Director Jonathan Kent made his Royal Opera debut in 2006 on Tosca and has since returned to direct Manon Lescaut for The Royal Opera.
Kent was born in South Africa. He came to London in the 1970s to study acting at the Central School of Speech and Drama. After working for some years as an actor, including for the BBC TV Shakespeare series, he switched focus to directing. From 1990 to 2002 he was joint artistic director with Ian McDiarmid of the Almeida Theatre. His many productions there included Richard II (also Broadway), Coriolanus, King Lear, The Tempest, Phèdre, Britannicus, Dryden’s All for Love, Medea (also West End and Broadway), Tartuffe, Ivanov and Wedekind’s Lulu (also Washington). His other theatre work includes Emperor and Galilean, Le Cid, The False Servant and Oedipus (National Theatre), a full season at the Haymarket 2007–8, Hecuba (Donmar Warehouse), Man of La Mancha (Broadway) and Sweeney Todd, A Month in the Country and Private Lives (West End and Chichester).
Kent’s other opera credits include Hippolyte et Aricie, Don Giovanni, The Fairy Queen and The Turn of the Screw (Glyndebourne Festival), The Flying Dutchman (English National Opera), Kát’a Kabanová, Adès’s The Tempest and Le nozze di Figaro (Santa Fe) and Die Frau ohne Schatten and Elektra (Mariinsky Theatre).
News and features
1 July 2014
Why Jonathan Kent and Paul Brown’s production focuses on the ugly side of Puccini’s opera.
27 June 2014
Composers from Purcell to Turnage bring the audience onstage by writing them into the music.
24 June 2014
Another chance to see the backstage films screened as part of our live cinema relay.
10 June 2014
Jonathan Kent's new production stars Kristīne Opolais, Christopher Maltman and Jonas Kaufmann.
22 May 2014
A quick guide to Puccini's first triumph.
19 February 2014
'Audiences leaving Tosca should feel a sense of waste' says the director of Puccini's thriller and its tragic lead character.