Appointed in July 2012, Kevin is responsible for driving the artistic direction of the Company. He is committed to the promotion of outstanding creativity and artistic excellence, developing talent and widening the Company’s performing platform.
O’Hare was born in Yorkshire and trained at The Royal Ballet School. He began his performing career with The Royal Ballet’s sister company Sadler’s Wells Royal Ballet, and stayed with that company as a Principal during its transformation into Birmingham Royal Ballet. During this time he performed extensively in the UK and internationally, including as a guest artist with many leading companies. His repertory included all the leading classical roles, such as Prince Siegfried (Swan Lake), Prince Florimund (The Sleeping Beauty), Albrecht (Giselle) and Romeo (Romeo and Juliet). O’Hare worked with many leading figures in the ballet world, including Ninette de Valois, Peter Wright, Frederick Ashton, Kenneth MacMillan and David Bintley, as well as creating many roles. He also produced many galas and choreographic evenings.
O’Hare retired from the stage in 2000, entering into a traineeship in company management with the Royal Shakespeare Company. This led to the post of Company Manager with BRB in 2001, and in 2004 he joined The Royal Ballet as Company Manager. He was made Administrative Director in 2009 before being appointed to his current role.
Under his directorship the Company has been distinguished with numerous honours including the Olivier Awards, Benois de la Danse and Critics' Circle National Dance Awards. His collaborative approach to the industry is demonstrated in such initiatives as World Ballet Day and inviting guest UK ballet companies to share the stage for the 2017 MacMillan celebrations. He has brought in a new range of choreographic voices to the Royal Opera House stage, including Kyle Abraham, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Crystal Pite, Hofesh Shechter and Pam Tanowitz. Alongside the presentation of heritage works, he has commissioned many of the acclaimed one-act and full-length ballets that now form part of The Royal Ballet repertory, including Woolf Works, The Dante Project, The Winter’s Tale, Like Water for Chocolate, The Cellist and Light of Passage, as well as new productions of classics such as Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Cinderella. A continuous commitment to making the art form available to as many people as possible around the world has been demonstrated through touring, digital, cinema and community outreach programming.
He is on the board of The Royal Ballet School and Northern Ballet and is a Trustee of the Frederick Ashton Foundation and Patron of the Ballet Association and The Cecchetti Society Trust. In July 2014 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hull. He was appointed a CBE in 2018.
The position of Director of The Royal Ballet is generously supported by Lady Ashcroft.
Royal Opera House Covent Garden Foundation, a charitable company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales (Company number 480523) Charity Registered (Number 211775)