Past and Present Donmar Artistic Directors to Take on Opera

News   Past and Present Donmar Artistic Directors to Take on Opera
Director Sam Mendes will make his operatic directorial debut in 2010 at England's Glyndebourne Festival.

The former Donmar Warehouse artistic director will helm a production of Mozart's Don Giovanni. The Glyndebourne season will also feature the operatic debut of the Donmar's current artistic director, Michael Grandage, who will helm a production of Britten's Billy Budd. Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Glyndebourne general director David Pickard said that he has met Mendes once a year for the past five years to discuss possible projects at the East Sussex venue. The idea to direct Don Giovanni came from Glyndebourne Festival, though Mendes is said to be "intrigued and fascinated" by the opera.

Mendes' first production as Donmar artistic director was the British 1992 premiere of Sondheim's Assassins. His musical theatre successes also include Donmar productions of Sondheim's Company, for which he won an Olivier Award, and Kander and Ebb's Cabaret. That production went on to win four 1998 Tony Awards and led to Mendes directing Kevin Spacey in the movie "American Beauty," for which Mendes won an Academy Award.

Grandage has also had success in musical theate with his revival of Guys and Dolls starring Ewan McGregor. McGregor recently opened in Grandage's Donmar production of Shakespeare's Othello in which McGregor is playing Iago opposite Chiwetel Ejiofor in the title role.

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