We need to meditate on the 'arte povera' direction of Irina Brook, so suitable for a period in which the world of entertainment is tightening its belt, because it can serve as an example in the future, both to avoid wasting money, but also to end the vacuous gigantism of sets and installations
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 will give you the time of your life.
Irina Brook was born in Paris as the daughter of director Peter Brook and actress Natasha Parry; she grew up in England and France. At 16 she moved to New York to take acting lessons with Stella Adler and made her debut in Off-Broadway productions. In Paris, she performed at Bouffes du Nord in Peter Brook’s productions of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard and Molière’s Dom Juan ou Le Festin de pierre.
After working on numerous productions in London, she presented her first work as a director there in 1996: Kalinoski’s Beast on the Moon, followed by Nicholas Wright’s Mrs. Klein and Shakespeare’s All’s Well that Ends Well. In 1998 she created Une Bête sur la Lune, a French version of Beast on the Moon for Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. She then embarked on an international tour as well as performances at MC93, Bobigny and Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, Paris for which she won five Molière Awards including Best Director and Best Play. In 2000 she directed Katherine Burger’s Morphic Resonance at Théâtre de l’Atelier, Paris. For the Festival de Sartrouville she developed a version of Homer’s Odyssey. This was followed by Juliette et Roméo after Shakespeare and Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa at Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne, as well as Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie in a co-production with Théâtre de l’Atelier and Théâtre Vidy-Lausanne. Brook’s productions of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt and Shakespeare’s The Tempest premiered at the 2012 Salzburg Festival and toured to the Barbican Centre and Spoleto Festival respectively. Her production The Island Trilogy (The Island of Slaves, The Tempest!, An Odyssey) was performed at the Spoleto Festival, Georgian International Festival of Arts, and Teatro dell’Arte, Milan in 2013. In 2014 Brook was appointed Director of the Théâtre National de Nice, and in 2021 she became Artist-in-Residence at Teatro Stabile del Veneto.
Brook has also directed numerous operas; debuting with Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (Nederlandse Reisopera), followed by Tchaikovsky’s Yevgeny Onegin (Festival d’Aix-en-Provence) and Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées/Teatro Comunale di Bologna/Royal Swedish Opera). She has also directed Handel’s Giulio Cesare (Théâtre des Champs-Elysées), Verdi’s La traviata (Opéra de Lille/Teatro Comunale di Bologna), Martín y Soler’s Il burbero de buon cuore (Teatro Real/Liceu), L’elisir d’amore (Deutsche Oper), Roméo et Juliette (Opéra Nice Côte d’Azur), Don Pasquale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Wiener Staatsoper) and Die Sieben Todsünden & Mahagonny-Songspiel (Teatro alla Scala). Future seasons include her returns to Teatro alla Scala and the Wiener Staatsoper, also the world premiere of her interdisciplinary installation The House of Us/Hamlet in Japan and Italy.
In May 2017 Brook was named Officier de l'ordre des Arts et Lettres and awarded the Légion d'honneur.
- Artist-in-Residence, Château d'Hardelot
- Artist-in-Residence, Teatro Stabile del Veneto
- Il matrimonio segreto trailer from Teatro alla Scala
- Brook on Il matrimonio segreto at Teatro alla Scala
- Brook/Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream from the Wiener Staatsoper
- Irina Brook, Simone Young and cast talk about A Midsummer Night's Dream in Vienna
- Brook speaks about Romeo and Juliet at Shake Nice Festival
- Irina Brook accepting the Légion d'honneur
- Rossini: La Cenerentola
- Donizetti: Making of L'elisir d'amore
- Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore
- Ibsen: Peer Gynt
- Irina Brook talks Don Pasquale at the Wiener Staatsoper
- Donizetti: Don Pasquale
- Martín y Soler: Il burbero di buon cuore
- Händel: Giulio Cesare
News and Articles
What we learnt in 202216 December 2022
Act naturally2 September 2022
Wise words from 20213 December 2021
Irina Brook makes case for eco-friendly opera25 June 2021
Irina Brook makes La Scala debut19 March 2021
Irina Brook appointed in Venice26 February 2021
The season is in full swing.........7 November 2019
Irina Brook opens the season with Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream24 September 2019
Irina Brook named Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres and awarded the Légion d'honneur31 May 2017
Irina Brook's Théâtre national de Nice brings Peer Gynt to London1 October 2014