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Peter Sellars

Peter Sellars directed Michelangelo Sonnets for MIF13. For more details, please visit the event page by following the link in the left hand panel.

Opera, theatre and festival director Peter Sellars is one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the performing arts. A visionary artist, Peter is known for his groundbreaking interpretations of classic works, striking a universal chord with audiences while engaging and illuminating contemporary social and political issues.

Peter has staged operas at the Glyndebourne Festival, the Lyric
Opera of Chicago, the Nederlandse Opera, the Opéra National de
Paris, the Salzburger Festspiele, the San Francisco Opera and the
Santa Fe Opera, among others. He has established a reputation
for bringing 20th-century and contemporary operas to the stage,
including works by Messiaen, Hindemith, and Ligeti. Inspired by
the compositions of Saariaho, Golijov and Tan Dun, he has guided
the creation of productions of their work that have expanded the
repertoire of modern opera. Peter has been a driving force in the
creation of many new works with composer John Adams, a longtime collaborator. Their latest work, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, was staged in Europe and the US earlier this year.

Recent projects have included a concert staging of JS Bach’s St
Matthew Passion with the Berliner Philharmoniker; stagings of Nixon
in China for the Metropolitan Opera and George Crumb’s The Winds of Destiny for the Ojai Music Festival and Cal Performances; and new productions of Handel’s Hercules in Chicago and Vivaldi’s Griselda in Santa Fe. In 2012, Peter staged a double bill of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta and Stravinsky’s Persephone for Teatro Real in Madrid.

Peter has led several major arts festivals, including the 1990 and
1993 Los Angeles Festivals, the 2002 Adelaide Arts Festival and the
2003 Venice Biennale International Festival of Theatre. In 2006, he
was Artistic Director of New Crowned Hope, a month-long festival
in Vienna for which he invited international artists from diverse
cultural backgrounds to create new work in the fields of music,
theatre, dance, film, the visual arts and architecture.

Peter is a professor in the Department of World Arts & Cultures at
UCLA and Resident Curator of the Telluride Film Festival. He has
been the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, the Erasmus Prize,
the Sundance Institute Risk-Takers Award and the Gish Prize, and
is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He was
recently honored by the American Academy in Rome.


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Manchester International Festival is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events and takes place biennially, in Manchester, UK. The Festival launched in 2007 as an artist-led, commissioning Festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture.

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