Giancarlo del Monaco, son of the famous tenor Mario del Monaco, was born in Villorba, in the province of Venice. He studied foreign languages and music: piano and trumpet.
He made his debut at a very young age in Syracuse, in 1965, when he staged the opera Samson et Dalila at the Greek Theatre with his father, the famous tenor Mario del Monaco, in the title role.
Between 1966 and 1968, in Germany, he worked as assistant-director to Günther Rennert, Wieland Wagner and Walter Felsenstein. From 1970 to 1973 he was at the Vienna State Opera, personal assistant to Superintendent Rudolf Gamsjäger. Between 1973 and 1976 he was principal director at the Ulm Theatre. In 1975, together with his father, he founded the Montepulciano Festival, of which he became Artistic Director.
Five years later, he was appointed Superintendent of the Kassel Staatstheater. In the following years, he would be given similar appointments at the Macerata Festival (1986-1988), in Bonn (Oper der Bundesstadt, 1992-1997), and at the Nice Opera (1997-2001). From 2009 to 2011, Giancarlo del Monaco was Artistic Director of the Tenerife Opera Festival.
Parallel to his great career as General Director, Giancarlo del Monaco is one of the most important directors of his generation. More than a hundred titles are staged in prestigious theatres: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Madrid, Bologna, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Naples, Paris, Beijing, Rome, Stuttgart, Sevilla, Sydney, Turin, Vienna, Zurich. In 1991, he directed his first opera at the Metropolitan in New York: the remarkable success obtained with La Fanciulla del West earned him a series of subsequent engagements: Stiffelio, Madama Butterfly, Simon Boccanegra, La Forza del Destino (a production, the latter, awarded by the American Institute of Verdi Studies). He has collaborated with the following illustrious conductors, among others: Albrecht, Badea, Baudo, Chailly, Russel Davies, Epstein, Ferro, Franci, Gatti, Kout, Kuhn, Levine, Navarro, Nelsson, Oren, Panni, Patané, Prètre, Santi, Sasson, Sawallisch, Sinopoli, Slatkin, Varsivo.
He has collaborated with the following set designers, among others: Toni Businger, Carlo Centolavigna, Dominik Hartmann, Matthias Kralj, Ming Cho Lee, Andrej Majewski, Wolf Münzner, William Orlandi, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, Jürgen Rose, Michael Scott, Günter Schneider-Siemssen, Josef Svoboda, Peter Sykora, Prof . Werner Tübke, Monika von Zallinger, Jörg Zimmermann.Giancarlo del Monaco has received numerous awards throughout his career. They range from the Viotti d'oro in 1967 to the titles of Cavaliere Ufficiale della Repubblica and Commendatore dell'Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana. In France, he was awarded the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, in the United States he received the degree horonis causa in Cultural Arts from Palm Beach Community College, in Germany he was awarded the Bundesverdienstkreutz di Primaclass by the President of the Federal Republic, and in Brazil, the Ordem Nacional o Cruzeiro do Sul for having performed Gomes' Il Guarany in theatre and on record with the Bonn Opera and Placido Domingo.
He has also received the Illica Prize for his career as General Director and International Director, honorary citizenship from Montpellier (France),the 'Aigle de Cristal' award from the city of Nice (France)* and the prestigious 'Teatro Campoamor' Opera Prize for the best direction in Spain in 2007 with P. Mascagni's 'Cavalleria Rusticana' and R. Leoncavallo's 'I Pagliacci' at the Teatro Real in Madrid. He received the honour of 'Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur' of the French Republic (2015).