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Michael Rosewell


Michael Rosewell began his career as a member of the music staff of the Vienna State Opera. In Vienna, in addition to assisting Claudio Abbado and other leading opera conductors and directors, Michael worked closely with many of the world’s greatest singers, including Pavarotti, Domingo, Gruberova, Freni, Carreras, Alfredo Kraus, and Cappuccilli. He went on to take up the position of Senior Staff Conductor at the Nationaltheater, Mannheim and conducted extensively throughout Germany, notably in Kassel, Heidelberg, Wiesbaden, Koblenz, Stuttgart and Baden-Baden. He returned to live in London, appearing as guest conductor at the Buxton Festival and working as freelance repetiteur at the Royal Opera House, before Sir Mark Elder offered him his conducting debut at English National Opera with world premiere performances of Stephen Oliver’s Timon of Athens. Since that time he has conducted at the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Kent Opera, English Touring Opera, the Aldeburgh Festival, and the Bath, Perth, Buxton, Heidelberg, Zagreb and Montepulciano for other International Music Festivals.

Michael is currently Music Director of English Touring Opera, the UK’s leading Arts Council supported touring opera company. Robert Thicknesse, reviewing Le Nozze di Figaro at Sadler's Wells Theatre said, “I am convinced that Michael Rosewell is one of Britain's best Mozartians” while Hugh Canning praised “...Michael Rosewell’s unfailingly Mozartian conducting and the beautiful playing of the orchestra. I don’t think the company’s musical standards have ever been higher”. Michael Kennedy, recognised authority on Benjamin Britten, described Rosewell as “a superlative Britten interpreter” and his conducting of the Turn of the Screw at the Buxton Festival, as “intense, dramatic and as atmospheric as the composer’s in his historic recording”. Michael was appointed Music Director for ETO in 2009 and not only as principal conductor, but also as a major figure in programming, planning and casting decisions, he has played a major role in shaping a company which is now generally recognised as having redefined the role of touring opera in Britain. Last year, Michael’s performances of Tippett’s King Priam at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, formed the central componant of an ETO season which secured the 2014 Olivier Award for 'Outstanding achievement in Opera'.

In the concert hall and recording studio, Michael has directed, amongst others, the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie, the Nationalorchester Mannheim, the Staatsorchester Wiesbaden, the Stuttarter Kammerorchester, the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players, the BT Scottish Ensemble and the Aurora Orchestra. He was previously Music Director of the Kasseler Konzertchor and has also worked extensively with leading period instrument ensembles ‘The Old Street Band’ and ‘The London Handel Orchestra’ with which, as ‘Associate Conductor’, he introduced many rarely performed Handel operas to the London stage. As pianist, he has toured with the Vienna Philharmonic and as harpsichodist, with such eminent specialist conductors as Niklaus Harnoncourt, Jean-Claude Malgloire and Marcello Panni. He has conducted broadcasts for Radio France Musique, RTÉ Dublin and Süddeutsche Rundfunk, and concerts at the Mayfield Festival with internationally renowned baritone, Sir Thomas Allen and clarinetist, Colin Lawson, and his recording of Lehar arias, with Grammy award winning tenor Alfie Boe and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, was recently re-released under the Decca record label.

His diverse activities range from filming BBC Maestro at the Opera in association with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden – mentoring Craig Revel Horwood of Strictly Come Dancing fame as overall winner of the competition - to conducting a live radio broadcast of Bach’s St John Passion with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. He worked with Stephen Fry on his opera A life to come and, earlier this year, Michael conducted a Gala concert at Buckingham Palace in support of Opera Australia, with soloists both from that company and the ROH Jette Parker Programme accompanied by the Royal College of Music, Chamber Orchestra. He recently completed a critically acclaimed national tour of Puccini’s La Boheme for English Touring Opera and future plans include a new production of Die Fledermaus directed by John Copley in the Britten Theatre, and Mozart’s Don Giovanni on tour with ETO.

Faculties / departments: RCM International Opera School


For enquires please contact:

Michael Rosewell

Director of Opera