British conductor and accompanist Christopher Willis is on the music staff of The Royal Opera. For the Company he has conducted Elektra, Simon Boccanegra, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, The Tsarina's Slippers, Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, Paul Bunyan and The Tsarina's Slippers, in addition to his work as a répétiteur with the Company.
Willis was born in London and studied violin and piano at the Royal Academy of London, under such teachers as David Martin, Sidney Harrison and Rex Stephens. He joined the music staff at Glyndebourne in 1978 before moving to The Royal Opera in 1985. With both Glyndebourne and The Royal Opera Willis has been closely involved in the creation of new works with composers including Berio, Tippett, Birtwistle, Knussen, Adès, Osborne and Goehr. He also gave several first performances for the Royal Opera House's chamber opera company The Garden Venture.
Engagements away from the Company include acting as Musical Director for City of Birmingham Touring Opera’s production of Smetana’s The Two Widows, for which he created a chamber reduction of the orchestral parts for piano and string quartet.
News and features
8 October 2013
Assistant Conductor replaces Andris Nelsons who has withdrawn due to strong viral flu.
21 February 2012
Follows previous engagements with The Royal Opera including Rigoletto and Eugene Onegin.