BiographyWinner of the 2019 Princess of Girona Foundation Arts and Literature Award and of the 2013 Opera Europa – Camerata Nuova Europäischer Opernregie-Preis, Rafael R. Villalobos is quickly gaining international recognition as one of the most interesting young stage directors to come out of Spain. He was a finalist in the Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells Director Fellowship competition, an artist-in-residence at the Academy of Spain in Rome, nominated for the Best Young Director at the 2016 International Opera Awards in London and a Semi-Finalist in the 9th Ring Award in Graz.
Future productions include Verdi’s Ballo in Maschera at the Palau de les Arts Valencia as well as productions at Teatro Real Madrid, Vlaamse Opera, Oper Köln and at Göteborgsoperan.
Most recent engagements include Tosca (La Monnaie in co-operation w Gran Teatre del Liceu, Opéra national de Montpellier, Teatro de La Maestranza Sevilla), José de Nebras’ La Violación de Lucrecia (Teatro de la Zarzuela Madrid), Philip Glass´ Orphée (Teatro Real in co-operation w Teatros del Canal in Madrid), Vicente Martin y Soler´s L´Arbore di Diana (Theater an der Wien), scenes from Donizetti’s Tudor Trilogy (Gran Teatre del Liceu), Handel´s Orlando (Festival Castell de Peralada), Il barbiere di Siviglia (Opéra national de Montpellier), Così fan tutte (Teatro de la Maestranza Seville) and Germán Alonso´s Marie (Teatro Real). Furthermore, he has produced Acis and Galetea (Festival Castell de Peralada), Dido and Aeneas (Teatro Real), Elektra (Auditorio Nacional de Música Madrid), Sciarrino´s Superflumina (Teatro Massimo), Hänsel und Gretel (Hungarian State Opera), Krenek´s Der Diktator (Teatro de la Maestranza), Orphée et Eurydice (Teatro Villamarta) and a critically acclaimed staged version of Britten´s Noye’s Fludde (Wiesbaden).
Rafael R. Villalobos is particularly interested in exploring the limits of traditional opera and the transversality of contemporary theatre performance, which forms the basis of several of his creations: his own work A Welcome Guest: micro opera for a single performer, a loose adaption of Dido and Aeneas by H. Purcell and starring pop singer Pere Jou, ROMAESAMORALREVES, based on works by Carderón de la Barca, at Bramante’s Tempietto in Rome, as well as Hagiografías, a solo performance by De La Puríssima in collaboration with the Cuarteto Quiroga and Orkesta Mendoza, at the Teatro de la Zarzuela in Madrid.
Drawn to theatre and music from a very early age, Rafael R. Villalobos studied singing at the Conservatorio Cristóbal de Morales in his hometown, Seville. He holds a BA in Performing Arts from the RESAD [Royal School for Dramatic Arts] in Madrid and a first-class honours MA with distinction in Music as Interdisciplinary Art from the University of Barcelona in conjunction with the ESMUC [Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya]. He also studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and has attended workshops and masterclasses with Vincent Dumestre, Eduardo Arroyo and Mario Gas.
In 2019 Rafael R Villalobos was named artistic director of [DxM], a series of experimental musical theatre projects commissioned by the ICAS in Seville. In the season 2019/2020 he was the artistic coordinator of the Ópera y Juventud youth workshops for Ópera XXI, the Association of Spanish Theatres and Festivals. He teaches at the Menéndez Pelayo International University.
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