Within only a short space of time Damiano Michieletto has emerged on the international scene as one of the most interesting representatives of the younger generation of Italian directors. He studied opera and theatre production at the Paolo Grassi School of Dramatic Art in Milan and also graduated in modern literature at the university in Venice, his home town. His critically acclaimed production of Jaromír Weinberger’s Švanda the Bagpiper at the 2003 Wexford Festival won an Irish Times / ESB Theatre Award. His other opera productions include L’italiana in Algeri at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza, Lagazza ladra in a co-production for the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro and the opera houses in Bologna and Verona (the production won the 2008 Premio Franco Abbiati), Lucia di Lammermoor, Il corsaro, Luisa Miller and Poliuto in Zurich, Roméo et Juliette and a Mozart/Da Pontecycle at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Die Entführung aus dem Serailat the Teatro San Carlo in Naples, La scala di seta at the Rossini Opera Festival and at La Scala, Milan, Il barbiere di Siviglia at the GrandThéâtre de Genève, Madama Butterfly in Turin, L’elisir d’amore in Valencia, Graz and Madrid, Martinů’s The Greek Passion in Palermo, Così fan tutte at the New National Theatre in Tokyo, Il trittico at theTheater an der Wien and the Royal Opera in Copenhagen, Un ballo in maschera at La Scala, Idomeneo at the Theater an der Wien and The Rake’s Progress at the Leipzig Opera and the Teatro La Fenice.
He made his Salzburg Festival debut with La bohème in 2012 and returned for Falstaff in 2013 and for La cenerentola in 2014. Engagements in the 2014/15 season included Il viaggio a Reims at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam and Guillaume Tell at London’s Royal Opera House. Among his 2015/2016 engagements: new productions of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at Venice La Fenice, Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci at London ROH Covent Garden (Olivier Award 2016), Rossini's Otello in Wien, the revival of Puccini’s Trittico, staged at the Rome Opera, the debut at the Komische Oper Berlin with Massenet’s Cendrillon and the return at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro with a new production of La Donna del Lago. In 2016 and 2017 he worked on the new productions of: Saint-Saëns’ Samson et Dalila at the Paris Opera, Perocco’s Aquagranda at La Fenice in Venice (Abbiati Award 2017), Falstaff at La Scala in Milan, Die Zauberflöte in Florence, Idomeneo at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Verdi's Rigoletto at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and Berlioz's Damnation de Faust for the season opening of the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome (AbbiatiAward 2018). During 2018 he debuts at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow with Il viaggio a Reims and he directs four new productions: Lehár's Die Lustige Witwe in Venice, Britten's A Midsummer night’s dream at theTheater an der Wien, Donizetti's Don Pasquale in Paris, Verdi's Macbeth in Venice (season opening).
Among his more recent engagements: new productions of Schreker's Der Ferne Klang in Frankfurtand Händel's Alcina at the Salzburg Festival (Pentecost and Summer Festival 2019), revivals of La scala di seta at the Royal Opera House Muscat, Don Pasquale in Paris and London, Die Lustige Witwe inRome, Il viaggio a Reims in Melbourne and Sidney, Luisa Millerand Cavalleria rusticana/Pagliacci in Barcelona. In addition to that, new productions of Rigoletto at Circo Massimo in Rome - a work that led to a project for the big screen produced by Indigo Film with the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma - and Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict atthe Opéra de Lyon. Among his 2021 appointments: new productions of two Janáček's operas, Jenůfa for the debut at the Staatsoper Berlin and Kát’a Kabanová at the Glyndebourne Festival, and of two Strauss's operas, Salomeat La Scala (broadcasted on Rai5) and Der Rosenkavalier in Vilnius, moreover a film on Puccini's Gianni Schicchi with Genoma Films, Rigolettoat La Fenice in Venice (the production won the 2022Premio Franco Abbiati) and La Cenerentola at the Semperoper Dresden. In 2022 he directs several new productions: Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridic eat the Komische Oper Berlin, Battistelli’s Le baruffe at La Fenice(libretto by Michieletto), Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris and the Italian premiere of Bernstein’s Mass at the Terme di Caracalla in Rome. Moreover, he directs the Italian premiere of Béatrice et Bénédict for the Season Opening of the TeatroCarlo Felice in Genoa and presented “Archèus. Labirinto Mozart” an immersive multidisciplinary installation created for the Venice Biennale, celebrating the 1600thanniversary of the city.
In 2023 he directs the world premiere of Animal Farm based on the famous novel by George Orwell and composed by Alexander Raskatov at the De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam and two other new productions: Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Sydney Opera House and Aida which marks his debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper. In 2024 hestages different new productions: at La Scala Médée by Cherubini, at the Royal Opera House Carmen and at the Paris Opera Don Quichotte by Massenet.
Beside his busy schedule as an opera stage director, Damiano Michieletto is also actively involved in drama theatre, one other important element of his artistic career. He has staged a highly original and much appreciated version of Il Ventaglio (The Fan) by Goldoni, followed by a pungent and engaging production of The Inspector General by Gogol at the Teatro Stabile del Veneto, Divinas palabras by Ramón María del Valle-Inclán for the Piccolo Teatro of Milan, an essential and visionary piece of Twentieth century Spanish theatre, a new production of The Threepenny Opera by Bertold Brecht and Kurt Weill at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan, and La domanda di matrimonio/ L'orso by Čechov with the Teatro Stabile del Veneto at the Goldoni Theatre in Venice (broadcasted on Rai5).