Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Wiener Staatsoper, 2019 (detail) View full image

Irina Brook

Director
© Amanda Lane

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

Stefano Jacini, Il giornale della musica, Die sieben Todsünden/Mahagonny-Songspiel, Teatro alla Scala

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.

Wilhelm Sinkovicz, Die Presse, Don Pasquale, Wiener Staatsoper

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). Future seasons include her debut at Teatro alla Scala, a return to the Wiener Staatsoper and 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.

Appointments

  • Artist-in-Residence, Teatro Stabile del Veneto

Brecht/Weill: Die sieben Todsünden & Mahagonny-Songspiel, Teatro alla Scala, 2021

Britten: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Wiener Staatsoper, 2019

Gounod: Roméo et Juliette, Opéra Nice Côte d'Azur, 2018

Rossini: La Cenerentola, Opera Wrocławska/Théâtre de Champs-Élysées, 2017

Donizetti: Don Pasquale, Wiener Staatsoper, 2015

Homer: The Odyssey, Bouffes du Nord/Festival de Sartrouville, 2015

Donizetti: L'elisir d'amore, Deutsche Oper Berlin, 2014

Shakespeare: The Tempest, Spoleto Festival/Salzburg Festival, 2013

Ibsen: Peer Gynt, Salzburg Festival, 2012

2 publicity photos