Olivier Py

French stage director and playwright

Oliver Py - stage director, playwright, director of the Festival d'Avignon, actor and poet - is one of the most prominent figures in today's theatre.

Born in Grasse on 24 July 1965, Olivier Py chose to combine his theatrical training (at the Ecole nationale supérieur des arts et techniques du théâtre and the Conservatoire national supérieur d’art dramatique, in 1987) with studies in philosophy and theology (at the Institut Catholique).

His first play, Des Oranges et des Ongles, premiered at the Théâtre Essaïon in 1988. That same year, he founded his own company, "L’Inconvénient des Boutures", with which he stages his texts, and met with resounding success, notably at Avignon (La Servante, in 1995, then Le Visage d’Orphée, in 1997).

He was appointed director of the Centre dramatique national d’Orléans in 1997. Ten years later, he became director of the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe, then of the Festival d'Avignon in 2013.

Oliver Py is drawn to opera as a total art form and has embraced the role of director "out of love for music" (interview in Le Figaro, 30 July 2009). He has directed a total of 23 productions between 1999 (Der Freischütz by C.M. von Weber at the Opéra de Nancy) and 2013 ( Alceste by Gluck and Aida by Verdi at the Opéra national de Paris, and Dialogues des Carmélites by Poulenc at the Théâtres des Champs-Elysées).  

Six landmark dates in the life of Olivier Py:

• 1965: Born in Grasse
• 1987: Entered the Conservatoire National Supérieur d’Art Dramatique
• 1988: Premiere of his first play, Des Oranges et des Ongles
• 1997: Director of the Centre dramatique national d’Orléans
• 2007: Director of the Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe
• 2013: Director of the Festival d'Avignon

Six key recordings by Olivier PY (on DVD):

Pelléas et Mélisande – Le Chant des Aveugles
Film by Philippe Béziat
Les Films Pelléas, 2011
Wagner, Tristan und Isolde
Filmed opera, produced at the Grand Théâtre de Genève (conducted by Armin Jordan)
Bel Air Classiques, 2006
Offenbach, Les Contes d’Hoffmann
Filmed opera, produced at the Grand Théâtre de Genève (conducted by Patrick Davin)
Bel Air Classiques, 2009
Berg, Lulu
Filmed opera, produced at the Liceu in Barcelona (conducted by Michael Boder)
Deutsche Grammophon, 2011
Olivier Py, Adagio (Mitterand, le secret et la mort)
Filmed play, produced at the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe
Coopérative de Production Audiovisuelle Théâtrale, 2011
Olivier Py, Les Enfants de Saturne
Filmed play, produced at the Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe
Coopérative de Production Audiovisuelle Théâtrale, 2010