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Christopher Alden


Born in New York City. For the past three decades, Christopher Alden has been busy producing opera around the globe, consistently committed to keeping the art form challenging and vital. Mr. Alden began his professional career with Joseph Papp's New York Shakespeare Festival, appearing in the Tony Award winning rock musical, Two Gentlemen of Verona. After apprenticing in opera as assistant to Jean-Pierre Ponnelle in Houston, Paris and Salzburg, he first attracted international attention with his own productions through his ground-breaking work with the Long Beach Opera. Beginning with an acclaimed Britten’s Death in Venice (1982), he subsequently directed Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia and Il Turco in Italia, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, Verdi’s Don Carlos, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, and others. Mr. Alden has worked with the most distinguished companies in the United States, among others the Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, San Francisco Opera; he made his New York City Opera debut in 1979 with Rossini's Le comte Ory, followed by L'Italiana in Algeri. He has also enjoyed great success in his work overseas. He made his European debut in 1980 directing Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Basel. In the United Kingdom his production of Puccini’s Turandot, first created for the Welsh National Opera in 1994, has since been seen at Scottish Opera and English National Opera (where he directed Janáček’s Makropulos Affair, conducted by Sir Charles Mackerras, in 2006). For Opera North, Mr. Alden's success with a new Tosca, followed by his productions of half of the award-winning Eight Little Greats season, Falla’s La vida breve, Bizet’s Djamileh, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Rossini's L'occasione fa il ladro. Mr. Alden also directed Mozart’s Idomeneo at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Puccini’s La fanciulla del West for Opera Zuid in the Netherlands, Verdi’s Il trovatore for de Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in Bilbao and a triple bill of Bizet's Djamileh, Le docteur Miracle, and Don Procopio with the Opéra Comique in Paris. His 2006/2007 season included a double bill of Falla's La vida breve and Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero with the Greek National Opera. He then traveled to the UK for a new production of Monteverdi's Orfeo with Opera North, followed by Wagner’s Der fliegende Holländer with the Portland Opera and Bizet's Djamileh with Opéra National de Lyon. In the 2007/2008 season he directed Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Basel Opera followed by his debut at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf with Verdi’s Nabucco and a new production of Verdi’s Aida for the Deutsche Oper Berlin conducted by Renato Palumbo, followed by Orfeo in Oslo. At the opening of the 2008/2009 season, Mr. Alden revived his successful production of Tosca at Opera North in Leeds, followed by a new production of Händel’s Partenope at English National Opera in London and of The Makropulos Affair for the National Theatre in Prague. Update: October 2008