Conductors

Harry Bicket

Artistic Director, The English Concert
Music Director, Santa Fe Opera
Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music (Hon RAM)

Introduction

Internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, Harry Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of baroque and classical repertoire and since 2007 has been Artistic Director of The English Concert, one of Europe’s finest period orchestras. In 2013, following regular guest appearances for Santa Fe Opera, he became their Chief Conductor and in 2018 assumed the Music Directorship. Since taking up his position, he has conducted Cosi fan tutte, Fidelio, La Finta Giardiniera, Romeo et Juliette, Alcina and Candide. In the 2019 season, he also performed Strauss’ Four Last Songs with Renee Fleming. Born in Liverpool, he studied at the Royal College of Music and Oxford University.

Plans for the 2019/20 season include return visits to English National Opera (Orphée et Euridice), New York Philharmonic for performances of Messiah, The Metropolitan Opera (Agrippina and Cosi fan tutte) and Royal Northern Sinfonia. The English Concert continues its Handel opera series with performances of Rodelinda in Europe and the US, including Carnegie Hall and LA Opera. He will also conduct the orchestra in Wigmore Hall, the Two Moors Festival at Exeter Cathedral joined by Dame Sarah Connolly, performances of Gabriel with Alison Balsom at Saffron Hall and Barbican Centre, and the orchestra embarks on a tour to Korea and China with Sumi Jo. In summer 2020 he conducts Die Zauberflöte and Rusalka for Santa Fe Opera.


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Video & Audio

Performance Schedule

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    20:00 22 Aug 2019 Santa Fe Opera, SANTA FE

    WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART Cosi fan tutte K. 588

    Conductor: Harry Bicket
    Fiordiligi: Amanda Majeski
    Dorabella: Emily D’Angelo
    Despina: Tracy Dahl
    Ferrando: Ben Bliss
    Guglielmo: Jarrett Ott
    Don Alfonso: Rod Gilfry
    Director: R.B Schlather
    Scenic Design: Paul Tate Depoo III
    Costume Design: Terese Wadden
    Lighting Design: Jax Messenger
    Chorus Master: Susanne Sheston

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    19:00 29 Aug 2019 Helsinki Music Centre, HELSINKI

    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Messiah

    director/harpsichord/organ: Harry Bicket
    Orchestra: English Concert
    Chorus: Choir of The English Concert
    Soprano: Julia Doyle
    Alto: Stephanie Wake-Edwards
    Tenor: Hugo Hymas
    Bass: Roland Wood

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    19:30 01 Oct 2019 English National Opera, LONDON

    CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK Orpheus and Eurydice

    Conductor: Harry Bicket
    Director/Choreographer: Wayne McGregor
    Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan
    Costume Designer: Louise Gray
    Lighting Designer: Jon Clark
    Translator: Christopher Cowell
    Eurydice (Eurydike): Sarah Tynan
    Amor: Soraya Mafi
    Orpheus: Alice Coote

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    19:30 10 Oct 2019 English National Opera, LONDON

    CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK Orpheus and Eurydice

    Conductor: Harry Bicket
    Director/Choreographer: Wayne McGregor
    Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan
    Costume Designer: Louise Gray
    Lighting Designer: Jon Clark
    Translator: Christopher Cowell
    Eurydice (Eurydike): Sarah Tynan
    Amor: Soraya Mafi
    Orpheus: Alice Coote

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    14:00 12 Oct 2019 English National Opera, LONDON

    CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK Orpheus and Eurydice

    Conductor: Harry Bicket
    Director/Choreographer: Wayne McGregor
    Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan
    Costume Designer: Louise Gray
    Lighting Designer: Jon Clark
    Translator: Christopher Cowell
    Eurydice (Eurydike): Sarah Tynan
    Amor: Soraya Mafi
    Orpheus: Alice Coote

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    time TBC 15 Oct 2019 Exeter Cathedral, city TBC

    Direction: Harry Bicket
    Soprano: Dame Sarah Connolly

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    19:30 17 Oct 2019 English National Opera, LONDON

    CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK Orpheus and Eurydice

    Conductor: Harry Bicket
    Director/Choreographer: Wayne McGregor
    Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan
    Costume Designer: Louise Gray
    Lighting Designer: Jon Clark
    Translator: Christopher Cowell
    Eurydice (Eurydike): Sarah Tynan
    Amor: Soraya Mafi
    Orpheus: Alice Coote

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    19:30 19 Oct 2019 Saffron Hall, city TBC

    Musical Director: Harry Bicket
    Orchestra: English Concert
    Director: Dominic Dromgoole
    Trumpet: Alison Balsom

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    19:30 21 Oct 2019 Barbican Centre, LONDON

    Musical Director: Harry Bicket
    Orchestra: English Concert
    Director: Dominic Dromgoole
    Trumpet: Alison Balsom

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    19:30 24 Oct 2019 English National Opera, LONDON

    CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK Orpheus and Eurydice

    Conductor: Harry Bicket
    Director/Choreographer: Wayne McGregor
    Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan
    Costume Designer: Louise Gray
    Lighting Designer: Jon Clark
    Translator: Christopher Cowell
    Eurydice (Eurydike): Sarah Tynan
    Amor: Soraya Mafi
    Orpheus: Alice Coote

