English conductor Mark Elder made his Royal Opera debut in 1976 conducting Rigoletto as a member of The Royal Opera's music staff. Since 1995 he has appeared nearly every Season with The Royal Opera as a freelance conductor, in repertory including Linda di Chamounix in concert, Adriana Lecouvreur, Fidelio, The Tsar’s Bride, La bohème, Wozzeck and Il barbiere di Siviglia.
Elder studied music at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he was a choral scholar. He went on to further training under Edward Downes and held a two-year post with Opera Australia 1972–4. He was Music Director of English National Opera 1979–93, conducting many much praised productions. He was appointed Music Director of the Hallé Orchestra in 2000. He appears regularly with the Hallé in Manchester and on tour, and has made many acclaimed recordings with the orchestra. Elder also works as a guest conductor with many of the world’s leading orchestras. He is a Principal Artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and appears annually at the BBC Proms.
Opera forms a major part of Elder’s career, and he conducts a wide range of repertory, engagements including Falstaff, Billy Budd and La traviata (Glyndebourne), Tannhäuser (Paris Opéra) and Parsifal (BBC Proms). He is Artistic Director of the recording label Opera Rara. Elder was made a CBE in 1989 and received a knighthood in 2008.
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Conductor Mark Elder and mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly explore the music of Rossini through Il barbiere di Siviglia.