Review: Francesca Zambello’s Spirited Mounting of Bernstein’s “West Side Story” – Houston Grand Opera, April 28, 2018
May 1, 2018 by William Burnett, Opera Warhorse
Zambello has eschewed a European trend of radical revisions in staging the work that has been the feature of recent German and Austrian productions. Her dramatic realization, building on the strengths of the artists in the cast, not only gives one a sense of the powerful hold this work had on mid-20th century audiences, but its continued relevance to contemporary audiences.
Review: West Side Story at Glimmerglass Festival
July 10, 2018 by Susan Galbraith, DC Metro Arts
If this were not enough to make this a definitive production of the work and well worth the pilgrimage to Cooperstown this summer, there is some bombshell talent involved, not to mention taut dramatic direction by Madame Z! (That would be Francesca Zambello, General Director of the Glimmerglass Festival, who happens to moonlight winter months as Artistic Director of Washington National Opera.) I continue to applaud the director’s laser-like precision at work. She cuts into a piece of music-theatre to find what many might define as the “spine” of a work and then successfully brings all the talents on stage and then the music and design teams elucidate her vision.
Review: Die Walküre at San Francisco
June 13, 2018 by Clive Paget, Limelight
As a work of art, it borders on perfection – not one of its many, many bars ever feels superfluous – and Francesca Zambello’s handsome production for San Francisco Opera certainly steps up a gear to encompass its manifold beauties.
Review: Candide at Washington National Opera
May 11, 2018 by Jacqueline Melendez, MD Theatre Guide
This was The Kennedy Center’s celebratory year for Leonard Bernstein’s centennial. Washington National Opera was sure to please the audience with their hysterically comedic production of “Candide.” Francesca Zambello gave us a beautifully crafted visual of the iconic tale’s irony. Outbursts of laughter were well deserved for the production’s well-timed jokes.
Review: Aida at Seattle Opera
May 9, 2018 by Philp Newton, Bachtrack
In the end, the evening demonstrated how difficult it is to meet Verdi’s demands with flawless strength and beauty. Few productions have been as eye-catching and unforgettable as Zambello’s….
Review: The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me at Washington National Opera
December 16, 2018 by Susan Galbraith, DC Metro Arts
Then there is finding a story that we need to hear over and over and never tire of – that brings us a special message of hope and sets our hearts on fire. Artistic Director Francesca Zambello stumbled on the perfect choice in Jeanette Winterson’s children’s book of that title.