Claire Gibault began her career at the Opéra National de Lyon before becoming the first woman to conduct the Filarmonica della Scala and the musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic. She was music director of Musica per Roma from 2000 to 2002, and alongside her own flourishing career, she spent a number of years as assistant to Claudio Abbado, collaborating with him at Milan’s La Scala, Vienna’s Staatsoper and London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In 2004 she helped Claudio Abbado found the Orchestra Mozart di Bologna and continued her association with him until 2007.
Over the years Claire Gibault has conducted prestigious institutions such as London’s Royal Opera House, the Edinburgh International Festival, Glyndebourne Festival, Washington Opera, Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet, Salle Pleyel, Opéra Comique and Philharmonie de Paris, the Opéra de Marseille, and the Théâtre des Célestins in Lyon. She has been invited to conduct orchestras such as the Halle Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale de la RAI, Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, Orchestre National de Bordeaux, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Orchestre de l’Opéra de Marseille, Våsterås Sinfonietta and Osaka Symphony Orchestra.
Music director of a number of institutions (Atelier Lyrique and Children’s Choir of the Opéra National de Lyon, Orchestre de chambre de Chambéry, Musica per Roma), she has conducted many opera productions including Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia and La Cenerentola, Berlioz’ Roméo et Juliette, Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia and Henze’s Pollicino. A passionate advocate of contemporary music, she regularly collaborates with leading composers such as Graciane Finzi, Wolfgang Rihm, Silvia Colasanti, Fabio Vacchi and Edith Canat de Chizy.
In 2011, inspired by her experience with Claudio Abbado, Claire Gibault formed the Paris Mozart Orchestra, giving some thirty performances with her musicians each season. Recent engagements have included the world premiere of Jean-Claude Petit’s opera Colomba at the Opéra de Marseille, Mahler’s Symphony no 10 and the world premiere of Fabio Vacchi’s Veronica Franco with Milan’s Orchestra La Verdi, the world premiere of Fabio Vacchi’s Sull’acqua during Milan’s Universal Exhibition, a series of Mozart concerts with the Orchestra della Toscana, as well as tours in France and Europe with her own Paris Mozart Orchestra. In January 2018 she conducted Mexico’s Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM in works by Chopin and Berlioz, and returned to Mexico City in September 2018 to be part of the jury for OFUNAM’s international conducting competition.
Over recent years Claire Gibault has become in great demand as a tutor for conducting masterclasses. She recently appeared with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s National Opera Studio and Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and has been running her own conducting masterclass series in Paris for 3 years.
In 2010 Claire Gibault’s autobiography Musique à mains nues (“Music barehanded”) was published by Editions L’Iconoclaste. She was made an Officer of the Legion of Honour by the French governement in 2016. In September 2017 the French Minister of Culture awarded her the title of Commander of the Arts and Letters.