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Antoniu Zamfir

Antoniu Zamfir is Associate Professor in University of Craiova since 2016, while he has a high-demand career as a manager of the Craiova Romanian Opera. He became a manager of the Romanian opera house in 2012 and during the years he implemented innovative and impressive projects on both administrative and artistic levels, rebranding and revitalizing the company and succeeding in bringing in front of the audience high profile performances as well as renowned artists in the international operatic world.
In the meantime, he created, for Craiova and international opera stages, productions of different styles. It all started in 2013 when he took the challenge in directing New Year’s Eve at the Opera and a few months later he was asked to direct Zigeunerbaron at Theater Wolfsburg in Germany (March 2014), in the same year being back on Craiova stage for Christmas at the Opera. 

Two more invitations to direct opera performances followed in 2015: Verdi’s La Traviata, Bastia Municipal Theater – France, and Bizet’s Carmen at Besetto Opera Theater, in Seoul, South Korea. 

The year of 2016 put him in front of an artistic challenge, when he directed, for Craiova Romanian Opera, Bizet’s Carmen with a completely different approach: a rock version that proved to be a memorable and spectacular open-air production, which brought since thousands of people in the audience at the venue representations too. 

In 2017 he went to China to direct Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which was performed in November in Tianjin Grand Theatre during China Opera Festival. Three productions of Verdi’s La Traviata were presented to Italian audiences in the following years, in Teatro Antico Taormina (August 2018), Teatro Persio Flaco – Volterra (April 2019) and Cave di Fantiano – Grottaglie (July 2019). For Craiova Romanian Opera, 2018 was an emblematic year, his Tosca by Giacomo Puccini is probably the most memorable operatic event in the city. His challenging and extraordinary concept was built on the desire to hear Puccini’s masterpiece sung by some of the greatest voices of our times (Ramón Vargas, Joanna Parisi, Alberto Gazale) in a perfect open-air environment: Nicolae Romanescu Park, the largest urban green space in Romania and one of the most representative monuments in the art of landscaping. Antoniu Zamfir’s concept had cinematographic structure and was developed in a setting that included The Suspended Bridge (a monument in itself, with great historical and cultural value), three stages especially built for the event, and spectacular video mapping with impressive effects.

Another highlight of the 2018 for music lovers in Craiova and for his repertoire was the worldwide premiere of The Great Union, an impressive cantata by renowned composer Eugen Doga, during the major celebration of Romanian Great Union Centenary, on December 1st, Romanian National Day. His production was performed in front of an audience of thousands and recorded by Romanian national television TVR.

His success was followed in 2019 by more invitations to direct opera productions in Italy. Besides La Traviata performances already mentioned, he made Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci in Anfiteatro Fonte Mazzola – Peccioli (July 2019), Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana in Teatro Greco – Tindari, during Teatri di Pieta Festival (August 2019), and Umberto Giordano’s Marcella, for Teatro Umberto Giordano, Foggia (November 2019), a memorable performance which was the third representation after the worldwide premiere in 1907 and the second representation from 2007. Recently, 22 of June, he made in Varna Opera House the Magic Flute by W. A. Mozart with big success and in front of 3000 people.

During all these years, in managing Craiova Romanian Opera, he proved to be a catalyst for creativity, providing the connection between artistic activity and economic development, managing to launch the opera house from Craiova into a new era of importance for the entire Oltenia region and placing it on the national and European map.