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Due to the ongoing effects of closure at the Royal Opera House, information about artists is only updated periodically during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Don Paterson



Scottish poet and musician Don Paterson made his Royal Opera debut in 2015, writing the translation for Monteverdi’s Orfeo at the Roundhouse.

Paterson was born in 1963 in Dundee. He moved to London in 1984 to work as a jazz musician and at that point began writing poetry. His collections of poetry are Nil Nil (Faber, 1993), God’s Gift to Women (Faber, 1997), The Eyes (after Antonio Machado, Faber, 1999), Landing Light (Faber, 2003, Graywolf, 2004), Orpheus (a version of Rilke’s Die Sonette an Orpheus, Faber, 2006) and Rain (Faber, 2009, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010). He has also published two books of aphorisms, The Book of Shadows (Picador, 2004) and The Blind Eye (Faber, 2007), a compendium, Best Thought, Worst Thought (Graywolf, 2008) and edited a number of anthologies. He continues to perform and compose.

Paterson’s poetry has won many awards, and he received an OBE in 2008 and the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry in 2010. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the English Association and Professor of Poetry at the University of St Andrews. He has been poetry editor at Picador MacMillan since 1996.

News and features

Singing for the truth: What makes the story of Orfeo so powerful?

6 January 2015
Singing for the truth: What makes the story of Orfeo so powerful?

Former Artistic Director of the RSC Michael Boyd on making his operatic debut and why Monteverdi’s music is like listening to Shakespeare.