David Pountney

Director Chorus!


David Pountney became internationally known through his production of Katya Kabanova at the 1972 Wexford Festival. Between 1975 and 1980, he was Director of Productions for Scottish Opera. Productions there featured a Janácek cycle in collaboration with WNO. He directed the world premiere of David Blake’s Toussaint in 1977 (ENO) and went on to become ENO’s Director of Productions in 1980, directing over 20 operas. He has directed many world premieres, including three by Peter Maxwell Davies for which he also wrote the libretto, and has translated operas into English from Russian, Czech, German and Italian. As a freelance director from 1992 he worked regularly in Zurich, at Vienna State Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, as well as opera houses in America and Japan, and in the UK has a long-standing association with Opera North. He received a Janácek medal for his Janácek cycle in Wales and Scotland, and a Martinu˚ medal for his productions of Julietta and The Greek Passion (Opera North; Bregenz Festival). His productions have twice won an Olivier Award. Recent engagements include Prince Igor, The Passenger (Houston; New York); Kommilitonen, his third opera written in collaboration with Peter Maxwell Davies (Royal Academy of Music; US premiere at the Juilliard School, New York); a new Philip Glass opera, Spüren der Verirrtenfor the opening of a new opera house in Linz which won the Schickaneder Prize for best opera production in 2013; Die Zauberflöte for the lake stage in Bregenz, where he has been Intendant since 2003. Since 2011 he has been Chief Executive and Artistic Director of WNO, where he recently directed William Tell and Moses in Egypt. He is a CBE, a Chevalier in the French Ordre des Arts et Lettres, has the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland, was awarded the Ehrenzeichen des Bundes Osterreich in 2014 and has just been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from RWCMD in recognition of his contribution both as an artist and a cultural leader.