Franco Zeffirelli Headshot

Franco Zeffirelli

Birth Place: ITALY

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Franco Zeffirelli BIO

Franco Zeffirelli was an Italian director, producer, and screenwriter known for his work in film, television, and opera. Born on February 12, 1923, in Florence, Italy, Zeffirelli began his career as an actor before transitioning to directing. He first gained recognition for his work in the theater, particularly his productions of Shakespeare plays, before moving on to film and television.
Zeffirelli's first major success came with his 1968 film adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The film was a critical and commercial success, earning four Academy Award nominations and winning two. Zeffirelli's lush and romantic style, combined with his attention to detail and his ability to capture the essence of Shakespeare's language, made the film a classic of the genre.
Zeffirelli continued to work in film throughout the 1970s and 1980s, directing such notable works as Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972), a biopic of St. Francis of Assisi; Jesus of Nazareth (1977), a television miniseries that remains one of the most popular adaptations of the life of Jesus; and La Traviata (1983), an adaptation of the Verdi opera that earned Zeffirelli his third Academy Award nomination.
In addition to his work in film, Zeffirelli was also a prolific director of opera. He directed productions at some of the world's most prestigious opera houses, including La Scala in Milan, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, and the Royal Opera House in London. His productions were known for their opulence and grandeur, as well as their attention to detail and their ability to bring out the emotional core of the music.
Zeffirelli's final film was 2013's Callas Forever, a biopic of the legendary opera singer Maria Callas. The film, which starred Fanny Ardant as Callas and Jeremy Irons as her manager, was a critical and commercial disappointment, but it remains a testament to Zeffirelli's lifelong passion for opera and his ability to bring its beauty and drama to the screen.
Franco Zeffirelli passed away on June 15, 2019, at the age of 96. He left behind a legacy of work that spanned six decades and encompassed some of the most beloved and enduring works of theater, film, and opera. His influence on the arts will be felt for generations to come.

Franco Zeffirelli Productions

[Broadway, 1974]
Scenic Designer
[Broadway, 1963]
Scenic Designer

Franco Zeffirelli Awards and Nominations

Olivier Awards - 2004 - Best Set Design

Franco ZeffirelliAbsolutely! (Perhaps)

Drama Desk Awards - 1975 - Outstanding Set Design

Franco Zeffirelli, Saturday Sunday Monday

Tony Awards - 1963 - Best Scenic Design

Franco Zeffirelli, The Lady of the Carnelias

Tony Awards - 1962 - Special Tony Award

Franco Zeffirelli

Franco Zeffirelli News

Review: TURANDOT at Belk Theater

Yes, a grand opera was inserted at Belk Theater as the clock or calendar was winding down! Around the world, Callas, Nilsson, and Sutherland are among the divas who have graced the powerhouse role of TURANDOT, and Franco Zeffirelli's production at the Met is as revered for its stateliness and splendor as the Notre Dame Cathedral. Grand? Monumental.

Nashville Ballet's ROMEO AND JULIET to Return to Tennessee Performing Arts Center Jackson Hall 

Immerse yourself in the timeless tragedy of Shakespeare's ROMEO AND JULIET, brought to life by the Nashville Ballet at Tennessee Performing Arts Center's Jackson Hall on April 20-21, 2024.

Registration Now Open For Ballet Hispánico School Of Dance Spring Adult Classes

Join Ballet Hispánico School of Dance's spring adult classes from April 1 - June 6, 2024. Offering open-level classes in salsa, tango, ballet, pilates, and flamenco, enhance your dance and fitness skills with world-renowned professionals in a fun, supportive environment.

South Bend Symphony Presents A NIGHT AT THE OPERA This April

Join the South Bend Symphony for A NIGHT AT THE OPERA on April 6, featuring beloved arias, duets, trios, and choruses from renowned composers. Enjoy performances by the South Bend Lyric Opera, Vesper Chorale, and soloists Anya Matanovič, Emanuel Cristian-Caraman, and Morgan Smith.

Video: Tenor SeokJong Baek Stuns With 'Nessun Dorma' in Rehearsals For The Met's TURANDOT

Watch as renowned tenor SeokJong Baek sings an excerpt from Calàf’s Act III aria in an early dress rehearsals for the Met Opera's Turandot. Baek just made his Met debut last year.

GROUNDED by Jeanine Tesori to Open The Metropolitan Opera's 2024�"25 Season

The Metropolitan Opera has unveiled the 2024–25 season lineup. Learn about the operas being presented and see how to purchase tickets.

