Strehler, Giorgio, Italian opera director; b. Trieste, Aug. 14, 1921; d. Lugano, Dec. 25, 1997. He studied at the Accademia di Filodrammatici in Milan. In 1940 he launched an acting career and in 1943 directed his first theater production. With Paolo Grassi, he founded the Piccolo Teatro in Milan in 1947, the same year he staged his first opera, La Traviata. In 1955 he helped organize the Piccola Scala in Milan, where he was regularly engaged as an opera director; also worked at Milan’s La Scala. In 1956 he staged a remarkable production of Die Dreigroschenoper at the Piccola Scala, winning the praise of Brecht. Strehler first gained wide notice outside Italy with his production of Die Entführung aus dem Serail at the Salzburg Festival in 1965. While he continued to work regularly in Milan, he became closely associated with the Théâtre de l’Europe at the Odèon in Paris. Strehler’s background as an actor was instrumental in forging his vision of the serious and comic elements of theatrical scores; his productions of Mozart and Verdi were particularly acclaimed. Conversations on his works with the drama critic Ugo Ronfani were publ, as lo, Strehler (Milan, 1986).
F. Battistini, G. S.(Rome, 1980).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire