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Antonio Pappano

Conductor

Biography

Antonio Pappano in action.
Conductor Antonio Pappano for Der Ring des Nibelungen © Clive Barda/ROH 2012

Antonio Pappano is Music Director of The Royal Opera, a position he has held since 2002. During his tenure he has conducted an extensive repertory, including works by Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, Puccini, Richard Strauss, Ravel, Berg, Shostakovich and Britten, as well as the world premieres of Birtwistle’s The Minotaur (2008) and Turnage’s Anna Nicole (2011), and works for The Royal Ballet.

Pappano was born of Italian parents in London, where from an early age he played the piano for his father’s singing pupils. As a teenager he moved with his family to the USA. His love of opera and theatre was sparked when he worked as a répétiteur for New York City Opera aged 21. He subsequently worked for Liceu, Barcelona, Frankfurt Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and at the Bayreuth Festival, where he was assistant to Daniel Barenboim. Pappano made his conducting debut in Oslo in 1987 and his Covent Garden debut three years later. Aged 32, he was appointed Music Director of La Monnaie, Brussels, from where he joined The Royal Opera.

Pappano has conducted symphonic repertory widely in the USA and Europe and is Music Director of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He has made many recordings as both conductor and pianist. He has received many awards, including in 2015 the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal, and in 2016 was named one of the ten most successful Italians working in the UK by the PrimiDieci Society. In 2012 he was made Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana and received a knighthood.

The position of Music Director of The Royal Opera is generously supported by Mrs Susan A. Olde OBE.

Videos

News and features

BBC Proms 2016: Our must-see recommendations

BBC Proms 2016: Our must-see recommendations

15 July 2016

With more than 90 concerts over the course of eight weeks, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Watch: 'Life and death on the stage' — The overwhelming emotional experience of Massenet's <em>Werther</em>

Watch: 'Life and death on the stage' — The overwhelming emotional experience of Massenet's Werther

28 June 2016

Joyce DiDonato, Vittorio Grigòlo and members of the cast and creative team share their thoughts on what makes this French opera a masterpiece.

Your Reaction: Massenet's <em>Werther</em> live in cinemas

Your Reaction: Massenet's Werther live in cinemas

27 June 2016

What did you think of The Royal Opera's live relay of the Goethe-influenced tragedy starring Joyce DiDonato and Vittorio Grigòlo?

Photos

Antonio Pappano in rehearsal for Guillaume Tell, The Royal Opera

Antonio Pappano in rehearsal for Anna Nicole

Antonio Pappano

Antonio Pappano and Renato Balsadonna in rehearsal for Król Roger, The Royal Opera

Antonio Pappano and winner of Fanfare 2016, Nathanael Smalley, recording his composition

Music Director Antonio Pappano in rehearsal with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Antonio Pappano at the London Music Awards

Executive and artistic staff of the Royal Opera House at the 2012/13 Season launch

John Tomlinson with Antonio Pappano, celebrating 35 years performing with The Royal Opera

Antonio Pappano at ROH Insights

Conductor Antonio Pappano for Der Ring des Nibelungen

Bryn Terfel with Antonio Pappano

Antonio Pappano discussing Boris Godunov with Bryn Terfel

Antonio Pappano, Carmen Giannattasio as Nedda and Benjamin Hulett as Beppe in rehearsal for Pagliacci, The Royal Opera

Antonio Pappano in rehearsal for Cavalleria rusticana, The Royal Opera

Benjamin Hulett with Antonio Pappano in rehearsals for Manon Lescaut

Antonio Pappano

Antonio Pappano and Carlos Acosta at the ROH Cinema Season 2013/14 launch

Antonio Pappano at ROH Insights

Antonio Pappano at ROH Insights

Antonio Pappano at ROH Insights

Penny Smith interviewing David McVicar and Antonio Pappano at an ROH Insights session

Antonio Pappano being awarded the honour of Cavaliere di Gran Croce by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano

Music Director Antonio Pappano and Director of Opera Kasper Holten

Antonio Pappano

Bryn Terfel and Antonio Pappano discussing the music of Boris Godunov

Antonio and Pam Pappano, Duncan Chapman, and the winners of the 2016 Fanfare Competition

Antonio Pappano receives ISM Distinguished Musician Award

Music Director Antonio Pappano and Director of Opera Kasper Holten

Music Director Antonio Pappano working with Fanfare winner Francis Wignall

A performance at the launch of the Verdi syndicate

Antonio Pappano, John Copley, Dame Janet Baker and Tony Hall after the opening night of La bohème

Antonio Pappano

Antonio Pappano

Antonio Pappano and winner of Fanfare 2016, Andrew Mulhern, recording his composition

Antonio Pappano and Fanfare 2016 winner, Andrew Mulhern, recording his composition