Fiona Shaw was born in County Cork, Ireland and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She is one of the most recognised and highly praised actors of her generation, known for her theatre work (Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, Euripides ‘Medea, Brecht’s Mother Courage and Treadwell’s Machinal) as well as her film and television work (notably, the Harry Potter series, Three Men and a Little Lady, True Blood, Mrs Wilson and Killing Eve).
In the 2018/19 season Fiona will direct a new production of Cendrillon for Glyndebourne, seen first on the 2018 Tour and then in the 2019 Festival.
Fiona has also directed Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea, Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro for English National Opera. Her production of Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia was originally produced for Glyndebourne on Tour and has since been seen at the Glyndebourne Festival and the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. Other recent directing engagements include Cherubini’s Medea for Wexford Festival Opera and a semi-staging of Berlioz’ L’enfance du Christ with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Robin Ticciati.
Engagements in the 2019/20 season include a revival of his production of La finta giardiniera with the Teatro alla Scala in Shanghai, a new production of Schubert’s Lazarus with Lonely Child by Vivier and his much-anticipated return to Glyndebourne Festival in a new production of Fidelio.
Opera productions in 2018/19 include La Finta Giardiniera (La Scala), Peter Grimes (Oper Koeln), The Messiah (Berlin Philharmonie with Deutsche Symphonie Orchester), Ariadne auf Naxos (Cleveland Orchestra and La Scala) with conductors Franz Welser-Moest, Diego Fasolis, Robin Ticciati and Nicholas Collon. Other previous productions include Eugene Onegin (Opera National du Rhin), Le nozze di Figaro (La Scala), La Finta Giardiniera (Glyndebourne Festival and Tour), Renard with Vladimir Jurowski (Konzerthaus Berlin) and Jephtha (Buxton Festival).
He is Artistic Director of Mahogany Opera with whom he has created a number of new works – Folie a Deux by Emily Hall and Sjon (Borealis Festival, Kulturhuset Stockholm, Sakrum Profanum Krakow, Spitalfields Festival London), Lost in Thought by Rolf Hind (Barbican London, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg), Mozart vs Machine by Dominic Robertson (Folkestone Fringe, High Tide Festival Aldeburgh, Sound Festival Aberdeen), On What Weft was Woven the Waters by Rolf Hind (Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival) and The Mother by Laurence Osborn and Theo Merz (POSK London).
Previous projects with Mahogany of extant work include Gloria – A Pigtale by Gruber (Bregenz Festspiele, Linbury Studio ROH, Buxton Festival), The Church Parables by Britten (Hermitage St Petersburg, Aldeburgh Festival, Buxton Festival, City of London Festival), Bow Down by Birtwistle (Brighton Festival, Latitude Festival, Spitalfeilds Festival, Norfolk and Norwich Festival) and Laborintus II by Berio (LSO St Luke’s), The Fox and The Bear by Stravinsky and Walton (The Village Underground).
A major part of his work with Mahogany involves working with children. Frederic has recently created 10 new Snappy Operas (ten-minute operas for children aged 8-11) with composers including Errollyn Wallen, Philip Venables, Gwyneth Herbert, Kerry Andrew and Stephen Deazley. He has also directed UK tours of Brundibar by Hans Krasa and a new version of Rumplestiltskin called The Rattler.
He is also one of the team behind Mica Moca with whom he has curated and directed various large-scale multi-disciplinary performances such as Mica Moca – project Berlin 2011, Nature au Galop – Paris 2016, Tempelhofer Wald 2019 and worked with many artists including dancers Ahmed Soura, Minako Seki, Rosabel Huguet, video designer Sylwek Luszak and jazz musicians Sofia Jernberg, Johannes Lauer and Richard Koch.
In addition to her highly-praised work in theatre, television and film, Deborah Warner has directed Britten’s The Turn of the Screw for the Royal Opera (at the Barbican – winner of the Evening Standard and South Bank Awards). She has directed Wozzeck and La Voix Humaine for Opera North and both Don Giovanni and Fidelio for Glyndebourne. For English National Opera she has directed Britten’s Death in Venice (also for La Monnaie and La Scala, Milan), Bach’s St. John Passion, Janacek’s Diary of one who Vanished, Handel’s Messiah (also for Opera National de Lyon) and Eugene Ongein. For the Vienna Festival she has directed Dido and Aeneas (also for the Opera Comique, Paris and for the Netherlands Opera) and La Traviata.
She opened the 2014/15 season at La Scala with a new production of Fidelio and later that same season directed Between Worlds, a world premiere by Tansy Davies for the ENO. In the 2016/17 season Deborah directed a new production of The Tempest at the Salzburg Festival, a new production of Billy Budd for the Teatro Real in Madrid and King Lear, starring Glenda Jackson, at the Old Vic. 2017/18 saw revivals of Deborah’s production of Billy Budd for the Opera di Roma and Fidelio at La Scala. Most recently, in the 2018/19 season she revived her production of Billy Budd for the Royal Opera and directed a new production of La traviata for the Théâtre des Champs Elysées.