Laurent smiles, wearing a black button up. He has short gray hair and hazel eyes.

Laurent Pelly

Stage Director & Costume Designer

French opera and theatre director Laurent Pelly is sought after by the world’s most prestigious houses. With a natural affinity for Italian and French repertoire, his creative curiosity has in recent years led him towards other composers, including Russian and Czech. He brings theatrical insight to his work with singers and his concepts often contain surreal invention and a dark sense of humour. A master of detail, he designs the costumes for all his productions, as well as occasionally the sets.

Well-known at opera houses such as Opéra national de Paris, Opéra de Lyon, Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Teatro Real, La Monnaie/de Munt and Glyndebourne, he is just as adept in and passionate about theatre. He was Co-Director of Théâtre national de Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées (2008–2018) where creations included Ionesco’s La cantatrice chauve, Aristophane’s Les oiseaux, Goldoni’s L’oiseau vert, and Hugo’s Mangeront-ils? as well as Shakespeare’s Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 2021 he brought his sense of comic fantasy to the first French theatrical production of Mary Chase’s Harvey, which continues to tour in 2022-23.

New productions in 2022-23 include Lakmé at Opéra Comique, La Périchole at Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Eugene Onegin at La Monnaie/de Munt and Il Turco in Italia at Teatro Real Madrid. Other recent work includes A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Lille, Cosí fan tutte at Théâtre des Champs Elysées and a Poulenc double bill for the Glyndebourne Festival (winner of Best New Production at the International Awards 2022), as well as La Cenerentola (Amsterdam, Geneva, Valencia, Los Angeles), Falstaff (La Monnaie, Nikikai Opera Foundation Tokyo) and Il nozze di Figaro (Santa Fe, Matsumoto Festival Japan).

His artistic drive leads him to an ever-expanding opera catalogue. He has long worked with French repertoire such as Manon, Cendrillon, Pélleas et Mélisande, L’étoile and L’enfant et les sortilèges, as well as Italian works including La fille du régiment, Don Pasquale, L’elisir d’amore, I Puritani, La Cenerentola, La traviata and Falstaff. His Russian and Czech catalogue includes Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges and Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen, and future productions include works by Smetana, Tchaikovsky, and Wagner. He is also drawn to musical theatre; stagings include Bernstein’s Candide, Brecht–Weill’s Threepenny Opera and Weill’s Mahagonny.

As a renowned Offenbach specialist, Pelly has directed many award-winning titles, including Barbebleue, La vie parisienne, La belle Hélène, La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Orphée aux Enfers, Les contes d’Hoffmann and most recently Le voyage dans la lune with the Maitrise of L’Opéra Comique. His production of Le roi carotte for Opéra de Lyon won Best Rediscovered Work at the 2016 International Opera Awards.

Appointments: Co-Director Pel-Mel Groupe (2017-); Co-Director (with Agathe Mélinand) of Théâtre national de Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées (2008–2018); Director Centre Dramatique National des Alpes (1997–2007); Founding Director Compagnie Le Pelican (1980-1996).

Awards: 2022 Best New Production (La voix humaine/Les mamelles de Thirésias) International opera Awards; 2022 Grand Prix du Plaisir du Théâtre; 2022 Best Director Premios Opéra XXI; 2019 Opera News Award; 2017 French Critics Prix de l’Europe Francophone (Le Coq d’Or); 2016 Best Director and Best Rediscovered Work (Le roi carotte) International Opera Awards; 2016 Spanish Critics Best Director (Premios Líricos Campoamor); 2015 French Critics Best Scenic Elements award (L’oiseau vert); 2011 French Critics Best Director and Best Set Design awards (Mille francs de récompense); 2009 SACD Best Director.

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