Olivier Descotes took office this morning as General Director of the Rossini Opera Festival for the two-year period 2019-2020, a task conferred by the Festival's Board of Directors following a public selection procedure and after the evaluation of the Technical Committee.
Born in La Rochelle in 1976, he carried out his studies at the Sorbonne University and at the Institut d'études politiques in Paris, as well as at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is Inspector for Music at the French Ministry of Culture and member of the Committee promoting the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Gioachino Rossini's passing.
After serving as Advisor of the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (2002) and Vivendi Universal's president and CEO (2003-2005), he was appointed Cultural Attaché at the French Embassy in Italy and Secretary General of the Nuovi Mecenati Foundation ( 2005-2009), Director of the Institut français of Milan (2009-2011) and then of the Institut français of Athens, and Counselor for Cultural Cooperation and Action at the French Embassy in Greece (2011-2015).
He was appointed Director of the Benaki Museum in Athens in 2016, before becoming Special Advisor to the Greek Minister of Culture and Sports.
These are the words of ROF President Daniele Vimini: "First of all I want to thank the technical commission and the Board of Directors for the valuable work done in evaluating candidates. This appointment, taken unanimously, will consolidate the internationalization process of the Festival. Olivier Descotes is a cultural manager with extensive experience in the international platform, having been in charge of four cultural institutions in the Mediterranean area. He gathers the positive legacy of the experience of the previous director Lorella Megani, who I thank for the work done, and finds a Festival in health, which is achieving great results right at the completion of an articulated generational change. "
Olivier Descotes declares: "It is an honor for me to take on the General Direction of the ROF, an institution that I have been continuously attending for almost twenty years, as a music critic, as an opera lover and as a member of the organizing committee of the Rossini celebrations. In this role I was able to appreciate the beautiful energy of this prestigious institution and of its international ambitions that I would like to achieve in the best way. "