Giuliano Montaldo was born in 1930 in Genoa. He was still a young student in 1950 when the Director Carlo Lizzani assigned him the role of leading actor in the film Achtung Banditi!. Following this experience he travelled to Rome where, after various recitation experiences in the world of cinema, he began an apprenticeship as the assistant producer of Lizzani and Pontecorvo. In 1960 he made his début as a Director with the film Tiro al piccione, a film about the Partisan Resistance, which was entered for a competition in the Venice film festival in 1961. In 1964 he produced La Moglie svedese, an amusing episode of the film Extraconiugale. An important recognition reached the Festival of Berlin with the special prize from the jury for Una bella grinta produced in 1965, a feature film which narrates the events of a social climber in Italy during the time of the economic miracle.
After having filmed Ad ogni costo (1967) and Gli intoccabili (1969) in the States, Montaldo returned to Italy to produce the Trilogy about power Gott mit uns (1969), Sacco a Vanzetti (1971) and Giordano Bruno (1973), films from which a profound reflection on the political and social times emerged also caused by what was happening in Italy in that period. The three films received great recognition and were widely appreciated at various cinema festivals around the world. The theme of the Resistance underlined the film L'Agnese va a morire directed by Montaldo in 1977.
Other films pursued and in 1980 the director engaged in the production of a television series about the exploration of Marco Polo which was financed by various countries. This filming of this production brought the crew to Italy, the Mid Orient, Pamir, Tibet, Mongolia and China and involved the participation of a prestigious cast of actors. The concluding programme was made in Hollywood and was sold in 76 nations, it also won the Emmy Award for the best television series shown in the United States. Other recognitions for photography, scenography and costumes were received. Montaldo's experience with China reveals a turning point in his work.
In 1983 the Director - who had until then only worked with cinema and television - was commissioned to work on the preparation of Turandot by Puccini at the Arena di Verona, which received wide recognition. 1983 was also the year when Montaldo was engaged with the high-definition filming of Arlecchino a Venezia, an experiment carried out in collaboration with Vittorio Storaro. This was an indication of the Director's desire to experiment with new technology and alternative modes of communication. From this moment on, Montaldo alternated his time between the cinema set and the theatre. In 1985 he returned to the Arena di Verona with Attila while in the following years he directed the films Il giorno prima (1985) and Gli occhiali d'oro (1987), the latter winning the Osella d'oro prize for scenography and costumes at the Cinema Exhibition in Venice.
1990 was a year rich with proposals for the production of lyrical operas again in the Arena di Verona, at the Teatro Comunale of Florence, in Parma and at the Teatro Regio of Torino. In 1992, among his commitments, the Genovese producer was once again in Verona with La Bohème and he returned two years later with Otello. In 1997, Montaldo staged Il Flauto Magico in Vienna and Munich and in the same year he also presented Le Stagioni dell'aquila at the Venice Film Festival. This film tells the story of the 70 years of the existence the Company Luce broadcast news reports at the cinema. Images are used from the inventory material at the Luce production house. After Nabucco and Rinaldo & Co in Catania in 1997, Montaldo produced Tosca in Verona in 1998 which was very successful. The scenery from this production of Tosca will be used again by the Arena for the Lyrical Season of 2002.