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Robert Carsen



Robert Carsen in action.
Robert Carsen in rehearsal for Falstaff © ROH/Catherine Ashmore, 2012

Canadian director Robert Carsen made his Royal Opera debut in 2007 with Iphigénie en Tauride and returned in 2012 to direct Falstaff, for both of which he co-created the lighting design. In the 2013/14 Season the Company performed his award-winning production of Dialogues des Carmélites, originally created in 1997 for Nederlandse Opera. In the 2016/17 Season he returns to direct and light a new production of Der Rosenkavalier.

Carsen grew up in Toronto and moved to the UK to study acting at Bristol Old Vic. He began his directing career in Geneva with Mefistofele, which also toured the USA, and has since directed for the world’s leading opera houses. He has a close relationship with the Paris Opéra, where his productions include Tannhäuser, Capriccio and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Other productions include Rigoletto (Aix-en-Provence Festival), Les Fêtes vénitiennes (Opéra Comique), Don Giovanni and CO2 (La Scala, Milan), Der Ring des Nibelungen (Cologne, Venice and Barcelona), La traviata (La Fenice, Venice), The Queen of Spades (Zürich), Der Rosenkavalier (Salzburg), a Janáček cycle (Opéra national du Rhin), Ariadne auf Naxos (Bavarian State Opera) and L’incoronazione di Poppea and Rinaldo (Glyndebourne Festival).

Carsen’s theatre credits include Mother Courage (Milan) and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (New York), and in music theatre The Beautiful Game (West End), Sunset Boulevard (UK tour), My Fair Lady (Théâtre du Châtelet) and Candide (Théâtre du Châtelet, English National Opera and La Scala). Other work includes designs for various museums, including the Musée d’Orsay exhibition L’Impressionnisme et la Mode, also seen in Chicago.


News and features

International Opera Awards 2015 finalists announced

International Opera Awards 2015 finalists announced

27 March 2015

A host of Royal Opera-affiliated artists have been shortlisted.

How to Stage an Opera: community in Dialogues des Carmélites

How to Stage an Opera: community in Dialogues des Carmélites

11 June 2014

How Robert Carsen's production drives home the real tragedy behind Poulenc's powerful masterpiece.

Spring Season 2013/14

Spring Season 2013/14

10 April 2013

Helpful links and information on booking for forthcoming performances.