Artistic & General Director
An internationally recognized director of opera and theater, Zambello’s work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scala, the Bolshoi, Covent Garden, the Munich Staatsoper, Paris Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National 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. In May 2011, Zambello was appointed Artistic Advisor to Washington National Opera, and became Washington National Opera's Artistic Director January 1, 2013.
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 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.
Recent work for Zambello includes development and direction of 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 has been seen in Houston, DC and San Francisco. Additionally, she developed and directed a new production of The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me by Jeanine Tesori, Sandy McClatchy and Jeanette Winterson at Washington National Opera. This past season she directed a new production of La traviata at the Bolshoi and The Force of Destiny for Washington National Opera, and she directed a new musical by Frank Wildhorn called Excalibur in Switzerland this winter. Her directing work at Glimmerglass includes: Iphigénie en Tauride (1997), the world premiere production of Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori’s A Blizzard On Marblehead Neck and Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun (2011), Verdi’s Aida (2012), and Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman and David Lang’s the little match girl passion (2013). For the 2014 Festival, she directs Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Strauss’ Ariadne in Naxos.