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The Canadian opera director Robert Carsen was born in Toronto in 1954 and originally intended to pursue a career as an actor, training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School; in his mid-20s he took an internship as assistant director at the Spoleto Festival and made his professional directorial debut in Geneva with a production of Boito’s Mefistofele. Since then he has designed new productions for most of the world’s major opera-houses, including La Scala, the Deutsche Oper, La Fenice, the Bayerische Staatsoper, and the Glyndebourne and Aix-en-Provence Festivals.
Carsen has also worked in musical theatre and straight drama, where credits include Tom Stoppard’s Rosencranzt and Guildenstern Are Dead, Brecht’s Mother Courage, Sunset Boulevard and My Fair Lady/. His discography includes Verdi’s Falstaff from the Metropolitan Opera (‘a riot from start to finish’ – Gramophone), Der Rosenkavalier from the Wiener Staatsoper, Handel’s Rinaldo from Glyndebourne, Rameau’s Les Boréades with Les Arts Florissants, and Don Giovanni from La Scala.