Lee Blakeley was born
in Yorkshire and trained at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and
Last Season, with a new production of INTO THE WOODS, marked his fourth production in the Theatre du Chatelet's Sondheim Cycle. This was followed closely at the Chatelet with a major new production of Rodger's and Hammerstein's THE KING AND I starring Susan Graham and Lambert Wilson. Earlier in the season he made his debut at LA Opera directing a new production of FALSTAFF. He also directed IL TURCO IN ITALIA for Anger Nantes Opera, which was a co production with the Grande Theatre in Luxembourg
In 2013 he created a new production of LA GRANDE DUCHESS DU GEROLSTEIN at Santa Fe Opera starring Susan Graham. Earlier in the year he returned to Paris to direct his third French premiere of a Sondheim musical at the Theatre Du Chatelet. This time creating a new production of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. The production, with new orchestrations for full orchestra was also broadcast on Mezzo TV in May 2013.
2012 saw Lee direct a new production of THE PEARL FISHERS for the Santa Fe Opera to great acclaim.He also directed a new musical, PAT KIRKWOOD IS ANGRY, which was a great success when it played the Manchester Royal Exchange, Opera North Autumn 2012 and the St James Theatre in early 2013.
Also in the 2012 season he created a new
production of LES CONTES D'HOFFMAN for Canadian Opera Company and directed DEIRDRE AND ME by Rachael Halliwell, which played the Edinburgh Festival.
In 2011 Lee directed the French première of SWEENEY TODD, cast included
Caroline O'Connor and Rod Gilfry with music direction by David Charles Abel at theThéâtre du Châtelet Paris and then COSI FAN TUTTE at the Royal College of Musicin London. INTO THE WOODS for the Royal Scottish Conservatoire was also in 2011.
His 2010 Orfeo Ed Eurydice , for Minnesota Opera staring David Daniels, proved a triumph with the public and was universally acclaimed in the press.
Lee has had a great success with both the critics and public alike with his new production of MADAME BUTTERFLY at Santa Fe Opera, earlier in the year he directed the sellout French premiere of Stephen Sondheim's A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris, staring Leslie Caron, Greta Scacchi and Lambert Wilson.
He has been an Associate Director for the Royal Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and English National Opera. Recently he has worked for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera New Zealand, Vlaamse Opera, Opera de Monte Carlo, Lille, Trieste and Tenerife.
In 2009 he directed Prokofiev's LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES for RSAMD/Scottish Opera.
In 2008 his production of Judith Weir's A NIGHT AT THE CHINESE OPERA was a huge success for Scottish Opera and was nominated for a TMA Award for Achievement in Opera.
In the 2006-7 season he directed
a sell out production of DIE FLEDERMAUS also for Scottish Opera and a new
production of THE TURN OF THE SCREW in association with the British Council and
Macedonian Opera and Ballet and RUSALKA for the Wexford Opera Festival.
Artistic Director of the Opera Theatre Europe (opera-te) he directed the
British Premiere of Tobias Picker's THERESE RAQUIN at the ROH's Linbury Theatre
Lee directed a 90 minute DON GIOVANNI for Opera North in 1999 and in 2000 a site specifc production DAMNED AND DIVINEwhich he directed and devised for English National Opera. In 2001 he directed the world premiere of Handel's CLORI, TIRSI E FILENO -HANDEL IN HEAVEN, for the Covent Garden Festival at London's Heaven nightclub. For RSAMD he has directed Judith Weir's THE VANISHING BRIDEGROOM and Cavalli's A CALISTO. In summer 2002 he directed LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for British Youth opera.
He has worked as an actor, broadcaster, translator, dramaturg and script editor.