One of Quebec's most respected creators, François Girard navigates easily from one medium to another and has, over the years, acquired an enviable international status. A music lover, he has carved out a unique reputation for writing and directing works imbued with great musicality in productions in which music plays a major role.
His professional career began on the Montreal art video circuit in the 1980s, and he first attracted the attention of critics and the public when he directed a television adaptation of the theatrical show Le Dortoir by the Quebec dance/theatre/multimedia troupe Carbone 14, for which he won a score of awards, including an International Emmy. His other television credits include Peter Gabriel’s Secret World, for which he won a Grammy Award, and The Sound of the Carceri, one of the six episodes of Yo Yo Ma Inspired by Bach.
François cemented his reputation as a film director with his 1993 feature-length biopic Thirty Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. His third feature, The Red Violin (1998) was a huge success, winning eight Genies in Canada (including Best Picture and Best Director) nine Jutras in Quebec and an Academy Award for Best Original Soundtrack. His most recent feature is Silk (2007), adapted from the novel by Alessandro Baricco.
He made his debut as an opera director at the Canadian Opera Company with Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms and Oedipus Rex by Jean Cocteau, which went on to win eight Dora Mavor Moore Awards in Canada. He also directed Alessandro Baricco’s play Novecento, Kafka's The Trial, the oratorio Lost Objects at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the opera Siegfried and the double bill The Lindbergh Flight and The Seven Deadly Sins, in Lyon, Edinburgh and Wellington.
In 2010, François directed Le Fusil de chasse (adapted from the novel The Hunting Gun by Yasushi Inoue) which premiered in Montreal, and the opera Emilie du Chatelet at l’Opéra de Lyon. He also directed Parsifal presented at l’Opéra de Lyon in 2012 and scheduled to run in 2013 at the Metropolitan Opera.
Zarkana is François Girard's second engagement as Writer and Director with Cirque du Soleil, following ZED that was presented at Tokyo Disney Resort.
François Girard was born in Saint-Félicien, Quebec.