Opera Director | Set-Costumes-Lighting Designer | Choreographer
In his search for aesthetic and conceptual unity, Stefano Poda always combines direction, choreography, sets, costumes and lightning: his personal seal is founded on a visionary, multi-level imprint balanced between ancient images and contemporary art. On stage he speaks his own language, immediately recognisable, erasing the barriers between different genres and disciplines, in order to create an all-embracing experience, a world of total art. His way of doing theatre is not a mere story-telling, but a plastic, holistic dimension, able to blend together design, architecture, sculpture, painting, music and dramaturgy.
Stefano Poda’s worldwide career numbers about one hundred productions. Recent projects include: the opening of the Centenary Arena di Verona Opera Festival 2023 with the new production of Verdi's Aida, worldwide broadcast; the inauguration of the ROF Rossini Opera Festival 2023 with the first modern performance in the critical edition by Eduardo e Cristina; the inauguration of the 2023/24 Season of the Teatro Regio in Turin with Halevy's Juive; Enescu’s Oedipe at the George Enescu International Festival 2023.
His best-known works include Tosca (2021) in the repertoire of the Bolshoi Theatre of Moscow; Dvořák’s Rusalka for the opening season at the Opéra National du Capitole de Toulouse (co-production with The Israeli Opera, Mezzo TV); Alcina (2022 · broadcast on ARTE TV) and Norma (2023) both at Opéra de Lausanne; different new productions of Nabucco, for the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires (2022) and for the reopening of the National Theatre of Korea (KNO, 2021, 2023); Ariane et Barbe-Bleue at the Opéra National du Capitole de Toulouse (2019 · broadcast on France TV); two different productions of Les Contes d’Hoffmann (coproduction Opéra de Lausanne/Tel Aviv Israeli Opera/ROW Opéra Royal de Wallonie and at State Theatre am Gärtnerplatz in Munich); Roméo et Juliette (2018) at NCPA of Beijing; Ariodante (2016) and Lucia di Lammermoor (2017, broadcast on ARTE TV) at Opéra de Lausanne; Boris Godunov(2017) and Andrea Chénier (2015) at Korea National Opera; Thaïs (2015), Fosca by Carlos Gomes and Titan (2016), a choreography on Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, at Theatro Municipal de São Paulo; L’Elisir d’amore at Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg (2016); Otello at Hungarian State Opera of Budapest (2015, 2023); Tristan und Isolde conducted by Zubin Mehta for the opening of the 77th edition of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Festival (2014); Il Trovatore at Odeon of Herodes Atticus, Athens Festival (2012, revival in 2017); Trittico by Puccini (2011) and Faust (2023) at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires ; Leggenda by Alessandro Solbiati at Teatro Regio di Torino (2011 · DVD EMA Vinci Records); La Forza del destino (2011) at Teatro Regio di Parma (DVD Unitel) and at the Festival Verdi in Parma (2014). His iconic production of Gounod’s Faust at Teatro Regio Torino in 2015, a co-production of the Israeli Opera of Tel Aviv and the Lausanne Opera (DVD & Blu-Ray Unitel Classica/C Major) had been broadcast with great success in movie theatres across the world. This is true also for Puccini’s Turandot in 2018 (DVD Unitel Classica/C Major, streaming on Operavision) and Massenet’s Thaïs in 2008 (DVD & Blu-ray, RAI/Arthaus Musik) both staged at Teatro Regio Torino and conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.
Stefano Poda was awarded the prestigious “Prix Claude Rostand de la Critique Française” for best opera production for Ariane et Barbe-Bleue at Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse (2019).
He was invited as special guest to the PQ Prague Quadrennial 2019, the 14th edition of the largest international festival of theatre and stage design. In 2018, the Fifth International Experts Forum of the Stage Arts in Beijing was dedicated to “Stefano Poda, Opera Design as total Art Work” at an international symposium at the Forbidden City. In 2019 he received the “Ombra della Sera” Lifetime Achievement Award for Performing Arts at the Roman Theatre of Volterra.