Friday, September 3rd, 2004
Il Maestro - Antonio Pappano

Antonio Pappano was born in London of Italian parents on 30 December 1959. He studied piano, composition and conducting in the United States under Norma Verrilli, Arnold Franchetti and Gustav Meier. From the very beginning of his career he displayed a distinct love of opera and theatre. His work as a repetiteur and assistant conductor rapidly led to his engagement in theatres throughout the world: New York City Opera, Gran Teatro del Liceo (Barcelona), Frankfurt Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Bayreuth Festival, where he was assistant to Daniel Barenboim for Tristan und Isolde, Parsifal and the Der Ring des Nibelungen.

In 1987 Pappano made his debut as an opera conductor with La bohème at the Norske Opera in Oslo and was appointed Musical Director there in 1990. During this period, he also made his conducting debuts at Covent Garden (La bohème, June 1990), English National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Théâtre du Châtelet and Berlin Staatsoper.

At the age of 32 Pappano was named Music Director of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Belgium. During his tenure there he conducted numerous opera productions and continued his work as a pianist by accompanying many international singers in the recital series at La Monnaie. In 1993, Pappano made a notable debut at the Vienna Staatsoper, replacing Christoph von Dohnànyi at the last minute in a new production of Wagner’s Siegfried, for which he received unanimous acclaim.

He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, New York in 1997 in a new production of Eugene Onegin and the same year became Israel Philharmonic Orchestra’s principal guest conductor. In 1999, he made his debut with the Bayreuth Festspiele conducting a new production of Lohengrin.

Pappano has also conducted the Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre de Lyon, The Radio Symphony Orchestra of Berlin, The Tokyo Philharmonic, the Gurzenich Orchestra in Cologne, the Orchestra Philharmonic of Radio-France, the Chicago Symphony, the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestra of Teatro alla Scala, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.

He has recorded Don Carlo for EMI Classics (CD and video) as well as La bohème, La rondine (awarded Best Recording of the Year by Gramophone Magazine), Il trittico, Massenet’s Werther and Manon, Tosca and Il trovatore. As a pianist he has recorded a recital of Rossini songs with Rockwell Blake, a recital of Scandinavian songs and a Liszt/Schumann recital with Barbara Bonney (DECCA). A recording of Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante and ‘Cello Sonata with Sarah Chang and the London Symphony Orchestra is his most recent release on EMI Classics and a recording of French works with Maxim Vengerov and the Philharmonia Orchestra will be released in autumn 2003. He was awarded ‘Artist of the Year 2000’ by Gramophone.
In 1999 Antonio Pappano was appointed Musical Director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, a position he took up in September 2002. During his inaugural Season he conducted five productions: Ariadne auf Naxos, Wozzeck, Falstaff, Madama Butterfly and Pagliacci. During the 2003/4 Season he will conduct a further five productions, four of them new to the House: Don Giovanni, Aida; Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Gounod’s Faust and Peter Grimes - a production he conducted whilst Music Director at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie.

Link to Royal Opera House