Rossini Opera Festival Names New General Director

By Francisco Salazar

Olivier Descotes will become the General Director of the Rossini Opera Festival for a two-year period from 2019 to 2020.

The news was announced after the Festival’s Board of Directors held a public selection procedure.

In a press release Descotes said, “It is an honor for me to take on the General Direction of the ROF, an institution that I have been continuously attending for almost twenty years, as a music critic, as an opera lover and as a member of the organizing committee of the Rossini celebrations. In this role I was able to appreciate the beautiful energy of this prestigious institution and of its international ambitions that I would like to achieve in the best way. ”

Descotes was in La Rochelle in 1976 and studied at the Sorbonne University and at the Institut d’études politiques in Paris, as well as at Trinity College, Cambridge.

He is Inspector for Music at the French Ministry of Culture and member of the Committee promoting the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Gioachino Rossini’s passing. Descotes served as Director of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (2002) and Vivendi Universal’s president and CEO (2003-2005).

He was previously appointed Cultural Attaché at the French Embassy in Italy and Secretary General of the Nuovi Mecenati Foundation ( 2005-2009), Director of the Institut français of Milan (2009-2011) and the Institut français of Athens, and Counselor for Cultural Cooperation and Action at the French Embassy in Greece (2011-2015).