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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.

Renato Balsadonna

Chorus director


Renato Balsadonna in action.
Renato Balsadonna © Neil Gillespie

Italian conductor Renato Balsadonna was Chorus Director of the Royal Opera Chorus 2004–16, during which time he prepared the Royal Opera Chorus for all their productions with The Royal Opera and The Royal Ballet. As a conductor he has conducted I due Foscari and Nabucco on the main stage and was second conductor in The Minotaur. He conducted the Chorus at the 2012 ‘Our Extraordinary World’ gala in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and has led the Chorus in choral concerts at St Paul’s Covent Garden, in the Paul Hamlyn Hall and for Insight evenings with the Royal Opera House’s Learning and Participation Department. Since leaving the Royal Opera House he has returned to conduct Madama Butterfly.

Balsadonna was born in Venice and studied philosophy, piano and composition. He worked as a répétiteur in Italy before becoming Assistant Chorus Master in Basle and later at La Monnaie, Brussels. He was appointed Chorus Director at La Monnaie in 1997 under Antonio Pappano and later joined Pappano with The Royal Opera.

Balsadonna’s engagements away from the Royal Opera House have included conducting Don Quichotte for Grange Park Opera and Tosca for Opéra de Nice, assisting Norbert Balatsch at the Bayreuth Festival, and appearances as a guest conductor with Frankfurt Opera Chorus, BBC Singers, Netherlands Radio Choir, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Chorus and the Grant Park Festival Chorus, Chicago. He has participated in numerous recordings for EMI, Deutsche Grammophon, Warner Classics, Opera Rara and Chandos. Balsadonna regularly conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

News and features

The ‘deep humanity and dark colour’ of Verdi’s I due Foscari

21 October 2014
The ‘deep humanity and dark colour’ of Verdi’s I due Foscari

Chorus Director Renato Balsadonna on conducting his first opera at the Royal Opera House.