Peter Sellars (The Children of Herakles) is one of the leading theater, opera, and television directors in the world today, and has directed more than one hundred productions across America and abroad. He is graduate of Harvard University (where during his senior year he directed Gogol's The Inspector General and Handel's opera Orlando at the American Repertory Theater), and studied in Japan, China, and India before becoming artistic director of the Boston Shakespeare Company. His contemporary visions of Mozart's operas Cosi Fan Tutte, The Marriage of Figaro, and Don Giovanni—created in collaboration with Emmanuel Music and its artistic director Craig Smith—were hailed in Boston and in Europe and televised by National Public Television. At tenty-six, he was made director of the American National Theater at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. He was artistic director of the 1990 and 1993 Los Angeles Festivals, and he is currently a professor of world arts and cultures at UCLA. Mr. Sellars has collaborated with The Wooster Group and was featured in Jean-Luc Godard's film of King Lear. He has also appeared on Bill Moyers' A World of Ideas, Miami Vice, and The Equalizer; directed a rock video for Herbie Hancock; and produced a series of radio episodes for The Museum of Contemporary Art's The Territory of Art series. His first feature film, The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez, is silent in color (starring Joan Cusack, Peter Gallagher, Ron Vawter, and Mikhail Baryshnikov).
A frequent guest at the Salzburg and Glyndebourne Festivals, Mr. Sellars specializes in 20th century operas, most notably Olivier Messaien's St. François d'Assise, Paul Hindemith's Mathis der Maler, György Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, and, with choreographer Mark Morris, the premiere of John Adams and Alice Goodman's Nixon in China and The Death of Klinghoffer. Mr. Sellars worked in collaboration with composer John Adams and poet/librettist June Jordan on I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky, an "earthquake/romance." In December 2000, he directed the premiere production of Adams' El Niño at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.
Other projects include Händel's Theodora; Stravinsky's The Story of a Soldier with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen; a 25-year survey exhibition of the work of American artist Bill Viola; Jean Genet's The Screens, adapted by poet Gloria Alvarez, with the Cornerstone Theater Company and performers from the community of Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles; Peony Pavilion, composed by Tan Dun and featuring renowned Kun Opera performer Hua Wenyi; the premiere of Kaija Saariaho's opera L'Amour de Loin at the Salzburg Festival and its subsequent presentation at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Pari; and Agents and Assets, a symposium about the "war on drugs" presented in collaboration with John Malpede and the Los Angeles Poverty Department. He is a recipient of the MacArthur Prize Fellowship and was awarded the Erasmus Prize for his contributions to European culture.