Born in Cesena (Italy) in 1960, Romeo Castellucci studied painting and stage design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna. In 1981, together with Claudia Castellucci and Chiara Guidi he founded the theatre collective Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio. He has directed numerous productions which he has authored himself and for which he also designed the sets, costumes and lighting.
Well known as a theatre auteur whose works aim at a holistic perception of the totality of the arts, Castellucci has drawn on his own experience in the theatre in his extensive theoretical writings on stage direction. The dramatic structure of his productions is not fettered to the primacy of literature but rooted in his understanding of theatre as a plastic art that is complex and visionary.
Since 2011 Castellucci has realized individual projects independently of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio. His work is regularly presented and commissioned by the most prestigious theatres, opera houses and international festivals. His latest productions include Sul concetto di volto nel figlio di Dio (with the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, 2011), Wagner’s Parsifal (2011), The Four Seasons Restaurant (with the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio, 2012), Hyperion – Briefe eines Terroristen after Hölderlin (2013), Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice (2014), Feldman’s Neither (2014), Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps (2014), Schönberg’s Moses und Aron at the Paris Opéra (2015, revived at the Teatro Real in Madrid, 2016), Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher at the Opéra de Lyon (2017, revived at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels, 2019), Tannhäuser at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (2017), Henze’s Das Floß der Medusa at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam (2018), Salome at the Salzburg Festival (2018 and 2019), Die Zauberflöte at La Monnaie (2018, a co-production with the Opéra de Lille), Alessandro Scarlatti’s Il primo omicidio at the Paris Opéra (2019, revived at the Berlin State Opera), A Paixão (Bach’s Matthew Passion) at the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon (2019) and Mozart’s Requiem at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (2019).
In 2005 Romeo Castellucci was the director of the theatre section of the Venice Biennale and in 2008 he was an associate artist of the 62nd edition of the Festival d’Avignon.
Romeo Castellucci has received numerous prizes and awards. In 2000 he received the European Theatre Prize for New Theatrical Realities and in 2002 was appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French minister of culture. In 2013 the Venice Biennale awarded him its Golden Lion for his life’s work. In 2014 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in music and theatre by the University of Bologna. The magazine Opernwelt named him Director of the Year in 2014 (for Orfeo ed Euridice), Stage Designer of the Year in 2017 (for Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher) and Director and Stage Designer of the Year in 2019 (for Salome).