Since 2013, Israeli-born Tomer Zvulun has served as the general and artistic director of the Atlanta Opera. One of the leading stage directors of his generation, Zvulun has garnered consistent praise for his creative vision and innovative interpretations.
His work has been produced by major opera houses in Europe, South and Central America, Israel and the U.S. Previously, Zvulun spent seven seasons at the Metropolitan Opera, where he directed revivals of “Carmen” and “Tosca” and was involved in more than a dozen new productions.
Zvulun is a frequent guest director at companies like the Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Cincinnati Opera and Israeli Opera, among others. He has directed over 15 new productions at the Atlanta Opera, and, during his tenure, the company has tripled its fundraising, resulting in twice the number of annual productions. Read on to learn about what makes Tomer Zvulun tick.
Best advice your father gave you.
Your time is now. Go get ‘em while you can.
What I miss most about Tel Aviv …
The hunger for life. Nothing is taken for granted because in Tel Aviv we live on the edge, surrounded by enemies that may blow up a bus, or open fire at you in the middle of the street, any day. It ultimately manifests in this attitude of living for today: incredible restaurants, unparalleled art scene and a spirit of entrepreneurship that very few cities possess.
My most unusual job …
During my years in the Open University of Israel in Tel Aviv, I drove an ambulance and got a paramedic certificate. It was a valuable experience as a stage director, because theater and opera are so much about dramatic situations, violence, death.
If they made a movie of my life, I would choose … to play the lead.
If I could be a character in any opera, it would be …
The French Lieutenant in “Silent Night.” He is caught in the middle of WWI and misses his family, while realizing that the war is futile. It’s the most important work I have ever directed.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Having a lunch date with my youngest daughter: Pizza at Fellini and then fries and ice cream at McDonald’s. Don’t judge us!
I’m reading …
Currently I am alternating between biographies of two European leaders that represent the light and the dark of our times. “The Chancellor” by Kati Marton, about Angela Merkel, who I admire greatly. On the other hand, I just finished “The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin” by Steven Lee Myers. These are unusual biographies for me to read, as they are about living leaders. More frequently, I read about leaders who are not with us (Churchill, Stalin, FDR, Napoleon, Louis XIV).
My wife says I’m too …
Easily manipulated by my two girls. Here’s a “shocker” for your readers.
My parents knew I had talent as a child because …
I never stopped reading. I would go through my three library books daily and get new ones and they were concerned about that.
Describe something fun that no one knows about you.
I spent 45 days on a train going through major cities in America in my mid-twenties. I realized that I could have gotten an Amtrak pass allowing unlimited travel with a foreign passport. I took the train from Boston to LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Glacier Park. It was an incredible education for a young artist with a just a few hundred dollars in his pocket.
The last time I cried …
Yesterday, when I heard a Russian song at the Atlanta International School and thought about the devastation in Europe currently.
My last fashion disaster was …
An over-the-top New Year’s outfit that my 5-year-old chose for me.
Studying at Harvard enabled me …
To articulate business principles that I knew instinctively, but was finally able to put into words.
- The Lowdown
- I Bet You Didn't Know
- Tomer Zvulun
- Marcia Caller Jaffe
- Atlanta Opera
- Metropolitan Opera
- tel aviv
- Open University
- Lior Raz
- Silent Night
- World War I
- Katie Marton
- Angela Merkel
- Steven Lee Myers
- Vladmir Putin
- Atlanta International School
- Harvard University