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Francesca Zambello


In the 2013/14 Season The Royal Opera performs Francesca Zambello’s 2006 production of Carmen, in its fourth revival. Her other Royal Opera productions include The Tsarina’s Slippers (2009), Cyrano de Bergerac (2006), Don Giovanni (2002), The Queen of Spades (2001) and Billy Budd (1995). She is currently Director of both Glimmerglass Opera and Washington National Opera.

Zambello was born in New York City in 1956 and studied at the University of Moscow and Colgate University. She began her career as assistant director to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle and made her debut in 1984 with Fidelio for Houston Grand Opera. She has directed all around the world, and has formed a close relationship with the Paris Opéra. Major productions include Carmen at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Les Troyens at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and the Ring cycle for San Francisco Opera. She has won three Olivier awards, been awarded the Russian Federation’s medal for Service to Culture and has twice been awarded the Grand Prix des Critiques. She was appointed a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2008. She has been a guest professor at the Juilliard School and Yale, Harvard and Berkeley universities.

Zambello is devoted to promoting diverse forms of music theatre, and has introduced an annual Broadway musical to Glimmerglass. Major musical theatre credits include Show Boat at the Royal Albert Hall and Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Broadway. Film work includes a production of Amahl and the Night Visitors for the BBC.


News and features

Behind the scenes on Don Giovanni with Gerald Finley

Behind the scenes on Don Giovanni with Gerald Finley

2 February 2012

Take a look at a gallery of images from behind the scenes.

A glimpse of Mozart's Vienna

A glimpse of Mozart's Vienna

20 January 2012

We take a look around the locations where the operas were written.

Top films featuring opera 10-6

Top films featuring opera 10-6

13 October 2011

The third part of our countdown, featuring among others Robin Williams tackling Rossini and the demise of the Don.