David Pountney

Director Pelléas and Mélisande

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 Janacˇek cycle in collaboration with Welsh National Opera. 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 Janacˇek medal for his Janacˇek cycle in Wales and Scotland, and a Martinu˚ medal for his productions of Julietta and Greek Passion (Opera North and Bregenz Festival). His productions have twice won an Olivier award. Recent engagements include Saul og David in Copenhagen, The Passenger (Houston, New York and Chicago); Kommilitonen!, his third opera written in collaboration with Peter Maxwell Davies (Royal Academy of Music and US premiere at the Juilliard School, New York); a new Philip Glass opera, Spuren der Verirrten, for the opening of a new opera house in Linz which won the Schickaneder Prize for best opera production in 2013, and Die Zauberflote for the lake stage in Bregenz, where he was Intendant from 2003 – 13. Since 2011 he has been Chief Executive and Artistic Director of WNO, where he has directed Berg’s Lulu, Rossini’s Guillaume Tell and Mose in Egitto, and Chorus! 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 and was awarded the Ehrenkreuz des Bundes Osterreich in 2014. He was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in recognition of his contribution as an artist and cultural leader.