American director Francesca Zambello made her opera debut staging Beethoven’s Fidelio for Houston Grand Opera in 1984. Her Seattle Opera debut took place in 1987 with a new co-production of Faust with Houston Opera. She returned in 1990 for War and Peace, which was presented during the 1990 Goodwill Games. She also staged for the company the double bill of Cavalleria rusticana and Gianni Schicchi. She directed the world premiere of Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas in Houston; the co-production was presented at Los Angeles Opera and in Seattle. Zambello returned to Seattle Opera for the 1998 production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde. Her production of War and Peace was seen at Opera de Paris in 2000. Zambello is a three-time winner of the prestigious Olivier Award for her direction of Britten’s Paul Bunyan and Billy Budd at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and for Mussorgsky’s Khovanshchina for English National Opera. The New York native directed Britten’s Billy Budd for Houston Grand and Dallas Operas, the Grand Theatre of Geneva, and the Opéra Bastille, where the Paris theater critics awarded her the Grand Prix palmares de la critique for the production. This production of Budd was seen at Seattle Opera in 2001. In 2003, she directed Belioz’s Troyens at the Met. Zambello produced and directed the world premiere of Rachel Portman’s Little Prince at Houston Grand Opera, which also appears at the Boston Lyric Opera, the Tulsa Opera, and the Santa Fe Opera. In her most recent visit to Seattle, she directed David Henry Hwang’s Tibet through the Red Box at Seattle Children’s Theatre in January 2004.