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 (soon to be published as The Imagination of Rome’s Foundation Myths, Routledge 2019), 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 in the spring, and of La Scala di Seta with the company ‘Raucous Rossini’ in the summer, touring the UK and Italy.
She is about to return to Opéra de Lorraine for a production of Bernard Herrmann’s Wuthering Heights, before working at the Opéra Comique in the spring on Jacques Offenbach’s Madame Favart. She is also developing documentary film projects set in Cambodia, Senegal and Ghana. She is fluent in English, French, German and Italian.
Photo: Lupi Spuma, 2017.