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.
News and features
Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of The Royal Opera's upcoming production of Rossini's epic tragedy.
Listen as the Music Director of The Royal Opera gives unique insights into the rehearsal process for Richard Jones’s new production of Puccini’s great opera.
Join the cast and creative team of Richard Jones' hotly-anticipated new production as they explore one of the most romantic operas of all time.
Antonio Pappano and Keith Warner in rehearsal for Otello, 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
Antonio Pappano in rehearsal for Guillaume Tell, The Royal Opera
Antonio Pappano in rehearsal for Anna Nicole
Antonio Pappano and Renato Balsadonna in rehearsal for Król Roger, The Royal Opera
John Tomlinson with Antonio Pappano, celebrating 35 years performing with The Royal Opera
Executive and artistic staff of the Royal Opera House at the 2012/13 Season launch
Antonio Pappano at ROH Insights
Conductor Antonio Pappano for Der Ring des Nibelungen
Antonio Pappano and Kasper Holten in rehearsal for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, The Royal Opera
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
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 receives ISM Distinguished Musician Award
Music Director Antonio Pappano and Director of Opera Kasper Holten
Antonio Pappano and winner of Fanfare 2016, Andrew Mulhern, recording his composition
Antonio Pappano and Fanfare 2016 winner, Andrew Mulhern, recording his composition
Director of Music Antonio Pappano and Director of Opera Oliver Mears, The Royal Opera
Mark-Anthony Turnage and Antonio Pappano in rehearsal for Anna Nicole
Music Director, Antonio Pappano with Jonas Kaufmann in rehearsal for Andrea Chénier
Antonio Pappano in rehearsals for Król Roger
Tony Pappano and Aleksandrs Antonenko perform at the Verdi Syndicate launch
Antonio Pappano at the ROH Cinema Season 2013/14 launch
Royal Opera Live: Antonio Pappano talking to composer Harrison Birtwistle and Tom Service before the Sitzprobe rehearsal for The Minotaur.
Edward Gardner (English National Opera), Vladimir Jurowski (Glyndebourne) and Antonio Pappano (Royal Opera House)
Antonio Pappano in rehearsal for Norma, The Royal Opera
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