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/

 

Photo by Daniel Chavkin

Francesca Zambello is an internationally recognized director of opera and theater, as well as the General Director of The Glimmerglass Festival since 2010 and the Artistic Director of The Washingtion National Opera at the Kennedy Center since 2012. She has also served as the Artistic Advisor to the San Francisco Opera from 2005-2011 and as the Artistic Director of the Skylight Theater from 1987-1992. In her current roles at the Kennedy Center and the Glimmerglass Festival she is responsible for producing 12 productions annually. She has begun major commissioning programs for new works in both companies that have resulted in productions of many large and small-scaled new works. Both companies have thrived financially and increased their national and international profiles as a result of her artistic vision and leadership.

Her American directing debut took place at the Houston Grand Opera with a production of Fidelio. She debuted in Europe at Teatro la Fenice in Venice with Beatrice di Tenda and has since staged new productions at major theaters and opera houses in Europe and the USA. She has worked at over 50 major opera houses including: The Met, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Paris Opera, the Bolshoi, Munich State Opera, Covent Garden and the Australian Opera. Her work has also been seen at many of the world's major festivals. 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.

Francesca Zambello 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. 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.

Photo by Stephen Voss

Francesca Zambello's most recent opera projects have included The Ring and Aida for the San Francisco Opera and The Washington National Opera, and Porgy and Bess and Show Boat for commercial DVD release. Musical and theater projects have included developing Voigt Lessons with Terrance McNally and Debbie Voight; Rebecca for Vienna's Raimund Theater, Stuttgart's Palladium Theater (presented by Stage Entertainment), and in St. Gallen, Switzerland; 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 for national tour; The Master Butchers at The Guthrie Theater; and Aladdin in Disneyland. Film works have included Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors for BBC Television; a new film for the BBC, Sony and PBS of The Little Prince; and West Side Story for the floating stage in Bregenz.

Ms. Zambello has also served as a guest professor at Yale University. 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. Francesca Zambello lives in New York with her wife, Faith Gay, a founding partner at Selendy and Gay, and step-son, Jackson.

 

 
 

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