“Villaume has an almost unique ability to give undervalued works their musical due and move them up several notches in a listener’s estimation.”
“In the pit, Emmanuel Villaume’s ardent conducting kept things flowing and involving, with delicious rubato along the way (exquisitely in ‘Pourquoi me reveiller’) and he had the orchestra responding vibrantly.”
Texas Classical Review
“Even in the opening phrases of the Overture Friday night at the Winspear Opera House, conductor Emmanuel Villaume’s command of the nuance and unique musical language of Bizet signaled an outstanding performance in the making. Villaume made the orchestra ‘sing’ with the inflections of the French language, while meticulously exploring Bizet’s subtle counterpoint and instrumental colors.”
Dallas Morning News
“The real stars of the show may be music director Emmanuel Villaume and the Dallas Opera Orchestra. Villaume has this music in his blood, and he gauges timing, dynamics and shape to perfect dramatic effect. The orchestra gave him all the precision and nuance he could have wished, with particularly eloquent wind and horn contributions.”
“The Lyric orchestra, conducted with great fervor by Emmanuel Villaume (who pays meticulous attention to each singer), serves the Gounod score admirably.”
Hyde Park Herald
“Conductor Emmanuel Villaume leads the orchestra in a performance of elegance and vitality. The sound from the pit is vibrant and idiomatic, full of warm lyricism. The Lyric Opera Chorus contributes luscious singing.”
French-born conductor Emmanuel Villaume has led captivating performances with the most prominent opera companies and symphony orchestras around the world.
Mo. Villaume continues his tenure this season as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia, a position he has held since 2015. Recent special projects with the Prague Philharmonia include Deutsche Grammophon recordings with Anna Netrebko and Ben Bernheim, Warner Classics releases with soprano Angela Gheorghiu, pianist Andrew von Oeyen, and tenor Bryan Hymel, and a special New Year’s celebration concert at the Royal Opera House Muscat. Additional recent orchestral performances include returns at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall for the Richard Tucker Gala and Alice Tully Hall for concerts with the Juilliard Orchestra, as well as concerts with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago, the White Nights Festival at the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg Russia, and a European concert tour of Iolanta with performances in Lucerne, Copenhagen, Monte Carlo, and London’s Royal Albert Hall featuring soprano Anna Netrebko. Villaume returned to the Royal Opera House Muscat in March 2019 for Mahler’s Third Symphony with the Slovak Philharmonic.
Entering his seventh season as Music Director of The Dallas Opera, Villaume leads three productions at the Winspear Opera House in the 2019/20 season, beginning in October with performances of both Mozart’s Magic Flute and Rimsky Korsakov’s Golden Cockerel. Following his critically acclaimed performances of Les Pêcheurs de Perles,Thaïs and David McVicar’s new production of Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera, Villaume returns to the Met in April for performances of Boheme, a title he will also conduct in January for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He finishes his Dallas Opera season with Don Carlo in March, followed by his debut in Napoli with Carmen at the Teatro di San Carlo.
A frequent collaborator with major opera houses in the United States, Maestro Villaume has performed with the Metropolitan Opera for Tosca, Les Pêcheurs de Perles, Thaïs, Roméo et Juliette, Madama Butterfly, Samson et Dalila, and Carmen; Lyric Opera of Chicago for Faust, Roméo et Juliette, La Bohème, Manon, The Merry Widow and Samson et Dalila; and the Washington National Opera for La Rodine, Norma, Le Cid, and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. He has conducted Madama Butterfly and Werther with the San Francisco Opera; Les Contes d’Hoffmann, La Rondine, and La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein with the Los Angeles Opera; La Rondine and Faust with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and The Golden Cockerel, La Fanciulla del West, Les Pêcheurs de Perles, and The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein with Santa Fe Opera. At the Dallas Opera, Mo. Villaume has conducted highly acclaimed performances of Don Giovanni, Der Ring des Polykrates, Samson et Dalila, Eugene Onegin, Moby Dick, Norma, Faust, Le Nozze di Figaro, Carmen, and Iolanta. His participation in music festivals is equally exemplary, highlighted by numerous performances with the prestigious Spoleto Festival USA, where he served as Music Director from 2001 to 2010.
On the international stage, Maestro Villaume has appeared with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Tosca, Manon, Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and La Rondine; Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu for Manon Lescaut; Montreal Opera for La Vie Parisienne; Tokyo Bunka Kaikan for Der Rosenkavalier; Teatro Colón for Pelléas et Mélisande; and Bastille Opera for Rigoletto. Other performances in France include: Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse for Mignon; Opéra de Nice for Faust; and Opéra Marseilles for Pelléas et Mélisande, Samson et Dalila, Carmen, and Norma. Maestro Villaume has conducted for several opera companies in Germany, including the Bayerische Staatsoper for Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Deutsche Oper Berlin for Tosca and Don Quichotte; Hamburg Staatsoper for Der Fliegende Holländer; Bonn Opera for La Fanciulla del West; and Cologne Opera for La Bohème and Werther. Other lauded performances in Europe took place at Teatro La Fenice for Thaïs, Il Crociato, and L’Africaine; Teatro Regio di Torino for Ariane et Barbe-bleue and Les Contes d’Hoffmann; Martina Franca Opera for La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein; Teatro Real in Madrid for Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Werther; Opéra de Monte-Carlo for La Périchole and Werther; and the Klangbogen Festival in Vienna for Don Quichotte and Menotti’s Goya with Plácido Domingo.
Emmanuel Villaume has led a distinguished career leading renowned symphonies in the U.S. and abroad. He made an outstanding contribution as Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the National Slovenian Philharmonic, as well as with the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra where he served as Chief Conductor from 2009 – 2016. In North America, he has conducted the Quebec Symphony, the Montreal Symphony in both Montreal and at Carnegie Hall, the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Juilliard Orchestra. He also led the San Francisco Symphony, the Houston Symphony, and the Boston Symphony at both Symphony Hall and the Tanglewood Festival. His performances with music organizations abroad include: the Royal Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Kungliga Filharmonikerna, and the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. In Australia, Mo. Villaume has conducted concerts with the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane orchestras, and in Asia he has appeared with the NHK Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, and the China National Opera Orchestra for the 2008 Olympic Games.
Born in Strasbourg in 1964, Emmanuel Villaume studied music at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg. He continued his education at Khâgne and the Sorbonne in Paris, where he received degrees in literature, philosophy, and musicology. As author of noted articles of musicology, Mo. Villaume was appointed Dramaturg of the Opéra National du Rhin in Strasbourg at the age of 21. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Indianapolis. Maestro Villaume makes his home in Paris and Dallas.