John La Bouchardière was born in Hampshire (UK) and began his musical studies as a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford, continuing from his music degree with postgraduate study in opera production at The University of Birmingham.
A resident staff director at English National Opera, he collaborated with a wide variety of directors during his five years as an assistant, working for companies in the UK and abroad, including La Fenice, New Israeli Opera, l'Opéra National du Rhin, Teatro Liceu, Vlaamse Opera, Teatro Sao Carlos, l'Opéra de Zürich, and developing lasting collaborations with David Alden, Robert Carsen and Deborah Warner. He also works in television.
He has since created such opera productions as Rigoletto (Opera Holland Park), Eugene Onegin and Tamerlano (Scottish Opera), Don Giovanni (Operosa, Bulgaria), Semele (Scottish Opera and Florentine Opera, Milwaukee), Carmen (Opera Nordfjord, Norway), Giasone (Royal Academy of Music) and Idomeneo (Florentine Opera).
He achieved international recognition for The Full Monteverdi, his devised dramatization of Monteverdi's Fourth book of madrigals, performed by I Fagiolini for three years and winning a Royal Philarmonic Society Award in 2005.
More recent successes include an experiential production of Lera Auerbach's chamber opera, The Blind, for Lincoln Center Festival, New York, which the immersed public experienced wearing blindfolds. He also directed the first full staging of John Adams’s El Niño for Spoleto Festival USA and a new work with I Fagiolini, inspired by the music and life of Carlo Gesualdo. He returned to Spoleto Festival USA in 2019 to create the first theatrical presentation of Joby Talbot's Path of Miracles and also directed Solomon's Knot in St John Passion at Bach Festival Leipzig.
John has worked as a teacher and director at Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and Motley Theatre Design Course.
His critically acclaimed feature film, The Full Monteverdi, was distributed in cinemas, on television and on DVD. He has also created series for Sky Arts and the BBC, and a short film, shot in Paris, of Jean Françaix's L'Ode à la gastronomie.