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Due to the ongoing effects of closure at the Royal Opera House, information about artists is only updated periodically during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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 has since directed Falstaff and Der Rosenkavalier, co-creating the lighting design for each. In the 2013/14 Season the Company performed his award-winning production of Dialogues des Carmélites.

Carsen grew up in Toronto and studied acting at Bristol Old Vic. He began his directing career in Geneva with Mefistofele, which also toured the USA, and has since directed internationally. He has a close relationship with the Paris Opéra, productions including Tannhäuser, Capriccio and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. Other productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Rigoletto (Aix-en-Provence Festival), Orfeo (Opéra de Lausanne), Les Fêtes vénitiennes (Opéra Comique, Brooklyn Academy of Music), La fanciulla del West, Don Giovanni, CO2 (La Scala, Milan), Agrippina, Platée, The Turn of the Screw (Theater an der Wien), Der Ring des Nibelungen (Cologne, Venice, Barcelona), L’Amour des trois oranges (Deutsche Oper Berlin), Die Zauberflöte (Festspiele Baden-Baden), La traviata (La Fenice, Venice), The Queen of Spades (Zürich), Der Rosenkavalier (Salzburg), Don Carlo, Janáček cycle (Opéra national du Rhin), Ariadne auf Naxos (Bavarian State Opera) and L’incoronazione di Poppea, Rinaldo (Glyndebourne Festival).

Further credits include Mother Courage (Milan), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (New York), The Beautiful Game (West End), Sunset Boulevard (UK tour), Singin’ in the Rain, My Fair Lady (Théâtre du Châtelet) and Candide (Théâtre du Châtelet, English National Opera, La Scala). Other work includes exhibition design, including L’Impressionnisme et la Mode (Musée d’Orsay and Chicago).

News and features

Watch: How to tackle an operatic masterpiece like Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier

21 December 2016
Watch: How to tackle an operatic masterpiece like Strauss's <em>Der Rosenkavalier</em>

A short film by Argentinian photographer Felipe Sanguinetti documents rehearsals for Robert Carsen’s new Royal Opera production.

Watch: Insights into the music, history and direction of Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier

6 December 2016
Watch: Insights into the music, history and direction of Strauss' <em>Der Rosenkavalier</em>

American soprano Renée Fleming and Kasper Holten discuss Robert Carsen's new Royal Opera production.

Opera Essentials: Der Rosenkavalier

6 December 2016
Opera Essentials: <em>Der Rosenkavalier</em>

Our quick introduction to Richard Strauss’s comic opera.