Swiss-born François Rochaix made his Seattle Opera debut in 1985 with a new production of Wagner’s Walküre and returned the next year to stage the entire Ring cycle. He has returned several times since then, directing new productions of Wagner’s Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Verdi’s Aida, Bizet’s Carmen, Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, and the 2003 production of Parsifal that opened Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.
In 1963, Rochaix founded the Atelier de Genève, and he served as general director of the Théâtre de Carouge in Switzerland from 1975-1981 and 2002-2008 Rochaix made his opera debut staging Britten’s Turn of the Screw for the Grand Théâtre de Genève and his other opera credits include productions at the Scottish Opera, Opera North, the Royal Theatre of Copenhagen, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Cleveland Opera, and the Kennedy Center in Washington. In 1999, Rochaix staged the massive Festival of the Winegrowers in Switzerland, which only occurs once every 25 years, and in 2001 he directed the opening ceremony of the Swiss National Exhibit. He also has served as the director of Harvard University’s American Repertory Theatre/Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theatre Training. In 1991, Rochaix received the Reinhardt Ring, the highest theater award granted by the Swiss government.