American director David Alden made his Royal Opera debut in 2008 with La Calisto. He returns in the 2017/18 Season to direct Semiramide and Lohengrin.
Alden studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He made his European debut directing Rigoletto for Scottish Opera. From the mid-1980s he directed many productions for English National Opera, where his many credits include award-winning productions of Peter Grimes and Jenufa. Alden also has a close relationship with Bavarian State Opera, where his productions have included La Calisto, L’incoronazione di Poppea and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Ariodante, Orlando, Rinaldo and Rodelinda, Semiramide, Tannhäuser, La forza del destino, Der Ring des Nibelungen, The Queen of Spades and Lulu. In 2006 the Bavarian State Opera revived eight of his productions to celebrate its association with Alden, and he was awarded a special Bavarian Theatre Prize for Individual Artistic Achievement in recognition of his artistic contribution to the company.
Other credits include Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Dutch National Opera, Un ballo in maschera for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, Les Huguenots for Deutsche Oper Berlin, Otello for Teatro Real, Madrid, and Khovanshchina for Opera Vlaanderen. His film and television work includes a BBC documentary on the life of Verdi and a film of Winterreise with Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake. He has also directed a world concert tour for Pet Shop Boys.