Jeanne Pansard-Besson is an opera director based in London. She grew up in Paris where she received an academic and music education (Master’s degrees in Classics and German at the Sorbonne) before moving to the UK for her doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge, King’s College.
Since completing a PhD in Classics (her book, entitled The Imagination of Rome’s Foundation Myths, is about to be published by Routledge), she has been working in opera with directors including Mariame Clément, Laurent Pelly, Irina Brook, Simon McBurney, Michael Boyd, in such venues as Glyndebourne Festival, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Oper Graz, Opéra de Paris, Garsington Opera and Scottish Opera.
Jeanne was a finalist in the 9th European Opera-directing Prize (Camerata Nuova) in Berlin and a semi-finalist in the Ring Award 2017 with projects on La Traviata and Don Pasquale. She directed a new production of La Tragédie de Carmen at the Royal Academy of Music in London last spring, and of La Scala di Seta with the company ‘Raucous Rossini’ in the summer, touring the UK and Italy.
She was just at the Opéra Comique for Jacques Offenbach’s Madame Favart, which she will be reviving this Autumn on tour, and is about to work at the Royal Opera House on a revival of Gounod’s Faust. She is also working on a mythography project devising performances, and on a documentary film. She is fluent in English, French, German and Italian.
Photo: Lupi Spuma, 2017.