Denis Krief, a Roman artist with a cosmopolitan training, studied music in Paris and trained in the Italian school of direction, paying close attention to German opera houses and prizing, in particular, the stage design of Russian theatre.
Musician and man of the theatre, he distinguishes himself by the originality and depth of his knowledge of the repertoire, be it classical or contemporary. He has directed operas as far apart in time as La Clemenza di Tito by Mozart and – for the first time to an Italian audience – La Morte di Klinghoffer by John Adams, or La Prova d’Orchestra by Giorgio Battistelli. Italian musical critics have underlined the importance of Denis Krief’s work by awarding him the “Abbiati” Prize 2000 for his productions of Turandot (by both Puccini and Busoni), Carmen and Lucia di Lammermoor. In demand by Italian opera houses, but also by Moscow’s Helicon Theatre (where he directed Verdi’s Macbeth and Tschaikovsky’s Iolanta) and by La Bastille, Paris (where he staged Berlioz’s Benvenuto Cellini), he is currently engaged at the Karlsruhe Theatre, Germany, in charge of the setting for Wagner’s Ring cycle. In Italy, he has worked at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera, in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; at the Massimo, in Palermo, in Schönberg’s Moses und Aron; at the Comunale, Bologna, in Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera; at Cagliari’s Teatro Lirico, in Lucia di Lammermoor, Aida and Il Barbiere di Siviglia, with Gerard Korsten as conductor; and (for the first time in Italy) in Richard Strauss’s Die Ägyptische Helena. In 2005, he earned the praise of public and critics alike by his direction of Parsifal at La Fenice, Venice. In 2006, on the occasion of the 57th “Malatesta” Music Festival in Rimini, he was responsible for the setting of the first performance in Italy of Janácek’s Diario di uno Scomparso (“From the House of the Dead”).
In the 2007 summer opera festival at the Arena he is, as well as director, is also stage and costume designer for the new production of Nabucco.