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John Copley

Biography

John Copley returns to The Royal Opera in the 2013/14 Season to direct the 27th revival of his much acclaimed 1974 production of La bohème, The Royal Opera’s longest-running production of its most-performed opera. The 2012 revival of the production marked Copley’s 50th year working with The Royal Opera.

Copley first appeared with The Royal Opera at the age of 15 as an actor. Following training with The Royal Ballet School, he returned to The Royal Opera to work in stage management, moving into directing in 1960. For many years he was Principal Resident Director for The Royal Opera, working with conductors including Solti, Colin Davis and Mackerras. His productions for The Royal Opera included Le nozze di Figaro (which ran for 21 years), Così fan tutte (which ran for 24 years), Don Giovanni, L’elisir d’amore, Alceste, Faust, Werther, Maria Stuarda, Ariadne auf Naxos and Semele.

He has also worked widely in the USA, including for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera, and in Europe. In 2008 he directed a new production of The Merry Widow for English National Opera and in 2011 directed an acclaimed Die Fledermaus for Welsh National Opera. He works regularly at the Royal College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, at the National Opera Studio and for many international young artists’ programmes.

Videos

News and features

How to Stage an Opera: Exploring the complex naturalism of La bohème

How to Stage an Opera: Exploring the complex naturalism of La bohème

17 July 2014

The wide variety of props in John Copley's classic production is intended to create an engrossing and believable world.

Operatic Dead Ends

Operatic Dead Ends

12 February 2013

From La bohème to Tristan und Isolde, a look at musical representations of famous final moments.

Young Artist Profile: Jihoon Kim on Robert le diable and La bohème

Young Artist Profile: Jihoon Kim on Robert le diable and La bohème

13 December 2012

The Korean bass on his experiences with The Royal Opera so far, and adapting to opera in the UK

Gareth Malone on Hot House

Gareth Malone on Hot House

2 July 2012

The choirmaster gives us a preview of his latest in a long line of projects with The Royal Opera House.

Conductor Change: Jacques Lacombe replaces Maurizio Benini for La bohème on 19 and 23 June

Conductor Change: Jacques Lacombe replaces Maurizio Benini for La bohème on 19 and 23 June

11 June 2012

Canadian conducts in place of Italian Maestro due to inflamed shoulder.

Students get creative with Puccini's La bohème

Students get creative with Puccini's La bohème

23 May 2012

Winners of this years Design Challenge announced.

Photos