News and Features
Stephen Langridge appointed Artistic Director of Glyndebourne
Stephen is currently Director for Opera and Drama at Gothenburg Opera, Sweden, a role he has occupied for five years. He will take up his new role at Glyndebourne in spring 2019.
A strong advocate of contemporary music, he has directed several world premieres, including productions for the Royal Opera House, Aldeburgh Festival, Dutch National Touring Opera and Glyndebourne.
His work also includes productions of Otello for Salzburg Festival, Parsifal for the Royal Opera House and La damnation de Faust at Lyric Opera of Chicago as well as several productions at Gothenburg Opera.
A passionate believer in music education and talent development, throughout his career Stephen has alternated between the leading operatic stages and groundbreaking community projects. He is the son of the late tenor Philip Langridge.
Stephen commented: ‘Underlying all my work is the belief that opera is a natural and dynamic form of human expression, to which everybody should have access, both as a participant and audience. I am thrilled to take up this appointment as Artistic Director of Glyndebourne, and join the superb team of talented and ambitious people making extraordinary and transformational opera experiences.’
Gus Christie, Executive Chairman of Glyndebourne and acting Artistic Director, said: ‘I am delighted that Stephen will be joining Glyndebourne as our new Artistic Director – having worked here as a director back in the 1990s, he has a strong understanding of the company. From both his work as a stage director all around the world and his experience running the Gothenburg Opera house, I am confident that he will be a great fit for the company and I am very much looking forward to having him co-leading Glyndebourne in the coming years.’
Robin Ticciati, Music Director of Glyndebourne, said: ‘I am hugely looking forward to creating Glyndebourne’s next chapter with Stephen. His vision of what opera can represent for people today and how it can develop as an artform excites me greatly.’
As Artistic Director, Stephen Langridge will join Sarah Hopwood, Managing Director, who together will co-lead Glyndebourne and ensure it achieves the highest artistic standards, whilst maintaining the financial independence that enables it to be bold and innovative.
Stephen Langridge – biography
Born in 1963 in London, Stephen Langridge studied drama at Exeter University. In his third year at university he saw a touring production of Harrison Birtwistle’s Punch and Judy, which inspired him to become an opera director, and initiated a lifelong passion for the music of Birtwistle.
He went on to work with innovative small-scale companies such as Opera Factory (which he joined as Assistant Director) and Pimlico Opera as well as the Royal Opera House, Opera North and Scottish Opera. During this time he developed an interest in devised music theatre and workshopping new work with composers and librettists.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Stephen directed a number of education projects at Glyndebourne, including two youth operas commissioned by Glyndebourne for the main stage – Misper (1997) and Zoë (2000).
Pursuing his passion for contemporary music, Stephen has directed a number of Birtwistle operas including the acclaimed world premiere of The Minotaur at the Royal Opera House and The Io Passion at the Aldeburgh Festival.
Further engagements around the world have included Madama Butterfly (Norwegian National Opera), Lohengrin (Royal Swedish Opera), Don Carlo (Teatro Nacional de São Carlos), La damnation de Faust (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Otello (Salzburg Festival and Rome) and La bohème and Hippolyte et Aricie (Dutch Touring Opera).
Productions that Stephen has directed at Gothenburg Opera include Elektra, Le nozze di Figaro and Ambroise Thomas’s Hamlet.
Stephen is well known for his education, development, and training work (including projects in France, Spain, Germany, Finland, Holland, Sweden, Senegal, South Africa, and throughout the UK), and for his theatre work in unusual settings, including Bernstein’s West Side Story and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar with large casts of prisoners in various British high security prisons, and Ngoma, a multi-racial music and theatre project in South African townships. For many years he has been working with Share Music Sweden, devising music theatre with integrated groups of disabled and non-disabled young people, and last year brought together Share Music and Gothenburg Opera in an inclusive new opera, Shanghai, commissioned from Danish composer, Line Tjørnhøj.
Stephen is married with two teenage daughters, and enjoys running (without headphones), even entering the occasional 5k or 10k race.