Graham Vick appointed International Chair of Opera

The RNCM has appointed internationally renowned director and alumnus Graham Vick CBE as its first International Chair of Opera.

Working in opera houses across the globe with leading conductors and singers, Graham has established a career as one of the world’s foremost opera directors since graduating from the Royal Manchester College of Music (now RNCM) in the 1970s. In 1983 his production of Verdi’s Falstaff opened the newly refurbished Royal Opera House, and in 1987 he founded the Birmingham Opera Company (of which he remains Artistic Director), recognised as one of the most pioneering companies for the development of opera as a 21st century art form. Graham has also held the position of Director of Productions at Scottish Opera (1984 – 1987) and Glyndebourne (1994 – 2000).

He said: ‘Forty-five years ago in a room over a shop across the road from the Royal Manchester College of Music drama teacher Elaine Bevis led me to understand what my life would be. She guided me not only to this realisation, but to the values that continue to underpin my work. I am honoured to be offered the opportunity to nurture these values in a new and, I hope, diverse generation of artists.’

Professor Lynne Dawson, Head of Vocal Studies, added: ‘We are absolutely delighted and honoured that Graham Vick shall be our first International Chair of Opera. Graham is one of our most distinguished alumni and directs productions in the greatest opera houses all over the world. We are extremely fortunate to be able to have such an exceptionally talented director and teacher come to work with our students; and we are very much looking forward to his involvement here.’

The RNCM employs International Chairs across all schools of study to offer exceptional tuition, masterclasses and coaching each term. International Chairs include: Sir Mark Elder (conducting), Miklós Perényi (cello), Nobuko Imai (viola), Stefano Caunuti (bassoon), Kathryn Stott (piano), and Brian Fernyhough (composition).

Graham, who was awarded a CBE in 2009 and Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2016, will take up his position in September 2017.