John Pascoe

The British artist has worked as designer and or director in most of the world’s leading opera houses since his debut in 1979 as scenery designer for Handel’s Guilio Cesare for the English National Opera. This won the Evening Standard Award, was presented in Geneva and San Francisco and was then seen in 1988 at the Metropolitan Opera. In 2000, Pascoe garnered much praise when he restaged the production at the Washington Opera for mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux under the baton of Will Crutchfield.

Pascoe has worked as director/designer for such houses as Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Houston, Spoleto Festivals USA and Italy, Rome, Cannes, Munich, the Royal Opera House – Covent Garden and Sydney Opera House. He has created new productions, mostly of the bel canto and baroque periods, featuring the greatest names of the operatic world. Five have starred Dame Joan Sutherland, and six Renée Fleming.

This included Rameau’s Platée in the 1986 Spoleto USA Festival, a production that he took to New York’s BAM in 1988 and restaged with Renée Fleming singing all three of the soprano roles. This production opened contemporaneously as Pascoe’s designs for Giulio Cesare debuted at the Met, and that Fleming opened in Houston as the Countess.

In 1994 Pascoe focused on the possibility of utilizing video technology in his productions. His recent venture in this area included a new multi-media production of Don Giovanni in DC’s Constitution Hall with Plácido Domingo conducting, a Manon Lescaut for Kennedy Center and a Madama Butterfly for Quebec Opera. Recent productions have included Don Pasquale for Palm Beach Opera, Norma for Virginia Opera plus Menotti’s Medium and Telephone, Vivaldi’s Ercole and Handel’s Ariodante for Italy’s Spoleto Festival.

Recent engagements include sets and costumes for David Di Chiera’s Cyrano, a co-production with Michigan Opera Theatre, Florida Grand Opera and Opera Philadelphia, staging and designing new productions of Don Giovanni and Lucrezia Borgia for Washington National Opera as well as new productions of Fidelio and Carmen for Palm Beach Opera plus a revival of productions of Don Giovanni and Fidelio for Michigan Opera Theatre.  Mr. Pascoe’s production of the English ballad opera, Hob in the Well, opened the 2010 Spoleto USA Festival at the newly renovated Dock Street Theater in Charleston in May and his production of Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia featuring Renée Fleming was revived at the San Francisco Opera and issued for commercial distribution on DVD while his WNO Don Giovanni revived in Dallas and at Miami in 2011 and in Washington in 2012 along with his production of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. Pascoe was recently appointed artistic director of the Accademia del Licini, Italy’s leading Shakespeare Festival which opened in July 2012 with highly successful productions of Antony and Cleopatra, and in 2013, Twelfth Night.

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