Emmanuel Villaume is in his tenth and last season as Music Director for Opera and Orchestra at Spoleto Festival USA. He became Artistic Director and Chief Conductor of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2008, and in August of 2009 was appointed Chief Conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra in Bratislava. He is a highly sought-after guest conductor worldwide. He has conducted operas around the world including at the Metropolitan Opera where he has conducted Carmen, Madama Butterfly, and Samson et Dalila.
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.