Garry Walker appointed Opera North’s Music Director

Congratulations to conducting alum Garry Walker, appointed Opera North’s Music Director, commencing in August 2020.

Garry, who graduated in 1997, is currently Chief Conductor of the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie in Koblenz. Once he joins Opera North, he will conduct two opera productions and several symphonic concerts during each season and will become embedded in the life of the company at all levels and across the diversity of the Company’s work.

Garry’s recent work for Opera North has included an impressive and powerful Billy Budd and the double bill Gianni Schicchi and The Rite of Spring. He is due to open the Company’s upcoming mainstage season in September, with a new production of Martinů’s The Greek Passion.

Richard Mantle, Opera North General Director, said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Garry Walker to Opera North as Music Director, following a two-year recruitment process for this key artistic leadership role. He will be a great colleague and will bring clear, resilient and mindful leadership, driving and inspiring high musical standards as well as being fully alive to our ethos and aspirations, as we move forward into a new chapter in the life of the Company.’

Garry Walker added: ‘I’m hugely honoured to become Music Director of Opera North, and excited to maintain and advance the already enormously high artistic standards achieved. It is an organisation I have a 20-year relationship with, and its warmth, inclusivity and genuine company ethos – something commented upon by so many visiting artists – is one of the key characteristics which has drawn me to Opera North over the years.

‘Opera is the ultimate team game, with so many individuals in so many differing disciplines coming together to contribute to the overall success of performances. I look forward to putting the music and the storytelling at the centre of what we do, and I hope to bring my energy and love for the dramatic power of opera to our audiences, both on and off the podium.’

25 June 2019