Since 2009 he has been Chief Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra in Bratislava. He served as the Spoleto Festival USA’s Music Director for Opera & Orchestra from 2001 to 2010. During that time he led numerous symphonic concerts and opera performances for the Festival, including a noted Mahler symphonies cycle, the American premi?re of Henze’s Der Prinz von Homburg, and acclaimed productions of Manon Lescaut, Der Fliegende Holländer, Lakme, Ariadne auf Naxos, Don Giovanni and Louise. He held position of Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra in Ljubljana.
Emmanuel Villaume’s 2010-2011 engagements commenced with his leading the annual New Year’s Concert of the Slovenian Philharmonic in Ljubljana. Later in January he appeared with the Oregon Symphony in Portland, OR (with Emanuel Ax), as well as in performances with the Slovak Philharmonic in Bratislava. He conducted both the Slovenian and Slovakian Philharmonic Orchestras in several concerts early in 2011, as well as performances of Massenet’s Werther at Teatro Real. In August, he appears in Buenos Aires conducting Pelléas et Mélisande at Teatro Colón. The fall of 2011 includes leading the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra (with Renée Fleming) in their annual Millennium Park performance, as well as conducting Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann for Opening Night of Lyric Opera. An appearance with the Czech Philharmonic in Prague.
Maestro Villaume opened the 2009-2010 season conducting concerts (with Anna Netrebko) in Duisburg, Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm. He appeared with the Utah Symphony, and returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago for The Merry Widow in December. In early 2010 he conducted both the Slovak Philharmonic and Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestras in a series of performances, returned to Charleston, SC for the Spoleto Festival USA, and conducted the Quebec Symphony. Later in the year, he conducted Werther with San Francisco Opera, and will lead Samson et Dalila with Opera Marseille, and a concert in Bucharest with Sarah Chang, violin.
In 2008-2009, Maestro Villaume conducted Manon (with Natalie Dessay) to open the Lyric Opera of Chicago season, Carmen at Los Angeles Opera, Tosca in Berlin and Les Contes d’Hoffmann in Turin. In 2007-2008, Maestro Villaume’s performances included Carmen at the Metropolitan Opera, Ariane et Barbe Bleue at the Teatro Regio di Torino, Meyerbeer’s Il Crociato in Egitto for the opening of the 2007 season at La Fenice in Venice, La Bohe`me for Washington National Opera’s 2007-08 season opening, Tha?s at La Fenice and Padmâvatî at Festival dei Due Mondi. He conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London and Vienna in concert performances with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon, the Orchestre National de Belgique with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon at the Festival de Saint-Denis, the Slovak Philharmonic at the Bratislava Music Festival, a special concert in Oberammergau, Germany with Renée Fleming, Rolando Villazon and the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, the NHK Orchestra in Tokyo, and the China National Opera Orchestra for three concerts during the Olympic Games of 2008. He also appeared with the North Carolina Symphony and the Juilliard Symphony, as well as returning to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Born in Strasbourg in 1964, Emmanuel Villaume began his musical education at the Strasbourg Conservatory and continued his studies in Paris, where he received degrees in literature, philosophy and musicology. He also studied dramatic arts and performed in theatrical productions. The author of noted musicological articles and research papers, he was appointed Dramaturg of the Opéra du Rhin in Strasbourg at the age of 21. During his tenure there he came to the attention of Spiros Argiris, Music Director of the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy, who invited him to conduct and narrate Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis in 1987, followed by an invitation to make his American debut at the 1990 Spoleto Festival USA with Le Nozze di Figaro.
Maestro Villaume has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera for Madama Butterfly, Samson et Dalila and Carmen; with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden for Les Contes d’Hoffmann and La Rondine, the Lyric Opera of Chicago for Samson et Dalila, Manon and The Merry Widow, the Washington National Opera for La Rondine, Norma, Le Cid, Les Contes d’Hoffmann and Lucia di Lammermoor, San Francisco Opera for Madama Butterfly, Los Angeles Opera for Les Contes d’Hoffmann, La Rondine and Grande Duchesse, Santa Fe Opera for Carmen, Dallas Opera for Faust and Le Nozze di Figaro, Sarasota Opera for Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Die Zauberflöte and Manon, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for La Rondine and Faust, Cologne Opera for La Boh?me and Werther, Bastille Opera for Rigoletto, Hamburg Staatsoper with Der Fliegende Holländer, Toulouse Opera for Mignon, Bonn Opera for La Fanciulla del West, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan for Der Rosenkavalier, Martina Franca Opera for La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein, Montreal Opera for La Vie Parisienne, Opéra Marseilles for Pelléas et Mélisande, Carmen and Norma, Nice Opera for Faust, Monte Carlo Opera for La Périchole and Werther and the Klangbogen Festival in Vienna for Don Quichotte and Goya with Plácido Domingo.
He has led the Montreal Symphony in Montreal and at Carnegie Hall, the Quebec Symphony, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood, the Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Detroit, Utah and Oregon Symphonies, the Minnesota Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Beethovenhalle Orchestra of Bonn, Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Orchestre symphonique national du Danemark, Orchestre de la Radio norvégienne, Kungliga Filharmonikerna and the Prague Philharmonic, the Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane symphonies, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, Orchestra Verdi di Milano, and, in concert, the orchestras of the Bastille Opera, Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Teatro alla Scala, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and La Fenice, the latter in a concert performance of Berlioz’ Les Troyens.
Emmanuel Villaume holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Indianapolis. He makes his home in Paris and New York.