Brook has brought back to the repertoire after thirty years a fresh and cheeky production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale and transformed it into a kind of opera-cartoon which musically and dramatically will make you have the time of your life.
- Director, Théâtre national de Nice
Irina Brook was born in Paris, the daughter of stage director Peter Brook and actress Natasha Parry, and grew up in England and France. At the age of 18, she moved to New York, taking acting lessons with Stella Adler and making her debut in Off-Broadway productions. In Paris, she performed at the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in Peter Brook’s productions of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Dom Juan ou Le Festin de pierre by Molière.
After working on numerous theatre, film and TV productions in London, she presented her first work as a director there in 1996: Beast on the Moon by Richard Kalinoski. This was followed by Nicholas Wright’s Mrs. Klein at the Watford Palace Theatre and Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well at the Oxford Playhouse. In 1998 she created Une Bête sur la Lune, the French-language version of Kalinoski’s Beast on the Moon, for the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. She then embarked on an international tour as well as performances at the MC93 in Bobigny and at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre in Paris, for which she won the Molière Theatre Prize for Best Director and Best Play, among others. In 2000, she directed Katherine Burger’s Morphic Resonance at the Théâtre de l’Atelier in Paris. For the Theatre Festival in Sartrouville she developed a version of Homer’s Odyssey for young audiences. This was followed by Juliette et Roméo adapted from Shakespeare and Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa at the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, as well as Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie as a co-production with the Théâtre de l’Atelier and the Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne.
Brook has also directed numerous operas. Together with stage director Dan Jemmett, she put on her first work in this genre, Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, at the Nationale Reisopera in the Netherlands in 1999. This was followed by Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the year thereafter by Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées / Teatro Comunale di Bologna). She has also directed Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées), Verdi’s La traviata (Opéra de Lille / Teatro Comunale di Bologna), Vicente Martín y Soler’s Il burbero de buon cuore (Teatro Real, Madrid), L’elisir d’amore (Deutsche Oper, Berlin) and Don Pasquale (Wiener Staatsoper).