Theatre News

Oliver Mears takes over at the Royal Opera

The artistic director of NI Opera lands the biggest job in UK lyric theatre

Oliver Mears
Oliver Mears
© Sim Canetty-Clarke

The Royal Opera House announced today that Oliver Mears will join the company at the beginning of March 2017 to succeed Kasper Holten as director of opera, a post the Danish director is due to relinquish on 11 March 2017.

As artistic director of Northern Ireland Opera, the province's national company since its foundation in 2010, Oliver Mears has built up the company from the ground up, shown a determination to build new audiences and initiated a dedicated young artists programme.

As a director he has staged, among other operas, a noted Tosca, which won the Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Opera in 2012, and a production of Verdi's Macbeth that is currently touring the UK as a co-production with Welsh National Opera. Mears's production of Britten's Noye's Fludde featured as part of the London Cultural Olympiad before travelling to Beijing and Shanghai.

Mears has also directed productions for the Young Vic, Aldeburgh Music, Opera North and numerous other companies at home and abroad

Sir Antonio Pappano, music director of The Royal Opera, declared his satisfaction with the appointment. "I have been very impressed by Oliver Mears all through the selection process. He is fiercely intelligent, very knowledgeable about what is going on in the world of the performing arts, in particular theatre and opera, and he has genuine passion for our art form."