don Giovanni was just revived to great acclaim in London — will make her Broadway début in December with The Little Mermaid, an adaptation of the Disney movie. Joining her was Thomas Schumacher, the producer of Disney Theatricals. It was Schumacher who persuaded another experimental director, Julie Taymor, to create a stage version of The Lion King, which just celebrated its tenth anniversary on Broadway and has grossed more than three billion dollars worldwide..."

Click here to read the rest of the column.