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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.

Philip Venables



English composer and conductor Philip Venables made his Royal Opera debut in 2016 with the world premiere of his opera 4.48 Psychosis. Venables was Doctoral Composer-in-Residence at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama 2013–16, a position supported by Guildhall and the Royal Opera House.

Venables was born in Chester and studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music. His works include Arc for BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the String Quartet for the Duke Quartet at Wigmore Hall, Hyaline for London Symphony Orchestra, The Revenge of Cotto for London Sinfonietta, ANIMA for Ensemble 10/10 of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Lullaby for Black Dyke Brass Band and numbers 91–95 for Ensemble Adapter. His opera and vocal works include In America et ego for Bregenz Festival, The Schmürz for London Contemporary Opera, numbers 76–80: tristan und isolde for Endymion and EXAUDI, UNLEASHED for Tête-à-Tête, Grimeborn and Sound Scotland festivals, Thalidomide for the BBC Singers and Praecentio for Canterbury Sounds New Festival. Further commissions include for Rambert and at the Cheltenham, Spitalfields and QuantumLook Animated Film festivals. He won the 2016 UK Theatre Award for Achievement in Opera and the 2017 Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Large-Scale Composition for 4.48 Psychosis.

Venables is artistic director of Endymion and was founder and director of the contemporary ensemble Sequenza. He has a strong interest in working with amateur and young musicians and has worked with CoMA ensembles, South London Jazz Orchestra, Hammersmith and Fulham Youth Orchestra and on projects at the Barbican and Kings Place, among others.

News and features

Could you create an opera for the Royal Opera House?

17 March 2017
Could you create an opera for the Royal Opera House?

Applications close soon for the MA in Opera Making and Writing and Doctoral Composer-in-Residence programmes at Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Your Reaction: Philip Venables’s 4.48 Psychosis

25 May 2016
Your Reaction: Philip Venables’s <em>4.48 Psychosis</em>

What did you think of the opera inspired by Sarah Kane's iconic final play, staged at the Lyric Hammersmith?

Why Sarah Kane’s play 4.48 Psychosis is the perfect inspiration for an opera

25 May 2016
Why Sarah Kane’s play <em>4.48 Psychosis</em> is the perfect inspiration for an opera

This masterful final play from one of Britain's greatest dramatists is peppered with musical references.