Stage director Andrea Cigni graduated from the University of Bologna (School of Arts, Music and Performance), and subsequently had several important experiences in drama, movement and dance. As actor he has collaborated with international directors such as Pier Luigi Pizzi, Giancarlo Cobelli, Yannis Kokkos, Alberto Fassini, Beni Montresor, and Henning Brockhaus.
As an assistant director, he has worked in several opera houses on productions of Rinaldo, Aida, La fille du régiment, Otello, Orfeo, Francesca da Rimini, Simon Boccanegra, Macbeth and The Turn of the Screw, among others. He has directed several theatrical pieces by Pirandello, Caproni, Siciliano and Genet.
In 2006 he made his debut at the Teatro Ponchielli in Cremona with a music and dance performance entitled "Buenos Aires Madrigals," which was immediately followed by the direction of Vivaldi’s opera Andromeda Liberata. In May 2007 he opened the Monteverdi Festival in Cremona directing Monteverdi’s Orfeo conducted by A. Marcon.
In 2008 Andrea directed Gluck's Paride and Elena for the Circuito Lirico Toscano in Pisa, Livorno and Lucca, in a co-production with the Opera Royal de Wallonie in Liège. The well-renowned English magazine Opera Now stated that Cigni was one of the best directors of 2008 for this staging. In the same year he directed the diptych La Medium by Menotti and Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, which was acclaimed by the audience and glowingly praised by critics as well. In 2009 he presented Aida in Florence, with sets by Igor Mitoraj, and directed Donizetti's La fille du régiment.
Recent productions include La traviata (Pavia, Como, Cremona, Brescia), Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, Rota’s Il cappello di paglia di Firenze (Florence's Maggio Musicale Fiorentino) and Bellini's Norma (Sassari's Theatre Giuseppe Verdi), Verdi's Ernani and Puccini's Madama Butterfly (Teatro Massimo Palermo). In 2013, for the Wexford Festival Opera, he set The Italian Straw Hat by Nino Rota, with was revived in December at Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and during the 2014–2015 season directed a new production of Donizetti's Don Pasquale in a French co-production between Clermont-Ferrand, Reims, Vichy, Limoges, Saint Etienne, Rouen, Massy, Avignon, Jesi and Piacenza theaters as well as Rossini's La cambiale di matrimonio in Parma (Teatro Regio) and Reggio Emilia (Teatro Valli). He also worked at the Almaty Opera House (Kazakistan) for a new production of Abay and created stagings of Bizet's Carmen in Sassari (Teatro Comunale) and Verdi's Nabucco in Cremona (Teatro Ponchielli).
Engagements this season include Donizetti's Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in September 2015 and Puccini's Tosca for Minnesota Opera in April 2016.
Mr. Cigni is currently is artistic director of the Orizzonti Festival for Performing Arts in Chiusi (Siena) and teaches stage arts, poetic literature, drama, and law and legislation for performing arts at the Claudio Monteverdi Music Institute for Academic Studies in Cremona.