About Washington National Opera
Francesca Zambello is the Artistic Director of Washington National Opera. 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), Show Boat (2013), The Force of Destiny (2013), and the world premiere children's opera The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me (2013). Since September 2010 she has also been the Artistic and General Director of The Glimmerglass Festival in Central New York. An internationally recognized director of opera and theater, her work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi, Royal Opera House, Munich State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, 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, and Berlin's Theater des Westens. 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 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. She is married to Faith Gay, a senior partner at Quinn Emanuel.