Jonathan is Associate Conductor of Longborough Festival Opera and Music Director of Opera Project. In 2016 he was appointed Music Director of Mid Wales Opera. He was born in London and read music at Bristol University where he won both university undergraduate and British Academy postgraduate arts scholarships. He later studied conducting with George Hurst. He co-founded Opera Project in 1993 with whom he has conducted much of the standard repertoire, ranging from Lampe’s Pyramus and Thisbe, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona to such twentieth century works as Walton’s The Bear, Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, Ravel’s L’Heure Espagnole, Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale and Britten’s three chamber operas The Turn of the Screw, The Beggar’s Opera and Albert Herring.
For Longborough Festival Opera he has conducted A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jenufa, Katya Kabanová, The Cunning Little Vixen, Tosca, La bohème, Falstaff, Madama Butterfly, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, La Traviata, The Barber of Seville, Albert Herring and Eugene Onegin. He has conducted regularly at West Green House Opera since 2000 where recent productions include Un ballo in maschera, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, The Tales of Hoffmann, Die Fledermaus, Falstaff, Lehar’s The Merry Widow, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi and Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. He recently conducted The Magic Flute and two performances of Handel’s Semele for Mid Wales Opera and will be touring William Walton’s The Bear with MWO across Wales during Autumn 2017. In addition to conducting Jonathan has created some twenty reduced orchestrations of operas that are now performed widely across Europe, Asia, the USA and Canada.
Vividly portrayed under Richard Studer’s direction”
Whilst studying Veterinary at Bristol University Richard became heavily involved in directing through the University Opera Society where he met and formed a longstanding artistic partnership with the conductor Jonathan Lyness. He is co-founder and Artistic Director of Opera Project, directing and designing their touring productions. Since making his professional debut with Don Giovanni at The Bristol Old Vic in 1994 he has directed the majority of the core repertoire in over 90 productions for theatres and festivals across the UK both with Opera Project and as a freelance director. The last decade has seen his reputation grow for his incisive interpretations of the twentieth century repertoire, notably Britten & Janáček.
Recent productions include: for Longborough Festival Opera: Jenufa, Tosca, The Barber of Seville, Albert Herring, Madama Butterfly, The Cunning Little Vixen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Falstaff, Katya Kabanova and La Boheme. For West Green House Opera: Ravel’s L’heure espagnol, The Tales of Hoffman, Un ballo in maschera, The Merry Widow, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Marriage of Figaro, A Little Night Music and Gianni Schicchi; for The Tobacco Factory Theatres, Falstaff, Eugene Onegin, The Magic Flute, Madama Butterfly and Don Giovanni. Translation credits include La Bohème, The Barber of Seville, La Cenerentola, Il Seraglio and Don Pasquale. In addition, Richard is an experienced workshop leader producing education projects for schools and arts organizations including LFO. He was recently appointed Artistic Director of Mid Wales Opera, for whom he directed The Magic Flute in 2017.