Following an extended period of collaboration with Sylvano Bussotti, Ibvan Stefanutti in the early 1990s he began branching out into directing. His intense activity in the opera world ranges from the standard great repertoire to less performed titles, as well as contemporary music-dramas. He stages performances according to traditional mise-en-scène Andrea Chénier at the Teatro dell’Opera in Rome, at the Teatro Regio in Turin, at the Fenice in Venice and at the A.B.A.O. in Bilbao in the meanwhile following his personal and original inventiveness as demonstrated by his galactic Aida, so well appreciated both by younger audiences and by lovers of tradition.
Some of his shows: La Bohème, Adriana Lecouvreur regularly return to the stage. He has worked as a director and set and costume designer in the most important Italian Opera Houses (Teatro Verdi in Trieste; Teatro dell’Opera in Rome; Teatro Goldoni in Livorno; Teatro Massimo in Palermo; Teatro Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilia; Gran Teatro la Fenice in Venice; Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania; Teatro Regio in Turin; Teatro Comunale in Treviso; Arena in Verona, and Festival Pucciniano in Torre del Lago) as well as in foreign climes (Théâtre de l’Opéra in Montecarlo; Teatro Campoamor in Oviedo, Spain; Théâtre Municipal in Lousanne, Switzerland; Anhaltisches Theater in Dessau, Germany; Wienerkammer Oper in Vienna; Opéra Comique in Paris; Massenet Festival in Saint-Etienne, France; Kansai Opera in Osaka, Japan; A.C.O. and Teatro Perez Gadòs in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria; A.B.A.O. in Bilbao; National Theater in Belgrade, and Hungarian State Opera in Budapest). Concurrently, he became involved in staging musical and operetta productions: during the Operetta Festival in Trieste he staged The Count of Luxembourg and The Merry Widow by Franz Lehar and Rose-Marie by Rudolf Frimi and Stothart while also staging Jaques Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, the latter subsequently staged in a new production in Trieste in 2003. At the Teatro Romolo Valli in Reggio Emilia, he staged Candide by Leonard Bernstein which was revived in 2004 at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa.
In Summertime 2001, he staged Metropolis, a rock musical inspired by Fritz Lang’s motion picture. In 2003, this play was presented in a new and broadened two-act version.
In February 2006, the world première of an original musical In bocca al lupo!….e basta written by the comics designer Silver was staged.
Thanks to new technological systems, virtual actors (such as Lupo Alberto) could act together with real performers (the G Quartet). As regards ballet, he staged the productions at the Teatro Regio in Turin of Stravinskij’s Petrouchka and La Creazione del bue blu (music by Darius Milhaud), both choreographed by Roberto Castello. He also staged Il pranzo by Carlo Pedini, and Pinocchio, burattino senza fili created by Edoardo Bennato and Claudio Ronda (who was also the choreographer) at the Teatro Sociale in Rovigo.
For film production, he designed the sets and costumes for Maggio Musicale by Ugo Gregoretti. In May 2004, he directed a special: the extraordinary performer Placido Domingo in Le donne by Puccini at the open-air theatre in Torre del Lago during the Summer Festival dedicated to the great composer.
In October 2011, he inaugurated the season at the Hungarian State Opera in Budapest, with a brand new staging of Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. The show now forms part of their repertoire and is regularly staged.
In 2015, The Scenographer magazine published a special monographic issue on his work entitled The eclectic world of Ivan Stefanutti.
Based on the book Il formaggio e i vermi by C. Ginzburg the opera Menocchio by R. Miani was staged at Mittelfest in 2016. In June 2017, at the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza he staged Vivaldi’s La Gloria e Himeneo with the Solisti Veneti.
Ivan Stefanutti features in the 2017/2018 season in the United States with a new production of La Fanciulla del West at Opera Carolina, New York City Opera, and in Italy at Teatro del Giglio in Lucca, at Teatro Lirico di Cagliari and at a further four Italian opera houses.