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Kasper Holten

Director

Biography

Kasper Holten in action.
Kasper Holten in rehearsal for Król Roger, The Royal Opera © 2015 ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper

Danish director Kasper Holten was Director of Opera for The Royal Opera 2011–17. He made his directorial debut at the Royal Opera House with Eugene Onegin in 2013 and went on to direct Don Giovanni, L’Ormindo, Król Roger and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for The Royal Opera.

Holten was born in Copenhagen in 1973. His passion for opera began at the age of nine after he saw a performance of Carmen. He trained by assisting directors such as Harry Kupfer, John Cox and David Pountney. He was appointed artistic director of Royal Danish Opera in 2000 at the age of 27, a post he held for 11 years. In 2005 he supervised the company’s relocation to a new theatre. Productions have included Idomeneo (Vienna State Opera), Der Freischütz, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Tannhäuser and Le Grand Macabre (Copenhagen), The Turn of the Screw (La Scala, Milan), Lohengrin (Deutsche Oper Berlin) and Béatrice et Bénédict, Le nozze di Figaro (Theater an der Wien), Der fliegende Holländer (Finnish National Opera) and Carmen (Bregenz Festival). In 2010 he adapted Don Giovanni for cinema in his film Juan, released worldwide. He is Vice-President of Opera Europa, an association of European opera houses and festivals. He has received a knighthood (2003) and a medal Ingenio et Arti (2011) from Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, and in 2017 received the Commander of Romania’s Order of Faithful Service.

At the Royal Opera House, Holten was devoted to promoting new operatic commissions both on the main stage and in the Linbury Studio Theatre, and to introducing more new productions and increasing the variety of production styles seen at the Royal Opera House.

Videos

News and features

Your Reaction: What did you think of Wagner's <em>Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg</em>?

Your Reaction: What did you think of Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg?

13 March 2017

Kasper Holten makes his farewell with a performance of Wagner's comic opera, conducted by Antonio Pappano and starring Bryn Terfel.

Why Wagner's <em>Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg</em> is an opera for our times

Why Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg is an opera for our times

6 March 2017

Wagner may have written his opera in the 19th century, but its themes of tension between populism and elitism make it strikingly relevant today.

Watch: Insights into <em>Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg</em>

Watch: Insights into Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

13 February 2017

Bryn Terfel, Antonio Pappano and Kasper Holten explored the music and production of Wagner's opera.

Posts by Kasper Holten

Small adjustments made to production of <em>Guillaume Tell</em>

Small adjustments made to production of Guillaume Tell

5 July 2015

The scene that caused some concern at the opening night has not changed in its essence.

The ultimate VIP pass: Go above and below, as well as backstage, at The Royal Opera

The ultimate VIP pass: Go above and below, as well as backstage, at The Royal Opera

8 July 2014

Our new interactive experience allows you to see parts of the ‘Opera Machine’ usually hidden from audiences.

The Royal Opera Chorus and Plácido Domingo to make their West End LIVE debut this weekend

The Royal Opera Chorus and Plácido Domingo to make their West End LIVE debut this weekend

20 June 2014

Come and hear great choral moments from opera for free in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 21 June 2014.

Photos

Kasper Holten in rehearsal for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, The Royal Opera

Kasper Holten and Simon Keenlyside in rehearsals for Eugene Onegin

John Tomlinson with Kasper Holten, celebrating 35 years performing with The Royal Opera

Executive and artistic staff of the Royal Opera House at the 2012/13 Season launch

Kasper Holten (centre) and The Royal Opera Chorus in rehearsal for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, The Royal Opera

Antonio Pappano and Kasper Holten in rehearsal for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, The Royal Opera

The Olivier Awards 2016

Kasper Holten in rehearsal for Król Roger, The Royal Opera

Director Kasper Holten in rehearsal for Król Roger, The Royal Opera

Kasper Holten speaking at the ROH Bridge Culture Counts conference

Music Director Antonio Pappano and Director of Opera Kasper Holten

Design Challenge - Kasper Holten and winner Rhona-Anne Breeze

Bryn Terfel and Kasper Holten with The Royal Opera Chorus in rehearsal for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, The Royal Opera

The Olivier Awards 2016

Rehearsals for The Royal Opera's L'Ormindo in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe

Rehearsals for The Royal Opera's L'Ormindo in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe

Kasper Holten in rehearsals for Król Roger

Kasper Holten introduces Deloitte Ignite festival

Design Challenge - Kasper Holten and Mollie Gibb, winner in hair and make up design

Director of Opera Kasper Holten

Kasper Holten

Kasper Holten and Bryn Terfel with The Royal Opera Chorus in rehearsal for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, The Royal Opera

The Olivier Awards 2016

Mariusz Kwiecień in the title role and director Kasper Holten in rehearsal for Król Roger, The Royal Opera

Music Director Antonio Pappano and Director of Opera Kasper Holten

Kevin O'Hare and Kasper Holten at the Our Extraordinary World Gala

Set Design Winner of the Tosca Design Challenge

Kasper Holten with members of the Royal Opera Chorus in rehearsal for Eugene Onegin