'John Pascoe follows in the
tradition of the great
20th-century production
designers responsible for
conceptualising the staging,
designing the sets and costumes
and directing the performers …'
Opera Warhorses, March 2013 enter site
John Pascoe - Enter Site
Welcome to the website of opera director and designer John Pascoe. To view past productions, please go to portfolio. For recent work, click on the links below.
latest
  • May 2011: The Medium marks Menotti centenary at Spoleto Festival USA.
  • Sept 2012: WNO revives Giovanni with Ildar Abdrazakov.
  • March 2013: ‘Impassioned, sensual’ Manon returns to Kennedy Center.
  • Oct 2013: DVD and BluRay of SFO Lucrezia Borgia released.
 
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Don Giovanni
Concerto.net, Apr 2011
‘John Pascoe’s production is a marvel. The greatest compliment was from several first-time opera-goers saying that they never knew opera could be so exciting.’
Washington National Opera, 2012
Ildar Abdrazakov as Don Giovanni in the 2012 Washington National Opera production, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Scott Suchman
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Don Giovanni
Washington National Opera, 2012
‘If there is an unequivocal argument for continuing to produce big classical opera as part of Washington National Opera’s mission, then Pascoe’s production of Don Giovanni makes the case.’
DC Theater Scene, Sept 2012
Ildar Abdrazakov in the title role and Barbara Frittoli (foreground) as Donna Elvira in the 2012 Washington National Opera production of Don Giovanni, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Scott Suchman
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Don Giovanni
Washington National Opera, 2012
‘British director John Pascoe, gets about everything “just right.” It helps that this man is a triple threat. He also designed the sets and costumes … Pascoe knew what he wanted to get across with this story and these people. And he did.’
DC Theater Scene, Sept 2012
Barbara Frittoli as Donna Elvira in the 2012 Washington National Opera production of Don Giovanni, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Scott Suchman
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Don Giovanni
Washington National Opera, 2007
‘Mozart meets The Matrix in director-designer John Pascoe’s sexy, startling, postmodern re-imagining of Don Giovanni.’
Out magazine, Sept 2007
Morris Robinson as the Commendatore and Erwin Schrott as Don Giovanni in the 2007 Washington National Opera production, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Karin Cooper
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Manon Lescaut
Washington National Opera, 2013
‘The revival of John Pascoe’s production did not disappoint. Pascoe’s stylish creation boasted everything a compelling traditional opera production can offer.’
Bachtrack.com, March 2013
Kamen Chanev as Des Grieux in the 2013 Washington National Opera production of Manon Lescaut, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Scott Suchman
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Manon Lescaut
Washington National Opera, 2013
‘Patricia Racette triumphed in a production that is not to be missed … Pascoe’s innovative vision of Manon comes to life with lush, detailed sets and costumes that enhance and support the emotions onstage.’
DC Metro Theater Arts, March 2013
Patricia Racette as Manon Lescaut in the 2013 Washington National Opera production, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Scott Suchman
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Manon Lescaut
Washington National Opera, 2013
‘In the second act, a massive column opens like a giant jewel box to reveal the quintessential material girl in a glittering gown … Behind her, spread across the entire back of the stage is a painted Baroque sky of swirling clouds and cherubic putti. Oh man, oh Manon!’
DC Theater Scene, March 2013
Patricia Racette as Manon Lescaut in the 2013 Washington National Opera production, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Scott Suchman
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Manon Lescaut
Washington National Opera, 2013
‘Pascoe captures the mood of each act with a distinct palette of colour and tone that reflects the inner emotional landscape of the central character. His choices become bolder and ever more successful with every act … In Act IV, the red of the backdrop evoked a cross between a Wagnerian landscape and a scene from Bonfire of the Vanities. All the former pedestals and columns could be recognised but now lay broken on their sides, the wreckage of an imploded civilisation.’
DC Theater Scene, March 2013
Patricia Racette as Manon and Kamen Chanev as Des Grieux in the 2013 Washington National Opera production of Manon Lescaut, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Scott Suchman
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Lucrezia Borgia
San Francisco Opera, 2011
‘The Pascoe production of Lucrezia Borgia at Washington National Opera is an extraordinary contribution to the Donizetti Revival, one that takes a more sophisticated look at the theatricality that lay hidden even from the work’s twentieth-century admirers.’
Opera Warhorses, Nov 2008
Set design for Act I of the 2011 San Francisco Opera production of Lucrezia Borgia, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Cory Weaver
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Lucrezia Borgia
San Francisco Opera, 2011
‘A major ingredient in the production’s success was the fact that it was a Gesamtkunstwerk of sorts, with both stage direction and visual design in the excellent hands of the admirable John Pascoe.’
Opera Today, Nov 2008
Renée Fleming as Lucrezia in the 2008 Washington National Opera production of Lucrezia Borgia, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Karin Cooper
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Lucrezia Borgia
Washington National Opera, 2008
‘Finding abundant justification in the libretto for the gay sub-plot, Pascoe cleverly draws it out to provide an extra dimension to the doomed characters, who kiss in the shadows and talk of running off together, before the Borgia curse falls heavily on them’
Baltimore Sun, Nov 2008
Vittoro Grigolo as Gennaro and Kate Aldridge as Maffio Orsini in the 2008 Washington National Opera production of Lucrezia Borgia directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Karin Cooper
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Lucrezia Borgia
Washington National Opera, 2008
‘Pascoe fine-tuned the story of power struggles between the Duke and Duchess of the Renaissance city of Ferrara … In Pascoe’s hands, details of the plot are clarified, producing a dramatically cohesive performance.’
Opera Warhorses, Dec 2011
Renée Fleming as Lucrezia Borgia and Vittorio Grigolo as Gennaro in the 2008 Washington National Opera production directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: Karin Cooper
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The Medium
Spoleto Festival USA, 2011
‘This war-torn and vigorous production of The Medium is worth seeing for John Pascoe’s direction and set design alone’
Charleston City Paper, June 2011
Jennifer Aylmer as Monica and Gregg Mozgala as Toby in the 2011 Spoleto Festival production of The Medium, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: David Spirakes
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The Medium
Spoleto Festival USA, 2011
‘John Pascoe’s stage direction is simply brilliant: economical in its use of space, dramatically adroit, suggestive, subtle and lurid at exactly the right moments.’
Charleston City Paper, June 2011
Gregg Mozgala as Toby and Jennifer Aylmer as Monica in the 2011 Spoleto Festival production of The Medium directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: David Spirakes
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The Medium
Spoleto Festival USA, 2011
‘Gian Carlo Menotti lives on in the new production of The Medium … The world- renowned director and designer John Pascoe, is responsible for bringing this story to life.’
Charleston City Paper, June 2011
Barbara Dever as Madame Flora and Stephen Bryant and Caitlin Lynch as Mr and Mrs Gobineau in the 2011 Spoleto Festival production of The Medium, directed and designed by John Pascoe
photo: David Spirakes
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