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Brook, Peter (Stephen Paul)

opera theater paris london

Brook, Peter (Stephen Paul), noted English theater and opera producer; b. London, March 21, 1925. He was educated at Magdalen Coll., Oxford. His career in the theater commenced at the age of 17 when he staged a performance of Marlowe’s The Tragedie of Dr. Faustus . After producing plays in Birmingham, Stratford, and London, he served as director of productions at the Royal Opera in London from 1947 to 1950. His productions there included Boris Godunov and La Bohème in 1948, and Le nozze di Figaro and Salome in 1949. In 1953 he staged Faust at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y., returning there in 1957 to produce Eugene Onegin . In 1962 he became codirector of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. From 1971 he was also active in Paris with his Centre International de Créations Théâtrales, with which he attempted to synthesize theatrical elements in a total media art. His compressed version of Carmen as La tragédie de Carmen was produced in Paris in 1981 and in N.Y. in 1983, and won him an Emmy Award and the Prix Italia in 1984. His similar treatment of Pelléas et Mélisande as Impressions de Pelléas was first mounted in Paris in 1992. Brook’s autobiography, The Shifting Point, appeared in 1988. Among his other writings are The Empty Space (N.Y., 1978), The Open Door: Thoughts on Acting and Theater (N.Y., 1993), and Threads of Time (Washington, D.C., 1998). In 1965 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He was made an Officier of the Légion d’honneur of France in 1995, and in 1998 Queen Elizabeth II made him a Companion of Honour.

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