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Musical World

Stephen Medcalf

  • Director, Artistic/Stage


In recent years Stephen Medcalf directed Albert Herring and Ariadne auf Naxos for the Salzburger Landestheater (both conducted by Ivor Bolton), and Fanciulla del West for Grange Park Opera. He returned to Salzburg in 2009 for Death in Venice, followed by his debut in Marseille with Bellini’s Il Pirata. 2009 also saw his new production of Lucrezia Borgia for the Buxton Festival as well as a revival of his production of Aida at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari and Cesti’s Le disgrazie d’amore for the Teatro di Pisa.
In 2005 he earned the coveted Premio Abbiati Italian critics’ Prize as Director of the Year, which confirmed his ranking as one of Europe’s leading directors. Some of the highlights that brought him this recognition include Pikovaya Dama for the Teatro alla Scala, Milan, conducted by Yuri Temerkinov, Carmen for the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Die Entführung aus dem Serail for Teatro delle Muse, Ancona (subsequently seen at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Teatro Lirico di Cagliari and the Theatre Festival of Thessaloniki) and Manon Lescaut for the Teatro Regio di Parma.

Other productions of note in Europe have included A Village Romeo and Juliet and Aida (conducted by Lorin Maazel) for the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari; Così fan tutte (conducted by John Eliot Gardiner)for both the Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, Lisboa and the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris; Handel's Ezio for the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, Paris; Menotti’s The Medium for Opera Bergen; The Turn of the Screw for Kiev Festival as well as Mascagni’s Il piccolo Marat and Rimsky-Korsakov’s May Night (conducted by Vladimir Jurowski) for Wexford Festival.

He also was responsible for staging the Mozart 250th Anniversary Gala Concert conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner which was seen at Teatro Real de Madrid, Teatro Verdi di Pisa, Salle Pleyel, Paris and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Stephen's UK productions have included Le nozze di Figaro, to launch the new Glyndebourne opera house (conducted by Sir Bernard Haitink, and televised and released on video/DVD); The Flying Dutchman for Opera North; a commemorative 10 year anniversary Magic Flute with Grange Park Opera and Roberto Devereux for Buxton Festival Opera which won the Manchester Evening News award for best opera production of 2007.

As Director of Productions at English Touring Opera for over six years, he produced Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, Orfeo and Eurydice, Rigoletto, The Marriage of Figaro and a universally acclaimed staging of L'elisir d'amore – which he later revived for West Australian Opera, Victoria State Opera and Opera Queensland. For over ten years he was head of opera production for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and his many productions there included Betrothal in a Monastery, conducted by Mstislav Rostropovich, The Rape of Lucretia, Donizetti's The Siege of Calais and Linda di Chamounix, a Triple Bill of operas by Weill, Krenek and Ullman, Gianni Schicchi, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snowmaiden, Iolanta, Beatrice and Benedict, Mignon, and Going into Shadows by Andrew Schultz, a world première, co-produced with Queensland Conservatorium and nominated for a Helpman Award. He was made a fellow of the GSMD in 1997 and his work on the opera course made an invaluable contribution to the opera course being awarded the Queen’s Medal for education in 2007.