Artistic Director

Stephen Barlow

Stephen Barlow

Stephen Barlow is Artistic Director of the Buxton Festival‚ for whom recent and current projects include MacbethLeonoreLucia di LammermoorLouiseThe JacobinLa princesse jauneLa colombeIntermezzo and The Barber of Baghdad. Elsewhere, engagements include La Cenerentola (Staatsoper‚ Stuttgart )‚ Medeé and Koanga (Wexford Festival); Les contes d’Hoffman (Beijing); Die WalküreLa fanciulla del WestCapriccioRusalkaTristan und IsoldePique DameLes dialogues des CarmélitesPeter GrimesFalstaff and Norma (Grange Park Opera)‚ Otello (Birmingham Opera Company); The Rape of LucretiaOwen Wingrave (Irish Youth Opera) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Guildhall School of Music).

Stephen was a boy chorister at Canterbury Cathedral‚ and studied at King’s School‚ Canterbury; Trinity College‚ Cambridge (on an Organ Scholarship‚ where he was Musical Director of the Chamber Orchestra and Chamber Choir and founder of the Bach Choir) and Guildhall School of Music and Drama‚ under Vilem Tausky.

He co-founded and was Music Director of Opera 80‚ and meanwhile was resident conductor at English National Opera‚ conducted with Scottish Opera‚ Dublin Grand Opera‚ Opera North and the Royal Opera (Turandot and Die Zauberflöte). He was Artistic Director of Opera Northern Ireland from 1996 to 1999. Engagements in the UK include The Rake’s Progress (Glyndebourne)‚ The Cunning Little Vixen (ENO)‚ La bohème (Grange Park)‚ IdomeneoThe Barber of SevilleFidelio and Madama Butterfly (Belfast)‚ Albert HerringFalstaffThe Marriage of Figaro and Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Garsington)‚ Madam Butterfly (Opera North) and Sweeney Todd with Bryn Terfel (Royal Festival Hall).

Engagements abroad include The Rake’s ProgressMadam Butterfly and Tosca (Vancouver Opera)‚ Capriccio (San Francisco Opera)‚ FaustNabuccoLa Cenerentola and Turandot (Florida Grand Opera)‚  Die ZauberflöteCarmenDuke Bluebeard’s Castle and Romeo et Juliette (Australia)‚ Madama ButterflyDon Giovanni and Il Trovatore (Auckland)‚ Elektra and Faust (Seville)‚ The Cunning Little Vixen (Berlin)‚ The Rake’s Progress (Nationale Reisopera)‚ Capriccio and I Capuleti e I Montecchi (Sicily)‚ Rigoletto (Tirana)  and Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Riga).

In addition to his operatic work‚ he has conducted most of the major UK orchestras‚ and concert appearances have taken him all over the world. In 1997 he was appointed Music Director of the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra. Recordings include Joseph James’ Requiem with Sumi Jo and his own composition Rainbow Bear (with his wife‚ Joanna Lumley‚ as narrator)‚ and has conducted the premières of his opera King in Canterbury Cathedral and his Clarinet Concerto with Emma Johnson and the Ulster Orchestra. As a pianist‚ he has recorded the complete songs of Butterworth‚ Delius and Quilter.