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Washington opera names successor to Placido Domingo

The Washington National Opera is naming Francesca Zambello as its permanent artistic director beginning in 2013, as the company continues to shift to new leadership following 15 years under famed tenor Placido Domingo.

Francesca Zambello of Glimmerglass Festival becomes artistic director in 2013

Francesca Zambello talks about directing the musical Little House on the Prairie in 2008. She has been named artistic director of the Washington National Opera. (Dawn Villella/Associated Press)

The Washington National Opera is naming Francesca Zambello as its permanent artistic director beginning in 2013, as the company continues to shift to new leadership following 15 years under famed tenor Placido Domingo.

Zambello's new role at the Washington, D.C., company was announced Thursday. Last year, she was appointed artistic adviser as Domingo was stepping down as director.

Zambello says she will maintain the high standards set by her predecessors and respect the tastes of long-time patrons. At the same time, she says she will work to attract new audiences to opera.

Zambello's production of Show Boat will come to Washington in 2013. She plans to stage Wagner's complete Ring Cycle in 2016.

The 56-year-old also is director of the Glimmerglass Festival in New York. Beyond opera, Zambello is a respected director in musical theatre.