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Jonathan Kent



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 2007–08, 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), Der fliegende Holländer (English National Operaa and Royal Danish Opera), Kát’a Kabanová, Adès’s The Tempest and Le nozze di Figaro (Santa Fe) and Die Frau ohne Schatten and Elektra (Mariinsky Theatre). He was made a CBE in 2015.


News and features

Nominations announced for International Opera Awards 2016

Nominations announced for International Opera Awards 2016

1 March 2016

Nominees include Kasper Holten, Anna Netrebko and Ermonela Jaho.

Opera Essentials: <em>Tosca</em>

Opera Essentials: Tosca

31 December 2015

Our quick introduction to Puccini’s (not so) ‘shabby little shocker’, which features some of the composer’s most evocative music.

How to Stage an Opera: the ugliness of Manon Lescaut

How to Stage an Opera: the ugliness of Manon Lescaut

1 July 2014

Why Jonathan Kent and Paul Brown’s production focuses on the ugly side of Puccini’s opera.