Mansouri, Lotfi (actually, Lotfollah)

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Mansouri, Lotfi (actually, Lotfollah)

Mansouri, Lotfi (actually, Lotfollah), iranian-born American opera director and administrator; b. Tehran, June 15, 1929. He studied psychology at the Univ. of Calif., Los Angeles (A.B., 1953). After serving as an asst. prof. on its faculty (1957–60), he was resident stage director of the Zürich Opera (1960–65) and director of dramatics at the Zürich International Opera Studio (1961–65). From 1965 to 1975 he was chief stage director of the Geneva Opera, and from 1967 to 1972 was director of dramatics at the Centre Lyrique in Geneva. In 1976 he became general director of the Canadian Opera Co. in Toronto, remaining there until 1988 when he assumed that position with the San Francisco Opera. His tenure in San Francisco was marked with the major renovation of the opera house in 1996–97, and its gala reopening concert on Sept. 5,1997. He retired in 2001. In 1992 he was made a Chevalier of l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres of France. Mansouri’s opera productions have been staged at many of the leading opera houses of the world, and generally reflect his traditional approach to the art of stage direction.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire