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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.

Joby Talbot



English composer Joby Talbot made his Royal Ballet debut in 2006, creating the score for Royal Ballet Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor’s Chroma. Talbot has since written two full-length ballet scores for the Company, in collaboration with Royal Ballet Artistic Associate Christopher Wheeldon: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (2011), the Company’s first full-length commission for more than twenty years, and The Winter’s Tale (2014).

Talbot was born in Wimbledon in 1971 and studied privately with Brian Elias, before attending the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Simon Bainbridge. Works include the opera Everest (2015), first performed by Dallas Opera; the trumpet concerto Desolation Wilderness (2006), first performed by Alison Balsom and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; the choral piece Path of Miracles (2005), written for Tenebrae; and the madrigal The Wishing Tree (2002), commissioned by The King’s Singers. Other works include Worlds, Stars, Systems, Infinity, first performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa-Pekka Salonen at Royal Festival Hall in 2012, and Meniscus for Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts 2013 World Environment Day celebrations. Talbot has also worked extensively in film and television, major credits including The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), Son of Rambow (2007), Franklyn (2008) and The League of Gentlemen (BBC2 series, 1999–2002).

Talbot has written widely for dance, collaborations including Wheeldon’s Fool’s Paradise (Morphoses, 2007), McGregor’s Entity (Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, 2008) and Genus (Paris Opera Ballet, 2007) and Chamber Symphony for Medhi Walerski’s Chamber (Residentie Orkest/Nederlands Dans Theater and Norwegian Opera and Ballet, 2012).

News and features

Ballet Essentials: The Winter's Tale

14 February 2018
Ballet Essentials: <em>The Winter's Tale</em>

A quick guide to Christopher Wheeldon's captivating ballet adaptation of Shakespeare's compelling play.

Watch: Why composers and directors can't resist adapting the works of Shakespeare

15 May 2017
Watch: Why composers and directors can't resist adapting the works of Shakespeare

Nicholas Hytner, Keith Warner and Joby Talbot explore the Bard's legacy within opera and ballet.

Wayne McGregor’s Chroma dance highlight: ‘The Hardest Button to Button’

25 October 2016
Wayne McGregor’s <em>Chroma</em> dance highlight: ‘The Hardest Button to Button’

In 2006, the future Resident Choreographer of The Royal Ballet made history by ripping up the rulebook of classical dance with a piece set to music by The White Stripes.