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Born and educated in St Petersburg, Irina has lived and worked in Britain for over forty years. Her prolific career has spanned opera and theatre, classical drama and new writing. Innovative interpretation of classics, physicality and evocative visual language are the basis of her theatrical practice, dramaturg, translator and theatre pedagogue.

A former Artistic director of the Tron Theatre, Glasgow, and Natural Perspective TC, London, she also directed for the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House, in the London West End and internationally. At the Tron Irina focused on developing and directing New Writing, and creating international collaborations.

Her most recent production was Donizetti’s opera Anna Bolena at Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Germany. Throughout her career, Irina continued to teach acting, directing and theatre design. In 2021 Irina’s celebrated course Unlocking the Director’s Imagination led her to create the MA/MFA Contemporary Directing Practice at Rose Bruford College. Irina’s ongoing commitment to exploring the art and craft of directing resulted in her translation of Active Analysis by Maria Knebel, published by Routledge in 2022.

Opera work includes: Anna Bolena by Donizetti (Badisches Staatstheater, Karlsruhe, Germany); Prokofiev’s original version of War and Peace (Scottish Opera, world premiere); Dominique Le Gendre’s Bird of Night (Royal Opera House, world premiere); Shostakovich’s The Gamblers (LPO, Vladimir Jurowski) and, with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges (City of Light: Paris 1900–1950 Festival); Shostakovich’s Orango ( RFH, 2013, European premiere, revived at the BBC Proms 2015); a triple bill of Stravinsky’s Renard, Mavra and Les Noces (Stravinsky Festival). She started her career assisting Andrei Tarkovsky on Boris Godunov (ROH), which she later revived a number of times, directing the 20th anniversary production for the Royal Opera House. She had collaborated with Karlheinz Stockhausen for her translation of Donnerstag aus Licht (ROH Publications).

Her notable theatre work includes: award-winning Further Than the Furthest Thing by Zinnie Harris (Royal National Theatre/ Tron); a highly acclaimed The Importance of Being Earnest (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Southern Shakespeare Festival, Florida, USA); War and Peace at the Circus (adaptor/ director for Giffords Circus); Racine’s Britannicus (Natural Perspective); Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women (Oxford Playhouse); The Vagina Monologues (West End and national tour); The Sound of Music (WYP); and Our Country’s Good (Tabakov Theatre, Moscow).