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John Copley

Director

Biography

English director John Copley is The Royal Opera's former Principal Resident Director. His many Royal Opera productions include his acclaimed 1974 production of La bohème, The Royal Opera’s longest-running production of its most-performed opera.

Copley first appeared with The Royal Opera at the age of 15 as an actor. Following training at The Royal Ballet School, he returned to The Royal Opera to work in stage management, moving into directing in 1960. As Principal Resident Director for The Royal Opera, he worked with such conductors as Grorg Solti, Colin Davis and Charles Mackerras. His productions for The Royal Opera included Le nozze di Figaro (which ran for 21 years), Così fan tutte (which ran for 24 years), Don Giovanni, L’elisir d’amore, Alceste, Faust, Werther, Maria Stuarda, Ariadne auf Naxos and Semele.

He has also worked widely in the USA, including for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, San Francisco Opera and Dallas Opera, and in Europe. In 2008 he directed a new production of The Merry Widow for English National Opera and in 2011 directed an acclaimed Die Fledermaus for Welsh National Opera. He works regularly at the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, at the National Opera Studio and for many international young artists’ programmes.

Videos

News and features

How to Stage an Opera: Exploring the complex naturalism of La bohème

How to Stage an Opera: Exploring the complex naturalism of La bohème

17 July 2014

The wide variety of props in John Copley's classic production is intended to create an engrossing and believable world.

Gareth Malone on Hot House

Gareth Malone on Hot House

2 July 2012

The choirmaster gives us a preview of his latest in a long line of projects with The Royal Opera House.

Conductor Change: Jacques Lacombe replaces Maurizio Benini for La bohème on 19 and 23 June

Conductor Change: Jacques Lacombe replaces Maurizio Benini for La bohème on 19 and 23 June

11 June 2012

Canadian conducts in place of Italian Maestro due to inflamed shoulder.

Students get creative with Puccini's La bohème

Students get creative with Puccini's La bohème

23 May 2012

Winners of this years Design Challenge announced.

BP Summer Big Screens return to locations around the country for 2012

BP Summer Big Screens return to locations around the country for 2012

2 May 2012

La bohème, Falstaff, and Metamorphosis: Titian 2012 to be screened in 27 locations.

Carmen Giannattasio on her Royal Opera debut as Mimì

Carmen Giannattasio on her Royal Opera debut as Mimì

2 May 2012

Italian soprano tells us about stepping into one of the most iconic roles in opera.

Photos