The brilliant young French conductor, Emmanuel Villaume is Music Director of Opera and Orchestra at the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina. This season Mr Villaume makes his Metropolitan Opera debut with Madama Butterfly. He also returns to the Royal Opera for La Rondine and Los Angeles Opera for La Bohème with Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna.
Born in Strasbourg, he began his musical education at the Strasbourg Conservatory and continued his studies in Paris where he received degrees in literature, philosophy, and musicology. He also studied dramatic arts and performed in theatrical productions. Mr Villaume is the author of noted musicological articles and research papers.
At the age of twenty-one he was appointed Dramaturg of the Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg. During his tenure he came to the attention of Spiros Argiris, Music Director of the Spoleto Festival in Italy, who invited him to conduct and narrate Debussy’s Les Chansons de Bilitis in 1987. Mr Argiris, who was also the Music Director of Spoleto Festival USA invited Mr Villaume to make his American debut there with Le Nozze di Figaro in 1990. Mr Villaume began a close collaboration with both festivals where he conducted numerous symphonic concerts and opera performances including the American premiere of Henze’s Der Prinz von Homburg.
Mr Villaume has led the Boston Symphony at Symphony Hall and the Tanglewood Festival, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, OSM in Montréal and at Carnegie Hall, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, and the orchestras of the Bastille Opera, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Teatro alla Scala, and La Fenice with a concert performance of Berlioz’s Les Troyens.