Release date: 9/11/2015
Francesca Zambello Opera Medal.pdf
Following the final curtain call for Friday’s Opening Night performance of Verdi’s Luisa Miller, San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley will award stage director Francesca Zambello with the San Francisco Opera Medal—the highest honor bestowed by the Company to an artistic professional.
“It is with great pleasure that I present the San Francisco Opera Medal to Francesca Zambello,” said Gockley. “I feel that this honor is especially warranted given the impressive scope of work, collaboration and history between our company and Francesca.”
Zambello began her long association with San Francisco Opera more than 30 years ago, and, with the exception of Gaetano Merola, San Francisco Opera's first chief executive, she has worked with every other Company general director, starting as a teaching assistant during the tenure of Kurt Adler. In 1983, Zambello worked as assistant stage director for Ariadne auf Naxos and has since been involved in more than 50 productions here, including the current production of Luisa Miller, La Voix Humaine, La Bohème, Prince Igor, Jenůfa, the West Coast premiere of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, Porgy and Bess, a new production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in 2011 and the world premieres of Heart of a Soldier (2011) and Two Women (2015). Her work has been seen at the Metropolitan Opera; Milan’s Teatro alla Scala; the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; the Paris Opera; Lyric Opera of Chicago; and English National Opera. Zambello currently serves as general and artistic director of the Glimmerglass Festival and artistic director of Washington National Opera. She has been awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government and the Russian Federation’s medal for service to culture.
Zambello joins an illustrious company of San Francisco Opera Medal recipients, including sopranos Leontyne Price and Joan Sutherland, mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, tenor Plácido Domingo, baritone Thomas Stewart, conductors Donald Runnicles and Charles Mackerras, director John Copley and mezzo-soprano Susan Graham, the last artist to receive the honor in June 2015.
For the complete press release, please view the attached PDF.