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.
Most recent engagements include Tosca for La Monnaie in Brussels, in co-production with Opéra national de Montpellier, scenes from Donizetti’s ‘Tudor Trilogy’ for the Gran Teatre del Liceu as well Handel´s Orlando the Festival Castell de Peralada. Il barbiere di Siviglia at the Opéra national de Montpellier, Così fan tutte at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville and Germán Alonso´s Marie at Teatro Real in Madrid. Elsewhere, he has produced Acis and Galetea for the Festival Castell de Peralada, Dido and Aeneas for Teatro Real, Elektra at the Auditorio Nacional de Música, Madrid, Sciarrino´s Superflumina at Teatro Massimo, Hänsel und Gretel for the Hungarian State Opera, Krenek´s Der Diktator at Teatro de la Maestranza, Gluck´s Orphée et Eurydice at Teatro Villamarta and a critically acclaimed staged version of Britten´s Noye’s Fludde in Wiesbaden.
Rafael R. Villalobos is particularly interested in exploring the limits of traditional opera and the transversality o contemporary theatre performance, which forms the basis o several of his creations: his own work A Welcome Guest: micro opera for a single performer, a loose adaption of Dido and Aeneasby 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.
Future productions include Tosca for Gran Teatre del Liceu, Philip Glass´ Orphée for Teatro Real in collaboration with Teatros del Canal in Madrid as well as Vicente Martin y Soler´s L´Arbore di Diana at Theater an der Wien.
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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