13 September 2012

Francesca Zambello Appointed Artistic Director of Washington National Opera

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Washington National Opera has appointed Francesca Zambello as its artistic director, effective January 1, 2013, the company announced today. 

Zambello, who has served as the company's artistic advisor since July 2011, will oversee WNO's artistic agenda, including  repertoire and casting, and will work in close collaboration with Kennedy Center president Michael M. Kaiser, WNO's executive director Michael L. Mael and music director Philippe Auguin. In addition, Zambello will also manage the growth of both the company's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and WNO's American Opera Initiative, the company's commissioning program. Zambello will also continue to direct one production at the company each season, the company announced.

"It will be an enormous pleasure and honor to expand my role with WNO as its Artistic Director, maintaining the high standards set by my predecessors and leading WNO into the future," Zambello said in a press release issued today by the company. "I will respect what appeals to our long-time patrons and supporters while at the same time work hard to attract new audiences to opera. I look forward to raising the profile of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, continuing the great work already underway with the American Opera Initiative, and highlighting special and unique repertoire and artists that only the intimacy of the Kennedy Center affords us. This is a challenge I embrace unequivocally, and I look forward to sharing more of my plans in the coming months."

Zambello, who also serves as Artistic & General Director at Cooperstown's Glimmerglass Festival, has staged a number of productions at Washington National Opera, including Of Mice and Men, Fidelio, Die Walküre, Billy Budd, Porgy and Bess, Das Rheingold, Siegfried and Salome. Her new production of Show Boat arrives at the company in May 2013, and her Ring cycle — which has played in complete performances in San Francisco — returns to the Washington company in the spring of 2016. spacer 

More information can be found at Washington National Opera and the OPERA NEWS Archives (here, here and here).

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