Puccini's TURANDOT Returns To The Met In February

Franco Zeffirelli’s larger-than-life production of Puccini’s Turandot returns to the Met stage for 17 performances, starting February 28. Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv will lead the production.

Ann Hould-Ward and Richard Hudson Receive TDF's Irene Sharaff Awards

TDF, the not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, has just announced that celebrated costume designer ANN HOULD-WARD and legendary scenic designer RICHARD HUDSON are among the 2024 TDF/Irene Sharaff Award recipients.

Ballet Hispánico School of Dance Announces School of Dance Adult Programs NOW through March 23, 2024 REGISTRATION NOW OPEN

Ballet Hispánico School of Dance is offering spring adult classes, available now! Learn more bout the classes and see how to register.

New York City Opera to Present ENRICO CARUSO AND HIS SONGS

New York City Opera presents Caruso and His Songs, a recital by tenor Mark Milhofer and pianist Marco Scolastra, paying homage to the legendary Enrico Caruso. The program features songs written for Caruso, including compositions by Caruso himself.

Happy Birthday, La Divina!

Maria Callas—or Maria Anna Cecilia Sofia Kalogeropoulos—was born in New York City on December 2, 1923. She was a supernova who blazed across the opera world (and beyond) and it will never be the same. If you need proof, take a listen to the Warner Classes/Erato boxed set, “La Divina: Maria Callas In All Her Roles,” which was issued in September, consisting of 131 CDs of La Callas in all her 74 roles.

�¿The Dallas Opera Announces Release Of New 3D Spatial Immersive Audio Opera 'No One Is Forgotten' Based On The Play By Winter Miller

The Dallas Opera announces the digital release of No One is Forgotten: An Immersive Opera, its first-ever 3D spatial opera recording, available now for streaming in Dolby Atmos Immersive Audio to subscribers of Apple Music and Tidal and in a stereo mix for non-subscribers. No One is Forgotten is available for purchase now.

Previews: Opera Concert 'Tribute to Maria Callas' Coming to Ciputra on October 7

To celebrate 100 years of Maria Callas, one of the world’s most renowned soprano singers of the 20th century, the Embassy of Italy, the Italian Cultural Institute Jakarta, and Ciputra Artpreneur proudly present a grand opera concert titled 'Tribute to Maria Callas.”

Franco Zeffirelli's Staging of Puccini's LA BOHEME to Return to The Metropolitan Opera in October

Get ready to be transported by Franco Zeffirelli’s timeless production of Puccini’s La Bohème, which is returning to the Metropolitan Opera stage in October. Find out all the important details about the dates and venue for this iconic opera performance.

ASMAC to Present Broadway Overtures �" Examples & Discussion with Larry Blank and Jonathan Tunick

American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers will present Broadway Overtures — Examples & Discussion with Larry Blank and Jonathan Tunick.

Royal Opera House Celebrates Maria Callas Centenary With Free Exhibition

The Royal Opera House has announced an exclusive display celebrating the career of soprano Maria Callas. Callas first performed at the Royal Opera House in 1952 in the title role of Bellini’s Norma and enjoyed great success in London, returning to perform in Covent Garden in six productions over a decade. 

City Theatre to Present ROMEO AND JULIET Beginning This Month

This summer, fall in love again as City Theatre presents this timeless and most passionate tale.

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit of 1968 ROMEO & JULIET Nude Scene

Judge Alison Mackenzie  has revealed that she will throw out a lawsuit filed over a nude scene in the 1968 version of 'Romeo and Juliet.'

Puccini's LA BOHEME to Return to the Met Stage This Month

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Met’s Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer Music Director, conducts Puccini’s La Bohème for the first time at the Met, starting April 21.

Alessio Vlad Direttore Artistico Del Teatro Regio Di Parma Per Il Triennio 2023-2025

Proposto dal Sovrintendente Luciano Messi, Alessio Vlad ricoprirà l'incarico di Direttore artistico del Teatro Regio di Parma per il triennio 2023-2025.


What awards has Franco Zeffirelli been nominated for?

Franco Zeffirelli has been nominated for several awards in the theater world. These nominations include Best Set Design at the Olivier Awards for "Absolutely! (Perhaps)," Outstanding Set Design at the Drama Desk Awards for "Saturday Sunday Monday," Best Scenic Design at the Tony Awards for "The Lady of the Carnelias," and a Special Tony Award at the Tony Awards.

What awards has Franco Zeffirelli won?

Franco Zeffirelli won a Special Tony Award at the Tony Awards.

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