Executive Team

David Pountney Chief Executive and Artistic Director

He joined Scottish Opera as a production assistant in 1970 and made his professional debut directing The Rake’s Progress for the company in 1972, followed by Janáček’s Katya Kabanova for the Wexford Festival. He became Director of Productions for Scottish Opera in 1976, where he launched a cycle of Janáček operas in partnership with Welsh National Opera.

In 1974 he made his American debut, directing Verdi’s Macbeth at Houston followed by many other works for Houston, Chicago, San Francisco and the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

He was appointed Director of Productions at English National Opera in 1982, part of a team with Lord Harewood, Mark Elder and later Peter Jonas, during which time the theatre became a powerful engine of radical experiment in opera production and performance. During 11 years at ENO he directed more than 20 operas for the company including several world premieres.

He left ENO in 1993 to work as a freelance director in the major opera houses in America, Japan and Europe, including a significant body of work for the Bregenz Festival. This included three productions for the vast outdoor stage on the lake: The Flying Dutchman, Nabucco and Fidelio, as well as other productions by Martinu and Rimsky-Korsakov for the indoor theatre. He is a C.B.E. , a Chevalier in the French Ordre des Arts et Lettres, and a recipient of Janáček and Martinu Medals.

He was appointed Intendant of the Bregenz Festival in 2003, and Artistic Director and Chief Executive of WNO in September 2011.

Lothar Koenigs Music Director

Lothar Koenigs became Music Director of Welsh National Opera in 2009.

He was born in Aachen and studied piano and conducting in Cologne. From 1999 – 2003 he was Music Director in Osnabrück, Germany. Since 2003 his guest engagements have included the Vienna State Opera, the Metropolitan Opera New York, Munich, Dresden, La Scala, Hamburg, Brussels and Lyon in a wide repertoire ranging from Mozart to Berg, with a particular emphasis on the operas of Wagner, Strauss and Janáček.

He worked for the first time with the Orchestra of WNO in January 2005, and was appointed to the position of Music Director in 2008, with effect from the beginning of the 2009/10 season. In 2010 he conducted the company’s highly acclaimed new production of Die Meistersinger which he also led in a televised concert at the 2010 BBC Proms. Lothar Koenigs also appears each season with the Orchestra of WNO in concert at St David’s Hall Cardiff.

Symphonic engagements include the Hallé, Beethoven Orchester Bonn, Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra Tokyo, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Radio Orchestra Saarbrücken, RAI Orchestra Turin, DSO Berlin, Orchestra dell´Accademia di Santa Cecilia Rome, Rotterdam Philharmonic; Orchestra Sinfonica de Sao Paulo;  RAI Orchestra (Turin), Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin; Wiener Symphoniker; Dresden Philharmoniker in Verona; and concerts at the Tanglewood Festival.

Recent and future engagements include Tristan und Isolde, Don Giovanni, Katya Kabanova, Fidelio, Ariadne auf Naxos, Turandot (WNO), Wozzeck, Ariadne and Lohengrin for the Bavarian State Opera in  Munich, Elektra in La Monnaie, Mahagonny in Cologne as well as concert performances in the UK and Europe. In August 2012 he conducted a concert performance of Tristan und Isolde at the 2012 Edinburgh International Festival, and in summer 2013 he will conduct Act 3 of Die Walküre with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Bryn Terfel at the Tanglewood Festival.

Peter Bellingham Managing Director

Peter studied music at Winchester School of Art and the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. At the RNCM he quickly reached the conclusion that his career opportunities were more routed in administration than performance. He used the opportunity of a year as sabbatical president of the students’ union to develop basic admin skills prior to embarking on a career in arts management that now spans over 30 years.

His first role was as a Management Trainee at the Fulcrum Centre, Slough, a multi-purpose, mixed programme venue housing. That provided an opportunity to experience all aspects of theatre management. Following this, he decided to specialise in marketing, with subsequent roles at the Torch Theatre, Milford Haven and Northern Ballet Theatre. For the years between 1977 and 1983, summer holiday breaks were spent assisting at the Cheltenham International Festival of Music.

In 1985, following his time at Northern Ballet Theatre, he moved to Bradford to run the music programme at St. George’s Hall, inheriting from his predecessor a season that included the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Dresden Staatskapelle and Czech Philharmonic orchestras. Within a few months he was asked to transfer to the refurbished Alhambra Theatre, Bradford to coordinate its reopening, with subsequent roles in general management, marketing and programming. Amongst his programming highlights were bringing the Alvin Ailey Dance Company and Nederlans Dans Theater 1 back to the country, both after long absences from the UK.

In 1994 Peter joined WNO as Director of Marketing. During the next few years he established his position within the senior management team and, in 2001, was asked to project manage the company’s ‘stabilisation’ programme. In 2002 he was appointed as the WNO’s first Executive Director, with overall responsibility for the company’s operational and business management; in 2009, in recognition of an increased remit, he became Managing Director.