Yannis Kokkos - Director - W Print

Born in Athens, Yannis Kokkos lives in France since 1963, where he completed his studies of scenography at the École Superieure d’Art Dramatique in Strasbourg. His long and intensive collaboration as a set designer with the director Antoine Vitez started in 1969 and represented a fundamental stage in his career. This collaboration developed into several productions at the Comédie Française, at the Festival in Avignon, at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano and, between 1981 and 1988, at the Théâtre National de Chaillot, with productions such as Le Soulier de Satin, Elektra, Hamlet.

His activity as set designer for opera theatres resulted in some very interesting stagings: Macbeth at the Opéra de Paris, Pelléas et Mélisande at the Teatro alla Scala, Die Zauberflöte at the Wiener Staatsoper, Don Carlo at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Elektra by Richard Strauss at the Grand Théâtre in Geneva and in San Francisco. Yannis Kokkos designed the set and costumes of the ballets “Undine” and “L’Odysée” at the Opéra of Hamburg, and “ Sylvia” at the Palais Garnier with the choreography by John Neumayer. From 1987 Yannis Kokkos started his work as director, with the world première of La Princesse Blanche by R.M.Rilke , alternating both theatre performances and lyrical productions. Successful opera productions include Boris Godunov at the Comunale in Bologna ; Oresteïa by Xenakis at the Festival of Gibellina; Sicily, La damnation de Faust at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris; Death in Venice (France première), Dido and Aeneas, Iphigénie en Tauride and Giulio Cesare in Nancy; Iphigénie and La Thébaïde by Racine at the Comédie Française, as well as Carmen, Tosca and Don Giovanni at the Chorégies d’Orange. He also staged Tristan und Isolde at the Welsh National Opera and at the Covent Garden; Salomé, Pelléas et Mélisande and Les Rois, the new opera of Philippe Fénelon, in Bordeaux; Zelmira at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro and at the Opéra de Lyon; Alceste and The Queen of Spades at the Scottish Opera; Norma at the Opéra Bastille, the world première of Tristes Tropiques by George Aperghis in Strasbourg; Elektra at the Opéra de Lyon, Hänsel und Gretel, Outis by Berio The Bassarids by Henze (both France premieres) and Les Troyens at the Théâtre du Châtelet de Paris; Der Fliegende Holländer in Bologna, at the La Scala in Milan and in Seville; Pelléas et Mélisande in Bordeaux ; Die Vögel of Braunfels in Genève. At the Teatro alla Scala, he directed a new production of Götterdämmerung for the opening of the 1998/1999 season, subsequently he was re-invited to stage Iphigénie en Aulide for the opening season 2002-2003. Among his past engagements it is also worth mentioning Hänsel und Gretel at the Grand Théâtre de Genève; Re Ruggero in Palermo; Tristan und Isolde at the Welsh National Opera and for a new production of Tristan at the Théâtre de La Monnaie in Brussels (2006); Cherubini’s Medea at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse and in a new production at the Festival of Epidaurus; Tancredi at the Teatro Real in Madrid, Nabucco at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich; Turandot in Montpellier; Idomeneo in Bordeaux and Nancy; The excursions of Mr.Bruceck Janacek Grand Theâtre de Genève; Assassinio nella cattedrale, Pizzetti at Teatro alla Scala in Milan; Die Frau ohne schatten by Strauss , Maggio Musicale Fiorentino; Boris Godounov (original version) at Wiener Staatsoper; Don Quichotte and Samson et Dalila at the Mariinsky, Saint Petersburg. 

In 1986 Yannis Kokkos was awarded by the «Prix du Syndacat de la Critique» for his designs of Elektra and by two Molières for the design of the Echange and the costumes of Madame de Sade, as well as by the golden medal of the Prague Quadriennal of Scenery Prime for the career and “ Commandeur des Ats et Lettres” in France. M° Kokkos collaborated with important conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Claudio Abbado, Daniele Gatti, Zubin Mehta, John Eliot Gardiner, Charles Mackerras, Valery Gergiev, Christoph von Dohnányi and many others. Mr. Kokkos is also "Doctor Honoris Causa" at the University of Peloponese (Greece). In 1998 the production of La clemenza di Tito, staged by Yannis Kokkos at the the Welsh National Opera, obtained the “Laurence Olivier Prime” as best lyrical work as well the “Critic Prize 2004,” for his production of the first integral version of Berlioz’s “Les Troyens”at Théatre du Chatelet , Paris.

March 2017

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