Despite an obvious affinity for the works of his home country, Italian director Damiano Michieletto is doing his best these days not to be pigeonholed. “In Italy, you are being offered Italian operas because the majority of productions are based on big Italian titles,” he explains, chatting over Zoom from Brighton where the Glyndebourne Festival has lodged him while he directs a new production of Janáček’s Kát’a Kabanová . “I said, look Damiano, be careful because you are being labelled. So, for a few years I’ve started to refuse Italian repertoire. Recently I’ve done Jenůfa in Berlin [at the Staatsoper, conducted by Simon Rattle], Berlioz in Lyon and Salome at La Scala.”

Damiano Michieletto

Michieletto made his debut at Opera Australia in 2016 in true verismo style with cleverly linked productions of Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci , a co-production with London’s Royal Opera House where he had deservedly won an Olivier Award. He’s also pegged as a bit of a Rossini specialist; indeed, his second Australian...