Opera director and manager Lotfi Mansouri was born in Tehran on 15 June 1929. He studied psychology at UCLA and worked for a while as an assistant professor there. He began his career as an opera director with Così fan tutte at Los Angeles City College, moving to Zurich Opera to work for six years as a resident stage director. From there he moved to Geneva Opera as head stage director (1966-76).
From 1971 until 1988 he was general director of the Canadian Opera Company. During his appointment he introduced surtitles for Elektra in 1983, and this is thought to be the first ever use.
In 1988 he became general director of San Francisco Opera, building the company's reputation and commissioning various new works, including John Adams' The Death of Klinghoffer in 1992 and André Previn's 1998 A Streetcar Named Desire.
Lotfi Mansouri died in San Francisco on 30 August 2013, aged eighty-four.
A selection of M&V articles about Lotfi Mansouri
Ensemble. A Smooth Delivery - Maria Nockin was at San Diego for Puccini's 'Turandot'
Ensemble. A Fine Performance - Verdi's 'Nabucco' from San Diego Opera, enjoyed by Maria Nockin
Ensemble. Robust and Vigorous - Saint-Saëns' 'Samson and Delilah', reviewed by Maria Nockin