Zeffirelli Franco, director & designer
Was born in Italy. He began his career as an actor and in 1948 started working with Luchino Visconti and designed his production of A Streetcar Named Desire in Rome. Since then Zeffirelli has directed and designed productions for theater, television, film and opera all over the world. Among his films are The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, The Champ, Hamlet and Callas Forever. He has directed the opera films of La traviata, Otello, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci. Zeffirelli's first theatrical direction was of Romeo and Juliet in 1960 at London's Old Vic. He has also directed Othello, Who's Afraid from Virginia Woolf?, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Filumena and many other plays. Zeffirelli has been directing and designing opera for over 50 years now. His first major production was in 1954, with La Cenerentola (Rossini) in La Scala following the next season with L'elisir d'amore (Donizetti) and Il turco in Italia (Rossini). Since then he has created productions for all the leading opera houses of the world including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Metropolitan Opera and the Arena di Verona. Among the operas he has directed and designed are Carmen (Bizet), Falstaff (Verdi), Rigoletto (Verdi), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), Don Giovanni (Mozart), Tosca (Puccini), Turandot (Puccini), Don Carlo (Verdi) and many others. At the Israeli Opera he directed La bohème (Puccini), Pagliacci (Leoncavallo) and La traviata (Verdi).