Adrian Noble

In 2018/19 Adrian will direct a new production of Verdi Otello for the Wiener Staatsoper.

© Ken Howard


Adrian Noble was the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Shakespeare Company from 1990 to 2003. In addition to his theatre work, Adrian has also directed several successful London West End musicals including Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Secret Garden.

His most recent opera productions include a new production of Humperdinck Hänsel und Gretel for the Wiener Staatsoper, Mozart Così fan tutte, Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni for Opéra de Lyon, Verdi Macbeth at the Metropolitan Opera,New York Bizet Carmen for the Opéra Comique, Paris Handel Alcina at the Wiener Staastoper, Handel Xerxes for the Theater an der Wien, Verdi Simon Boccanegra for Opera di Roma and Verdi Don Carlos for the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia.


  • More info  
    06 Jun 19 VERDI: Otello
    Wiener Staatsoper

    “By far outshining Vienna’s past two Otello productions”

    Moore Parker, ‘The Opera Critic’, 30th June 2019

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    24 Sep 16 VERDI: 'Macbeth'
    Metropolitan Opera New York

    “a revival of Adrian Noble’s grimly powerful modern-dress 2007 production …  Mr. Noble’s production is even better than I remember.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 25 September 2015

    “Adrian Noble’s effective 2007 production, a post-World War II dystopian environment of gloom, with designer Mark Thompson’s black pillars and Jean Kalman’s stark lighting, framed Ms. Netrebko well. Baritone Željko Lučić was a soft-edged Macbeth, in thrall to the ferocity of his Lady. Bass René Pape was a bit of luxury casting for Banquo, who is killed off regrettably early in the action; Joseph Calleja was a generic Macduff. One of Mr. Noble’s most entertaining production elements is the witches, a coven of Monty Python-esque housewives with white ankle socks, squashed hats, and pocketbooks that, when opened, threw light on their faces; the Met chorus brought a gleeful mania to their scenes.”
    Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal, 29 September 2014

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    13 Jan 16 VERDI: 'Simon Boccanegra'
    Teatro dell’Opera, Rome

    “Noble’s conventional, but always musical and effective production.”
    Jack Buckley, Seen and Heard, 1 December 2012

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    13 Jan 16 VERDI: 'Don Carlo'
    Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow

    “The Bolshoi’s vast Main Stage absolutely cries out for stylish traditional productions of large-scale 19th-century operas. And that is precisely what British director Adrian Noble and his production team have come up with. Noble moves principals and chorus about in classic fashion, no doubt partly a reflection of his experience as a long-time head of Britain’s Royal Shakespeare Company. ”
    Raymond Stults, The Moscow Times, 19 January 2014

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    01 Mar 11 BIZET: 'Carmen' CD
    Opéra Comique

    Carmen / Opéra Comique 2009 – DVD

    Adrian Noble’s direction may be ‘traditional’ in Mark Thompson’s clever permanent set, but it is full of insights.  Among his and Gardiner’s many achievements is the way they together give full emotional weight to the José-Micaëla relationship – their first-act duet is quite overwhelming in its intensity, which is not always the case.  And in the second act the same is true of the Carmen-José relationship, which is acutely developed and utterly convincing.
    Opera Magazine Disc of the Month , January 2011

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    01 Oct 10 HANDEL: 'Xerxes'
    Theater an der Wien

    “Another triumph for Handel – and for Adrian Noble, whose production of Serse opened on October 16 at the Theater an der Wien.  Tobias Hoheisel’s set was based around a high circular wall, which opened to reveal a forest on the revolve.  Alternating between lush foliage and stark desolation, and together with the varied width of the wall’s opening, this forest reflected the emotional state of those in play, which was also wonderfully lit up by Noble’s Personenregie.  Noble made good use of the opportunities for humour, too.”
    Opera Magazine, January 2013

    “Regisseur Adrian Noble, der an der Staatsoper eine eher statische Händelsche “Alcina” inszeniert hat, schöpft bei “Serse” aus dem Vollen. … Noble hat all das elegant, mit Witz, Verve und Tempo umgesetzt; nie wird hier barocke Virtuosität zum Selbstzweck. Denn Noble inszeniert auch die Arien, rückt Händel in die Nähe des jungen Mozart, gönnt sich dezente Verweise auf Shakespeares Feldherren und Könige, setzt auf stringente Bilder und viele Assoziationen.”
    Kurier, 18 October 2011

    “Die einhellige Begeisterung bei der Premiere passte allerdings dazu: Manche waren dermaßen begeistert, dass schon einmal mitten in eine Arie hineingeklatscht wurde.”
    Daniel Ender, Der Standard, 18 October 2011

    “Händels Oper „Xerxes“ als hinreißendes Bühnenvergnügen am Theater an der Wien
    Ja. Vorbehaltlos ja. Es gibt Opernabende, an denen einfach alles stimmt. Die Aufführung von Händels „Xerxes“ am Theater an der Wien ist ein solcher. Regisseur Adrian Noble hat nach der Staatsopern-„Alcina“ dem Wiener Publikum eine zweite Erfolgsproduktion geschenkt. Und erneut ebenso launig wie virtuos demonstriert, dass Barockoper eine höchst lebendige Angelegenheit sein kann.”
    Wilhelm Sinkovicz, Die Presse, 17 October 2011

    “Mit der Premiere von Georg Friedrich Händels Oper „Serse“ (Xerxes) in der fulminanten Inszenierung von Adrian Noble hat das Theater an der Wien am Sonntag einmal mehr bewiesen, dass Barockopern nicht bloß lange dauern und aus endlos vielen Da-Capo-Arien bestehen, sondern spannend, kurzweilig, unterhaltend und schlicht genial sind.”
    OÖNachrichten, 18 October 2011

Interviews & Articles

Adrian Noble, urbane and puckish in San Diego
The former head of the Royal Shakespeare Company is organizing the Old Globe’s annual outdoor Bard festival.
Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2010