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Christian Catena

Stage Director

Artistic Director, Music Manager, Producer, Rock Singer, and Filmmaker, born in Rome, Italy, Chris Catena is the offspring of the illustrious Italian tenor Renato Francesconi. Catena's passion for music, especially opera and rock, was ignited early on, accompanying his father on global tours. By the age of 5, he had already graced one of the world's most prestigious stages, the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, performing in "Tosca" and "Andrea Chenier" alongside his father.

Catena's musical journey continued with piano studies, culminating in his graduation from Liceo Scientifico high school, followed by studies in economics at the University of Rome "La Sapienza." In 1993, he founded IUMA Management, an agency committed to nurturing the careers of emerging classical and opera talents and representing established artists. Based in Rome, this agency has played a pivotal role in the international careers of numerous artists, securing global engagements and bolstering their multimedia presence.

Catena's artistic influence extends to his roles as Artistic Director or Artistic Consultant at esteemed festivals such as the Vigevano Opera Festival, Lecco Opera Festival, Copenhagen Opera Festival, Euromaclassica Opera Festival in Tivoli - Rome, and the Monreale Festival, where he directed programming in 2015. He has served as the Production Director of Linz Symphonisches in Austria and Casting Manager for the Royal Baltic Festivals. Currently, he holds the position of Deputy Artistic Director at Opera Romena Craiova in Craiova, Romania, and the Elena Theodorini Festival.

In opera and musical direction, Catena's national and international experiences are noteworthy, particularly for his acclaimed production of L. Bernstein's "West Side Story," where he served as director and was responsible for lighting and video projections. This innovative production, performed in the original language, was celebrated for its creativity and success with audiences and critics alike, earning personal accolades from the Bernstein Society and Michael Bernstein, the composer's grandson.

Catena's recent and forthcoming engagements include directing G. Puccini's "Il Tabarro" at the National Theater of Craiova, Romania, where he also staged "La Serva Padrona," as well as "Pagliacci" in Pisa Festival, "Pagliacci" and "La Serva Padrona" at the Festival Internazionale di Mezza Estate in Abruzzo. His work on "West Side Story" was showcased at Varna Opera and Varna International Opera Festival, and he directed "Edipo Re" at Cairo Opera, "Madama Butterfly" at Teatro Serpente Aureo in Offida, "Pagliacci" at Festival Undici Lune in Peccioli (PI), "Il Tabarro" by Puccini at Opera Romana Craiova, brought to Varna Opera Festival where he also directed "West Side Story," "Gianni Schicchi" at the Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece, "La Traviata" at Zapopan Festival in Mexico, and "Madama Butterfly" and "Il Trovatore" in Craiova and Taormina Amphitheater, Gianni Schicchi in Tenessee.

Beyond his classical and operatic endeavors, Catena has also made his mark as a rockstar, recording around 50 albums either as a solo artist or collaboratively with bands. His partnerships span a wide array of rock legends from bands like Duran Duran, Kiss, Deep Purple, Santana, Genesis, Depeche Mode, Skid Row, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, and more.

Christian Catena


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