Meet the Director: Julie Taymor

TUE, JUN 8, 2004 (23:54)

Julie Taymor describes her experience with such international hits as The Lion King and Frida.Theater, film and opera director Julie Taymor's most recent film, Frida, garnered six Oscar nominations and two Oscar Awards.

Julie Taymor made her feature film directorial debut in 1999, with Titus, based on Shakespeare's play, Titus Andronicus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. She has received numerous awards for The Lion King, which opened at the New Amsterdam Theater in 1997, including two Tony Awards. Taymor's directorial projects of note have been The Green Bird, on Broadway in 2000; her original visual music-theater work, Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass, which received five Tony nominations including best director;The Flying Dutchman, in 1995 for the Los Angeles Music Center; Salome for the Kirov Opera in Russia, Germany and Israel, and in 1993, Mozart's The Magic Flute for the Maggio Musicale in Florence. While on a Watson Fellowship in Indonesia from 1975-79, Taymor developed a mask/dance company, Teatr Loh, which toured throughout Indonesia with two original productions, Way of Snow and Tirai, subsequently performed in the USA. In 1991, Taymor received a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship. She also has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, the first Annual Dorothy B. Chandler Award in Theater and the 1990 Brandeis Creative Arts Award. An illustrated book on her career, Julie Traymor: Playing with Fire Theatre, Opera, Film, was recently expanded and revised by Abrams. Taymor is currently collaborating with Goldenthal on an original opera, Grendel, to premiere at the Los Angeles Opera in 2006, and subsequently at the Lincoln Center Festival. She will also direct a new production of The Magic Flute for the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2004.

+ BIO: Julie Taymor

Theater, film and opera director Julie Taymor's most recent film is Frida, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina. The film garnered six Oscar nominations, winning two. Taymor made her feature film directorial debut in 1999 with Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. Based on Shakespeare's play, Titus Andronicus, her adapted screenplay is published in an illustrated book by Newmarket Press.

On her work for the stage, Taymor has received numerous awards for her play, The Lion King, which opened at the New Amsterdam Theater in 1997, including two Tony Awards: for best direction of a musical and for her original costume designs. The Lion King most recently premiered in South Africa and opens in Paris in October 2007. Taymor's stage production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus was produced off- Broadway by Theatre For a New Audience in 1994. Other directing credits include The Tempest, The Taming of the Shrew, The Transposed Heads, and Liberty's Taken, an original musical co-created with David Suehsdorf and Elliot Goldenthal.

In 1991 Taymor received a MacArthur genius Fellowship. She has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, two OBIE Awards, the first Annual Dorothy B. Chandler Award in Theater, and the 1990 Brandeis Creative Arts Award. An illustrated book on her career, Julie Taymor: Playing with Fire, was recently expanded and revised by Harry N. Abrams. Her book, The Lion King: Pride Rock on Broadway, is published by Hyperion. An illustrated book, Frida: Bringing Frida Kahlo's Life and Art to Film, is available from Newmarket Press.

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