Obituary: Theater & Opera Director Jorge Lavelli Dies at 90

By Francisco Salazar

On Oct. 9, 2023, French-Argentine theater and opera director Jorge Lavelli died at 90.

Born on Nov. 11, 1932, in Buenos Aires, Lavelli lived in France from the early 1960s and in 1963 he staged Witold Gombrowicz’s play “The Marriage,” introducing the playwright to the French public. In 1977, he became a French citizen and went on to stage more of Gombrowicz’s works.

Aside from his work as a play director, he went on to director numerous operas by Bartók, Bizet, Debussy, Gottfried von Einem, Gounod, Janáček, Luigi Nono, Maurice Ohana, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Heinrich Sutermeister. Lavelli then went on to work at the Paris Opera, the Vienna State Opera, Teatro alla Scala, Teatro Colon, Teatro San Carlo, Teatro Real de Madrid, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival.

Throughout his career, Lavelli won many honors prizes in France, Spain, and Italy, including being named Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1993; Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honor in 1994; and Chevalier and Officer of the National Order of Merit.