Francesca Zambello named Washington National Opera Artistic Director

Appointment to be effective January 1, 2013. Photo: Claire McAdams

WASHINGTON — The Washington National Opera (WNO) has announced that Francesca Zambello will become the company’s Artistic Director, effective January 1, 2013. She has serving as WNO’s artistic advisor since June 2011.

In her new role, Ms. Zambello will be responsible for the company’s artistic vision and direction, including repertoire and casting. In addition, she will also supervise WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and will guide the company’s new commissioning program, American Opera Initiative.

“Cesca is both a brilliant director and a highly effective administrator,” said WNO Board Chairman Jacqueline B. Mars, via a release put out by WNO today.

“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,” stated Ms. Zambello in the release. “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.”

“Francesca Zambello will bring much passion and vision to WNO in her expanded role as Artistic Director,” according to Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser. “Her deep commitment to WNO’s mission … will help bring WNO to a new level of artistic achievement.”

Ms. Zambello will direct her new production—WNO’s first—of Show Boat in May 2013, and will continue to direct one company production per season. She also plans to bring her American Ring cycle back to Washington in the spring of 2016.

In addition to her current and upcoming duties at WNO, Ms. Zambello also serves as the Artistic and General Director of the Glimmerglass Festival in upstate New York.


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Terry Ponick

Now writing on investing, politics, music, and theater for the Washington Times Communities, Terry was the longtime music and culture critic for the Washington Times (1994-2009). 

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