francesca zambello is the general & artistic director of glimmerglass festival
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An internationally recognized director of opera and theater, Zambello's work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi, Covent Garden, the Munich Staatsoper, Paris Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and English National Opera. She has staged plays and musicals on Broadway, at the Royal National Theatre, BAM, the Guthrie Theater, Vienna's Raimund Theater, the Bregenz Festival, Sydney Festival, Disneyland, Berlin's Theater des Westens and at the Kennedy Center. In May 2011, Zambello was appointed Artistic Advisor to Washington National Opera, and became Washington National Opera's Artistic Director January 1, 2013. She received the San Francisco Opera Medal for Artistic Excellence for her more than 30 years of artistic contributions to the company, including serving as Artistic Advisor from 2006-2011. In 2020, she received the Knighthood of the Order of the Star of Italy for her contribution to the promotion of Italian culture and heritage.

She has 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. Her theatrical honors include three Olivier Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, two French Grand Prix des Critiques, Helpmann Award, Green Room Award, Palme d'Or in Germany and the Golden Mask in Russia. She began her career as the Artistic Director of the Skylight Opera Theatre and as an assistant director to the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. She has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Juilliard and Yale. An American who grew up in Europe, she speaks French, Italian, German and Russian. She is a graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.

Her directing work at Glimmerglass includes: Iphig&eacut;nie en Tauride (1997); the world premiere production of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's A Blizzard On Marblehead Neck and Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun (2011); Verdi's Aida (2012); Wagner's The Flying Dutchman and David Lang's the little match girl passion (2013); Strauss' Ariadne in Naxos and Puccini's Madame Butterfly (2014); Bernstein's Candide (2015); Robert Ward's The Crucible (2016); Gershwin's Porgy and Bess (2017); Donizetti's The Siege of Calais (2017); Bernstein's West Side Story (2018); Rossini's The Barber of Seville (2018); Kern and Hammerstein's Show Boat and Verdi's La traviata (2019).



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.

Photo by Karin Cooper