English director Keith Warner made his Royal Opera debut in 2002 with Wozzeck (winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Opera Production). Subsequent productions at the Royal Opera House include Der Ring des Nibelungen and Otello for The Royal Opera, Peter Pan and The Merchant of Venice for Welsh National Opera and Rossi’s Orpheus for The Royal Opera and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe.
Warner grew up in London and studied English and Drama at Bristol University. In 1981 he joined English National Opera and was Associate Director there 1984–9. He has also been Associate Director of Scottish Opera, Artistic Director of Opera Omaha and Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Opera, and maintains strong relationships with Theater an der Wien and with Frankfurt Opera, where productions include Peter Grimes. He is currently Director of Theatre Studies for the National Opera Studio. Warner has directed more than a hundred and fifty operas in 20 countries, as well as plays and musicals, and has written the librettos to three operas by David Blake. He has directed two Ring cycles (The Royal Opera and Tokyo) and has directed Lohengin for the Bayreuth Festival. He has directed the world premieres of a new version of Penderecki’s The Devils of Loudon (Copenhagen), Hans Gefor’s Notorious (Göteborg), André Tchaikovsky’s The Merchant of Venice (Bregenz Festival) and Avner Dorman’s Wahnfried. Awards include the Austrian Music Theatre Prize for Mathis der Maler (Theater an der Wien).
Outreach work plays an important part in Warner’s career. He helped to set up the outreach wing of ENO and in 2006 was involved in a major production with Streetwise Opera, involving homeless people in the Newcastle area.