Equally at home on the concert stage and in the opera house, American conductor Christopher Franklin has been praised for his keen theatrical instincts and vibrant performances. His continued success in the Italian operatic repertoire is a natural result of having launched his career in Italy, conducting at several major Italian opera houses and festivals including Teatro Regio di Torino, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Teatro San Carlo di Napoli, Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Teatro Massimo di Palermo, Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Teatro Municipale di Piacenza, Teatro Comunale di Modena, Teatro Valle di Reggio Emilia, Teatro Comunale di Treviso, Teatro Verdi di Salerno, Teatro Pergolesi di Jesi, Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, Sferisterio in Macerata, and Spontini Festival in Jesi.
Mr. Franklin has performed in theatres throughout the world such as the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Herculessaal in Munich, Teatro Real Madrid, Philharmonie in Köln, Musikhalle in Hamburg Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Festspielhaus in Baden-Baden, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Palau de les Arts in Valencia, Teatro de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Konzerthaus in Dortmund, Cadogan Hall in London, Carnival Center of Miami, International House of Music in Moscow, Dvořák Hall and the Smetana Municipal Hall in Prague, at the Minnesota Opera and Boston Lyric Opera.
Upcoming projects include Hansel und Gretel at San Francisco Opera, La Boheme at the Teatro Verdi di Trieste, Aufsteig und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny in Parma, a CD recording project with the Czech Philharmonic in Prague, concerts with the Tokyo New City Orchestra in Suntory Hall, and Florencia en el Amazonas at Yale University. Recent productions include: La Traviata and Thais at MN Opera, Tosca at the Festival Granda in Lima, Peru, Peter Grimes at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, L’Occasione fa il ladro in Oman, Thais at Minnesota Opera, Donizetti’s Pia de Tolomei in Pisa, Livorno, Lucca, and I Puritani at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona, as well as symphonic engagements with the Russian National Philharmonic and Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Tristan und Isolde at the Teatro Verdi in Trieste, Turco in Italia at the Teatro Comunale in Bologna, Britten’s Turn of the Screw at the Palau in Valencia, Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci at the Macerata Sferisterio, Rossini’s Otello at the Teatro Liceo in Barcelona, and La sonnambula at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris.
A sought-after guest conductor, Mr. Franklin has conducted the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, National Philharmonic of Russia, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, a German tour with the Münchner Symphoniker, SWR Orchester in Germany, Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Firenze, Orchestre de la Monnaie in Bruxelles, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale RAI di Torino, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Hungarian National Opera (Budapest), Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Opera St. Etienne, Prague Philharmonia, Orchestra de Comunitat di Valencia, Orchestra de la Navarra (Spain), Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen, Orchestra Verdi di Milan, Orchestra della Toscana, Orchestra Filarmonica dell’Arena di Verona, Orchestra ‘900 of the Teatro Regio di Torino, Orchestra Toscanini of Parma, Orchestra da Camera di Padova, I Pomeriggi Musicali of Milano, Accademia della Scala di Milano, Camerata Strumentale di Prato.
He has collaborated with several world-class soloists including Salvatore Accardo, Boris Belkin, Misha Maisky, Natalia Gutman, Bruno Giuranna, Marco Rizzi, Pietro de Maria, Enrico Pace, Ruggero Raimondi, Francisco Araiza, Ildar Abdrazakov, Dimitra Theodossiou and Ildebrando d’Arcangelo. Over the years Mr. Franklin has established a collaboration with famed tenor Juan Diego Flórez, appearing with him on tour in many concert venues around the world.
Mr. Franklin has built up an extensive operatic repertoire covering several different periods and styles. Highlights from recent seasons include Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cosi fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte, Rigoletto, La cenerentola, Hamlet, Doubt (world première), Il barbiere di Siviglia, Le comte Ory, Otello, La gazzetta, La Scala di Seta, La cambiale di matrimonio, Il viaggio a Reims, L’elisir d’amore, Don Pasquale, Attila, Rigoletto, Falstaff, Werther, Carmen, Gina di Cilea, La bohème, Manon Lescaut, Cavalleria Rusticana, Pagliacci, Death in Venice, Billy Budd, L’amour coniugale (J.S. Mayr), Une education manquée (Chabrier), Die lustige Witwe, La Lupa e Dylan Dog (Tutino) and Jackie O (Daugherty).
Mr. Franklin was first-prize winner of the Gino Marinuzzi International Conducting Competition. After winning the La Bottega-Toti dal Monte Competition in Treviso he was named Resident Conductor and assistant to Peter Maag at the Teatro Comunale di Treviso where he had his Italian debut. He also attended the conducting class of Maestro Gelmetti at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena where he was awarded the prestigious Franco Ferrara Prize.
He began studying the violin at the age of six in his hometown of Pittsburgh (USA). After completing a BA in violin and German literature at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, he earned his MM in conducting at the University of Illinois and his DMA at the Peabody Conservatory with Frederik Prausnitz. He was awarded a scholarship to study at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he worked with Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano, and Gustav Meier, and subsequently, a Fulbright Fellowship to study at the Musikhochschule in Saarbrücken. He began his conducting studies with Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Hancock, USA. Christopher lives in Lucca, Italy.