BARBARA STAFFOLANI born in Macerata, began her formal training as a professional dancer starting with classic ballet and, then, progressing onto jazz dance and modern dance.
While studying Graham Technique with Elsa Piperno and modern dance at the Centro Coreografico di Danza in Pesaro, Barbara obtained her Physical Education degree at the Università degli Studi Carlo Bo in Urbino.
She has participated in advanced workshops with many renowned dance instructors, such as: Mauro Astolfi, Christopher Huggins and Virgilio Pitzalis, which, along with her own personal research, have allowed her to further develop her expertise and advancement to become more creatively versatile and a better performer.
As a self-taught director, in 1993 she founded the METE DINAMICHE Association where she has grown professionally by performing in, directing and choreographing 18 musicals which she also wrote the script and dramatisation for.
Her debut as choreographer of the opera L’elisir d’amore at the Arena Sferisterio of Macerata in 1994, which was performed again in 1996, was the beginning of a fruitful collaboration with the director Renzo Giacchieri, with whom she also worked as:
1997 choreographer of Nabucco at the Arena Sferisterio in Macerata;
1999 choreographer and assistent director of Nabucco 5° Festival d’Opéra of Avenches (Switzerland);
2006 choreographer and assistant director of Rigoletto at Teatro Verdi di Trieste;
2013 codirector of Nabucco at Teatro Verdi di Salerno.
In 2000 She started at the Arena di Verona, where she worked as assistant director and revival director for 16 consecutive seasons during the summer festival. There she assisted, among others, famous directors of the calibre of Franco Zeffirelli, Hugo De Ana, Graham Vick, Pierluigi Pizzi, Yuri Alexandrov, and Arnaud Bernard, for the headlining operas: Madame Butterfly, Turandot, Carmen, Il Trovatore, Don Giovanni, La Traviata, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Tosca, Rigoletto, Cavalleria Rusticana, I Pagliacci, Aida, Nabucco, Un ballo in maschera, La Forza del destino, Elektra, and La Boheme.
In 2002-2003, she was the managing director of the Teatro Filarmonico di Verona for the winter opera season.
In 2005 she debuted as director in the 1° Festival Lirico di Pegognaga of 2005, where her directing gained critical and public acclaim. The October 2005 issue n°198 of the magazine L’Opera, wrote: “Director Barbara Staffolani's show reserved pleasant surprises and is to be commended for its cleanliness and fluidity.”.
In 2007, she worked beside director Hugo De Ana as his assistant, for Tosca at the theatres Teatro Verdi di Padova and Teatro Verdi di Salerno, and in 2008, for Szenen aus Goethe Faust at Teatro Regio di Parma.
In 2011, with Director Fabio Sparvoli, she staged Les Pecheurs de perles at Teatro Filarmonico di Verona.
In 2011, she worked as assistant under the direction of Franco Zeffirelli for Turandot for the inauguration of the Royal Opera House of Muscat (Oman) and , in 2014 for the revival of the production.
Since 2013 she has collaborated with the director Giancarlo Del Monaco for L'Italiana in Algeri at the NCPA of Beijing (China) and for Luisa Miller at L'Operà de Lausanne.
In 2015 she saw to the revival of Luisa Miller at the Sydney Opera House. The production won the Helpmann Award in 2016 for Best Opera of the Year in Australia.
In 2016, her collaboration with Del Monaco continued with the zarzuela-opera Las Golondrinas at Teatro de la Zarzuela de Madrid, first as choreographer and assistant director and then, as revival director at Teatro dell’Opera de Oviedo.
In 2017 she worked alongside Arnaud Bernard in I Vespri Siciliani at the Theatre Mariinsky of Saint Petersburg.
In 2022 as collaborating director staged the Carmen of Juan Guillermo Nova at the Sloven National Theatre of Maribor and, as part of the Rossini Opera Festival, she has resumed her collaboration with the director Hugo De Ana, contributing in the staging of Le Comte Ory as his assistant.