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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.

Richard Hetherington



British conductor, répétiteur and pianist Richard Hetherington is Head of Music of The Royal Opera. Richard Hetherington’s position as Head of Music is generously supported by Bertrand and Elisabeth Meunier. He was appointed to his current position in 2017, having previously worked on the music staff of The Royal Opera. He has conducted operas including La sonnambula, Le nozze di Figaro and La traviata for The Royal Opera and in the 2019/20 Season conducts The Magic Flute.

Hetherington made his Royal Opera debut as a treble in 1981, singing the title role in the world premiere of Henze’s Pollicino and returning in 1982 to sing Yniold (Pelléas et Mélisande). He later studied at the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio. Hetherington has worked with companies including Netherlands Opera and Opera Australia and at the Aix-en-Provence, BBC Proms, Salzburg, Vienna and St Endellion festivals. He enjoyed a special association with Richard Hickox and has assisted such conductors as Marc Albrecht, Bertrand de Billy, Semyon Bychkov, Andrew Davis, Colin Davis, Mark Elder, Daniel Harding, Charles Mackerras, Daniel Oren and Simon Rattle. He has played continuo with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and in 2013 assisted Antonio Pappano on Don Carlo for the Salzburg Festival.

As a conductor Hetherington’s engagements have included Rachmaninoff’s Vespers (Spoleto Festival), Le nozze di Figaro (Aix-en-Provence) and Phaedra with Alice Coote and the Britten Sinfonia (Wigmore Hall). An accomplished and regular recitalist, Hetherington has performed with such singers as Peter Bronder, Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez, Mark Padmore, Marina Poplavskaya, Robert Tear, John Tomlinson, Stefan Vinke, Eva-Maria Westbroek and Roderick Williams. His performances are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Hetherington is Artistic and Music Director of The COR (Concert, Opera, Recital).

News and features

Watch: Lucia di Lammermoor live-streamed Insight event

10 March 2016
Watch: <em>Lucia di Lammermoor</em> live-streamed Insight event

Join Director Katie Mitchell and other members of the cast and creative team for a glimpse of the new production before opening night.