English director Richard Eyre made his Royal Opera debut in 1994, directing The Royal Opera's production of La traviata.
Eyre was educated at Sherborne School, Dorset, and the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. He began his working life as an actor. After directing a successful play at the Phoenix Theatre, Leicester, he subsequently focused on direction. Eyre was associate director at the Royal Lyceum, Edinburgh, and ran the Nottingham Playhouse before being appointed Director of the National Theatre, a role he held 1988–97. NT productions of that period included Guys and Dolls, The Beggar’s Opera, Hamlet, Richard III, The Night of the Iguana, Skylight, King Lear and The Invention of Love.
Eyres’s theatre work has included further productions for the NT, and West End and Broadway productions including Mary Poppins, Private Lives and Betty Blue Eyes. In opera he has directed Le nozze di Figaro (Aix-en-Provence Festival) and Carmen (Metropolitan Opera, New York). Film work includes Iris and Notes on a Scandal, and he has directed and produced extensively for television. He has written adaptations of Hedda Gabler and Les Mains sales for the Almeida Theatre. His four books include National Service (a journal of his time at the NT) and Talking Theatre. Eyre has been the recipient of numerous accolades including five Oliver awards, a CBE (1992) and a knighthood (1997).
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