Francesca Zambello is the Artistic Director of Washington National Opera. Previously she has served as its Artistic Advisor. She has directed many WNO productions, including Of Mice and Men (debut in 2001), Fidelio (2003), Die Walküre (2003 and 2007), Billy Budd (2004), Porgy and Bess (2005 and 2010), Das Rheingold (2006), Siegfried (2009), Salome (2010), and Show Boat (2013). Since September 2010 she has also been the Artistic and General Director of The Glimmerglass Festival in upstate New York.
An internationally recognized director of opera and theater, Zambello's work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi, Royal Opera House, Munich State Opera, Paris Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and English National Opera. She has staged plays and musicals on Broadway, at the Royal National Theatre, BAM, the Guthrie Theater, Vienna's Raimund Theater, the Bregenz Festival, Sydney Festival, Disneyland, Berlin's Theater des Westens, and at the Kennedy Center.
She began her career as the Artistic Director of the Skylight Opera Theatre and as an assistant director to the late Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. She has been a guest lecturer at Harvard, Juilliard, and Yale. An American who grew up in Europe, she speaks French, Italian, German, and Russian. She is a graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
She recently developed and directed the world premiere of Christopher Theofanidis' Heart of a Soldier for San Francisco Opera, where she served as Artistic Advisor from 2006-2011. Her acclaimed production of Show Boat opened at Lyric Opera of Chicago in February 2012 and will open at WNO on May 4, 2013. Other recent directing highlights include a new production of La traviata for Opera on Sydney Harbor in March 2012 and a new production of Aida at the Glimmerglass Festival in July 2012.
She 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. Her theatrical honors include three Olivier Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, two French Grand Prix des Critiques, Helpmann Award, Green Room Award, Palme d'Or in Germany, and the Golden Mask in Russia.
Washington National Opera: The Elixir of Love
Washington National Opera: An Evening with Paul Appleby and Joshua Hopkins, in Recital
Washington National Opera: The Magic Flute
Washington National Opera: American Opera Initiative: An American Soldier
Washington National Opera: An Evening with Stephen Costello and Ailyn Pérez
Washington National Opera: Florencia in the Amazon
Washington National Opera: La bohème
Washington National Opera: American Opera Initiative: Three 20-Minute Operas
Washington National Opera: Holiday Family Opera: The Little Prince
Washington National Opera: American Opera Initiative: New Hour-Long Opera: Penny
Washington National Opera: Dialogues of the Carmelites
Washington National Opera: An Evening of Jazz Standards with Eric Owens featuring the Music of Eckstine and Hartman
Washington National Opera: The Flying Dutchman
Washington National Opera: Stars of Tomorrow: The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists in Concert
Washington National Opera: Cinderella