Up-and-coming stage director Jean-Romain Vesperini has been Director in Residence at the Festival les Nuits d’été de Corte since 2008. Having trained at the Chaillot National Theatre School and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, he has gone on to work all over Europe, including at the Opéra Comique, Opéra de Limoges, Opéra de Lyon, the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro and the Aix-en-Provence Festival.
Vesperini’s recent productions include Don Giovanni and Il Barbiere di Siviglia at the Festival les Nuits d’été de Corte, Isabelle Aboulker’s Douceet Barbe Bleue for l’Opéra de Lyon and La traviata for l’Opéra de Limoges (a co-production with l’Opéra de Reims and l’Opéra de Rennes), which earned fabulous reviews:
“An incredible performance, a clever and austere production, a sublime orchestra and lots of emotion: the people of Limoges should try to preserve this precious version of La traviata. They can’t expect to experience a production of similar value again soon... It would be wrong to find a single fault in this staging. Director Jean-Romain Vesperini transfers the story into the 1920s. In this setting, where fascism blooms, one doesn’t joke about morality...”. Le populaire, April 2012
Other productions have included Wolf-Ferrari’s Suzanne’s Secret; Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène and Mr. Choufleuri; Haydn’s La Fedeltà Premiata; and Eugène Labiche’s L'Affaire de la rue Lourcine at the Théâtre du Ranelagh, Paris.
As an assistant, Vesperini began working with Jérôme Savary and Pierluigi Pizzi. He now regularly collaborates with Peter Stein on important projects for Lyon Opera, including The Queen of Spades and Lulu, which he revived for La Scala and the Wiener Festwochen. He frequently works with Georges Lavaudant, with whom past projects include Verdi’s Attila in Verona; La clemenza di Tito for Lyon Opera; and Grétry’s Andromaque at the Schwetzinger Festival. He also collaborated on the world premiere of Philippe Fénelon’s La Cerisaie for Paris Opera.
Vesperini has directed several plays, including The Night of the Iguana by Tennesse Williams at the MC 93 in Bobigny; Shakespeare’s The Tempest at the Nuits d’été de Fourvières and the MC93; and Fausto Paravidino’s Due Fratelli at the Théâtre du Gymnase, which he also translated from Italian.
Operatic projects in the 2012-13 season include Pinocchio, a new work by Thierry Lalo at the Opera Bastille Amphithéâtre and a collaboration with Georges Lavaudant on a new production of Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac for the Maly Theatre in Moscow. Forthcoming projects with Peter Stein include Eugène Labiche’s Le Prix Martin for the Théâtre de l’Odéon and a new production of Don Carlo for the Salzburg Festival with Jonas Kaufmann and Antonio Pappano.
Jean-Romain Vesperini is represented worldwide by Intermusica.
October 2012 / 433 words. Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material.
Opéra de Limoges / Verdi La Traviata
“This was an elegant production … with pretty scenery (especially the use of curtains, and the effective mirrored floor), handsome costumes, including boots and black shirts, and thorough stage direction. These elements alone guaranteed a good show … This production will be revived in Reims and in Rennes. It’s really worth the detour”.
« Une mise en scène élégante … avec de jolis décors (en particulier, des jeux de voilage et un miroir de sol très réussi), de beaux costumes, incluant bottes et chemises noires, et une direction d’acter rigoureuse. C’est déjà l’essentiel pour passer une bonne soirée. … Cette production sera reprise à Reims et à rennes. Elle vaut vraiment le déplacement. »
Catherine Scholler, Opéra Magazine n°74, June 2012
“An incredible performance, a clever and austere production, a sublime orchestra and lots of emotion:the people of Limoges should try to preserve this precious version of La Traviata. They can’t expect to experience a production of similar value again soon... It would be wrong to find a single fault in this staging. Director Jean-Romain Vesperini transfers the story into the 1920s. In this setting, where fascism blooms, one doesn’t joke about morality... The allusions to this era are discreet, but noticeable. The interval occurs only in the second half of the second act, which creates a very fluent and coherent storyline. In the first scene [Vesperini] plays with the image of mass society; he shows the young woman not confronted by individuals but instead by society as a whole. Arts-déco scenography underlines the atrocity of the story.”
Jean-François Julien, Le Populaire, April 2012
“Jean-Romain Vesperini’s production is a very original take on Violetta’s tragedy, which is transferred to the dangerous surroundings of Italy in the 1920s, where fascism is in plain sight... The sceneryturns grotesque in the second act’s decadent pantomime, which features cross-dressed bohemians carrying feathery fans in their hands with which they hide their frolics from the marquis... Excellent direction, acting and a well-rehearsed choir contribute to the flow and success of this production.It reachesits climax in the last two scenes which show powerful images.”
Fédéric Norac, musicologie.org, April 2012
Théâtre de Ranelagh / Labiche L’affaire de la rue de Lourcine
"Jean-Romain’s Vesperini’s production of Eugène Labiche’s L’affaire de la rue de Lourcine, which is on for two more days, is wonderfully comical..."
Armelle Héliot, Le Figaro, July 2007
“Brought to the stage by director and baritone Jean-Romain Vesperini, this ‘affaire’ alternates without hiatus between sung couplets and spoken scenes. From beginning to end, the audience, though always cheated, relishes the absurdity of the situations, which is brought forward by the talent of both actors and director...”
Marie-Emmanuelle Galfré, Le Parisien, July 2007
Rue des Saules / Paravidino Due fratelli
“Stage Director Jean-Romain Vesperini orchestrates all this in masterly fashion... A show that gives great pleasure.”
Jean-Luc Jeener, Figaroscope, June 2007