Jeanne Pansard-Besson 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. She is now based in London.
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.
Next she will be working at the Opéra Comique in Paris on Jacques Offenbach’s Madame Favart, which she will be reviving this Autumn on tour, and at the Royal Opera House on a revival of Gounod’s Faust. She is also developing a mythography project devising performances, and a documentary film. As well as English and French she speaks German and Italian fluently.
Photo: Lupi Spuma, 2017.