Elsa Rooke


Born and bred in Paris, stage-director and drama teacher Elsa Rooke completed a PhD in Literature and Music on 20th century opera at the Sorbonne. Invited to publish papers and give talks on this subject, both in France and in England, she also translated novels, essays and opera librettos from English and Italian into French.

Trained by drama coach Alain Garichot (École de l’Opéra de Paris), she has worked as stage-manager, assistant director, dramaturge and director throughout Europe, taught acting to young singers (Jeunes Voix du Rhin, William Christie’s Académie des Arts Florissants, Hautes Écoles de Musique de Lausanne et de Genève), and was appointed Director of one of France’s major National Drama Schools (Saint-Étienne).

A long-term collaborator with Adrian Noble, she has revived many opera productions for him over the past 15 years from New York to Moscow.

She also worked in partnership with Gwenaël Morin on Peter Handke’s “Introspection” (Théâtre de la Bastille, Paris) and on four plays by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, in which she also performed (Théâtre du Point du Jour, Lyon).

She directed the European Premières of both Dominic Argento’s “Postcard from Morocco”, and Conrad Susa & Anne Sexton’s “Transformations” for the Opéra de Lausanne. Other credits as stage-director include productions for the Opéra National de Bordeaux, Opéra National de Lyon, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Opéra de Genève (“The Turn of the Screw”, “A Midsummer Night's Dream”, “Cenerentola”, “Idomeneo”, “Hänsel und Gretel”, “Dialogues des Carmélites”, “Comédie sur le Pont” and others)

More recently, she wrote the libretto in English, French and German for a new opera, based on the life and works of Annemarie Schwarzenbach: “Le Ruisseau Noir”, composed by Guy-François Leuenberger. The production, which she also directed, was commissioned by the Haute École de Musique de Genève, and conducted by Michael Wendeberg (Théâtre du Grütli, Geneva).

As of June 2017

Elsa Rooke

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