Yannis Kokkos was born in Athens in 1944. Since 1963 he has lived in France. Studied set design at the École superieure d’art dramatique in Strasbourg. One important stage in Kokkos’ artistic career came with his collaboration with the theatre stage director Antoine Vitez, which commenced in 1969 and lasted for twenty years; together with Vitez he worked on productions at the Comédie Française, the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Paris’ Théâtre National de Chaillot, the Teatro alla Scala, the Opéra de Paris, the Opéra de Montréal, Paris’ Opéra Comique and the Festival d’Avignon among other venues; these productions have included Elektra (1971, 1986), Mère Courage (1973), Iphigénie Hôtel (1976), Faust (1981), Britannic (1981), Tombeau pour cinq cent mille soldats (1981), Hamlet (1983), The Seagull (1984), Macbeth (1984), Ernani (1985), Ubu roi (1985), Lucrezia Borgia (1985), The Triumph of Love (1985), Pelléas et Mélisande (1986), Otello (1987), Le Soulier de satin (1987), Le Misanthrope (1988), La Folle journée, ou Le Mariage de Figaro (1989) and Leben des Galilei (1990). As a production designer, Kokkos has also collaborated with the Vienna State Opera (Die Zauberflöte), the Grand Théâtre de Genève and San Francisco Opera (Elektra), the Hamburger Staatsballett (Ondine and Odyssey by John Neumeier) and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Don Carlo) among other theatre companies.
Since 1987 he has also worked as a stage director of opera and drama (in addition to designing sets and costumes). Kokkos’ productions of operas have received broad critical and popular acclaim; among these are Götterdämmerung and Iphigénie en Aulide by Gluck, Assassinio nella cattedrale (Teatro alla Scala), Der fliegende Holländer (Teatro alla Scala; Athens Epidaurus Festival; Teatro Comunale di Bologna; Teatro di San Carlo), La clemenza di Tito (Welsh National Opera), Tristan und Isolde (Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie), Hänsel und Gretel (Grand Théâtre de Genève), Médée by Cherubini, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci (Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse), La Damnation de Faust, Berio’s Outis (French premiere) and Henze’s Die Bassariden (French premiere) (Théâtre du Châtelet), Les Troyens (Théâtre du Châtelet; Grand Théâtre de Genève), Die Frau ohne Schatten (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino), Xenakis’ Oresteia (Gibellina Festival, Sicily), Boris Godunov (Vienna State Opera), Otello (Athens Epidaurus Festival), Tristan und Isolde (first performance in Greece) and Elektra (Greek National Opera), Nabucco (Bayerische Staatsoper; Palacio de las Artes Reina Sofía, Valencia, Spain), Turandot (Opéra National de Montpellier, France), Don Giovanni (National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing), Iolanta and Le Rossignol (New National Theatre, Tokyo).
Has received numerous awards, among them the Laurence Olivier Award, two Prix Molière awards, the Gold Medal of the Prague Quadrennial and the Critics’ Award (for a production of the complete version of Les Troyens staged at the Théâtre du Châtelet). Commandeur of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Productions at the Mariinsky Theatre:
Don Quichotte (2012)
Les Troyens (2014; after motifs of the production at the Théâtre du Châtelet in collaboration with the Grand Théâtre de Genève)
Samson et Dalila (2016)
Information for June 2021