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David McVicar

Director

Biography

David McVicar in action.
David McVicar in rehearsal for Aida, The Royal Opera © ROH/Bill Cooper, 2010

Scottish director David McVicar made his Royal Opera House debut in 2001 directing Kirov Opera's production of Macbeth, and made his Royal Opera debut the same year directing Rigoletto. He has since returned to direct Die Zauberflöte, Faust, Le nozze di Figaro, Salome, Aida, Adriana Lecouvreur, Les Troyens and Andrea Chénier for The Royal Opera.

McVicar was born in Glasgow in 1966. He studied acting at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and discovered directing there. He is now acclaimed as one of the world's foremost opera directors, engagements including Giulio Cesare, Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Il trovatore (Metropolitan Opera, New York), Les Troyens (La Scala, Milan), Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro (Opera Australia), La clemenza di Tito (Aix-en-Provence Festival), Don Carlo (Tokyo), Tristan und Isolde (Tokyo and Vienna), The Turn of the Screw, Medea, Alcina and Tosca (English National Opera), Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Glyndebourne Festival), The Rake’s Progress, Madama Butterfly, La traviata and Idomeneo (Scottish Opera), Don Giovanni and Il re pastore (Opera North), Semele (Théâtre Champs-Elysées), The Turn of The Screw and Macbeth (Mariinsky), Agrippina (Barcelona, La Monnaie, Brussels, Théâtre Champs-Elysées and Frankfurt), Der Rosenkavalier (Scottish Opera, Opera North and ENO), Così fan tutte (Strasbourg and Scottish Opera), Billy Budd and Giulio Cesare in Egitto (Chicago), Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Salzburg Festival) and Der Ring Des Nibelungen (Strasbourg).

McVicar's awards include the 2011 Grand Prix de la Musique du Syndicat de la Critique for his Strasbourg production of the Ring cycle. In 2012 he received a knighthood and was made a Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres.

Videos

News and features

Opera Europa live streaming platform launches with a relay of La traviata from Teatro Real, Madrid on 8 May 2015

Opera Europa live streaming platform launches with a relay of La traviata from Teatro Real, Madrid on 8 May 2015

7 May 2015

The Opera Platform will offer relays from 15 European opera houses, beginning with David McVicar’s new production of Verdi’s classic.

Opera Essentials: Die Zauberflöte

Opera Essentials: Die Zauberflöte

12 February 2015

Our quick guide to Mozart’s glorious fantasy opera.

How to Stage an Opera: Faust and the 19th Century

How to Stage an Opera: Faust and the 19th Century

22 April 2014

How the vernacular of Gounod’s era makes the work anything but trivial.

Photos

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

David McVicar

Creating a fibreglass mold of the severed head prop used in Salome

Vittorio Grigolo as Faust in Faust

The cast of The Royal Opera in Faust

René Pape as Mephistofeles and Angela Gheorghiu as Marguerite in Faust

Albina Shagimuratova and Charles Castronovo in Die Zauberflöte, The Royal Opera

David McVicar

Maria Bengtsson as Countess Almaviva and Christopher Maltman as Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro

Roberto Alagna as Radames in Aida.

Anna Caterina Antonacci as Cassandra in Les Troyens

Scenery from Les Troyens

David McVicar in rehearsal for Aida, The Royal Opera

The Royal Opera in Les Troyens

Props artist Steve Jolley working on the severed head prop used in Salome

The Royal Opera's Les Troyens

Director David McVicar in rehearsal for Adriana Lecouvreur, The Royal Opera

Ekaterina Siurina and Charles Castronovo in Die Zauberflöte, The Royal Opera

Eva-Maria Westbroek as Dido and Bryan Hymel as Aeneas in Les Troyens

Anna Caterina Antonacci as Cassandra in Les Troyens

Eva-Maria Westbroek as Dido, Bryan Hymel as Aeneas and Barbara Senator as Ascanius in Les Troyens

Barbara Senator as Ascanius, Robert Lloyd as Priam, Sophia Mcgregor as Andromache, Sebastian Wright as Astanax, Pamela Helen Stephen as Hecuba and Anna Caterina Antonacci as Cassandra in Les Troyens

The rough clay model of the severed head prop used in Salome

The clay model of the severed head prop used in Salome

Props artist Steve Jolley working on the severed head prop used in Salome

Applying detail to the severed head prop used in Salome