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    19:30 31 Oct 2019 English National Opera, LONDON

    CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK Orpheus and Eurydice

    Conductor: Harry Bicket
    Director/Choreographer: Wayne McGregor
    Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan
    Costume Designer: Louise Gray
    Lighting Designer: Jon Clark
    Translator: Christopher Cowell
    Eurydice (Eurydike): Sarah Tynan
    Amor: Soraya Mafi
    Orpheus: Alice Coote

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    time TBC 05 Nov 2019 venue TBC, city TBC

    Music Director: Harry Bicket
    Orchestra: English Concert
    Soprano: Sumi Jo

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    time TBC 06 Nov 2019 venue TBC, city TBC

    Music Director: Harry Bicket
    Orchestra: English Concert
    Soprano: Sumi Jo

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    time TBC 08 Nov 2019 venue TBC, city TBC

    Music Director: Harry Bicket
    Orchestra: English Concert
    Soprano: Ying Huan

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    19:30 14 Nov 2019 English National Opera, LONDON

    CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK Orpheus and Eurydice

    Conductor: Harry Bicket
    Director/Choreographer: Wayne McGregor
    Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan
    Costume Designer: Louise Gray
    Lighting Designer: Jon Clark
    Translator: Christopher Cowell
    Eurydice (Eurydike): Sarah Tynan
    Amor: Soraya Mafi
    Orpheus: Alice Coote

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    19:30 19 Nov 2019 English National Opera, LONDON

    CHRISTOPH WILLIBALD GLUCK Orpheus and Eurydice

    Conductor: Harry Bicket
    Director/Choreographer: Wayne McGregor
    Set Designer: Lizzie Clachan
    Costume Designer: Louise Gray
    Lighting Designer: Jon Clark
    Translator: Christopher Cowell
    Eurydice (Eurydike): Sarah Tynan
    Amor: Soraya Mafi
    Orpheus: Alice Coote

From The Green Room

Discography

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    The English Concert: Concertos by Dell’Abaco, Porpora, Marcello, Tartini & Telemann

    Label: Signum Classics

    Release Date: 05 Oct 18

    The English Concert

    The English Concert: Concertos by Dell’Abaco, Porpora, Marcello, Tartini & Telemann

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    Wigmore Hall Live: Sarah Connolly & Rosemary Joshua

    Label: Wigmore Hall Live

    Release Date: 23 Jun 17

    The English Concert, Rosemary Joshua and Sarah Connolly.

    Works by Purcell, Locke, Blow & Gibbons.

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    Handel: Arias

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 01 Sep 14

    Alice Coote

    The English Concert

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    Il caro Sassone

    Label: Harmonia Mundi

    Release Date: 08 Nov 11

    Handel in Italy

    Lucy Crowe

    The English Concert

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    Bach: Cantatas and Arias

    Label: Harmonia Mundi

    Release Date: 31 Jan 11

    Elizabeth Watts

    The English Concert

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    Handel Duets

    Label: Chandos

    Release Date: 30 Mar 10

    Sarah Connolly and Rosemary Joshua

    The English Concert

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    Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

    Label: Avie

    Release Date: 10 Feb 09

    Handel: La Lucrezia
    Handel Arias

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    Bach: Sacred Arias and Cantatas

    Label: Virgin Classics

    Release Date: 28 Aug 08

    David Daniels

    The English Concert

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    Great Handel

    Label: EMI Classics

    Release Date: 01 Jul 07

    Selected Handel arias

    Ian Bostridge

    Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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    Renée Fleming - Handel

    Label: Decca

    Release Date: 11 Oct 04

    Handel arias

    Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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    06 Aug 18 Candide Santa Fe Opera
    Santa Fe Opera

    “Harry Bicket’s incisive conducting gave the score its trademark pizzazz as well as moments of sheer beauty.”

    Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal, 6 August 2018

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    30 Mar 18 Bach St John Passion Royal Northern Sinfonia
    Sage One

    ★★★★★

    “Under the direction of Harry Bicket, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Chorus and a fine line-up of soloists moved effortlessly between the Passion’s two time frames, bringing a new perspective on a piece I thought I knew very well.”

    “Bicket started the orchestra firmly, before pulling back and letting the tension mount before a magnificent entry from the chorus, and this pattern continued throughout the evening, particularly in the chorales.”

    “Through Jesus’ trial, the chorus became horribly human, with quiet menace in the priests’ “Wir dürfen niemand töten”, through to a “Kreuzige”, that had me quailing in terror before its ferocious rage. In these complicated choruses and in the simple chorales, Bicket paid attention to every nuance in both choir and orchestra, and you could see him shaping these details in his conducting as well as hearing them in the music. There was also good singing from the chorus members who stepped out for the small solos, particularly Peter Carey’s Pilatus.”

    Jane Shuttleworth, Bachtrack, 31 March 2018

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    25 Mar 18 Handel: Rinaldo The English Concert
    Carnegie Hall

    ★★★★★

    “Bicket and The English Concert leave Carnegie Hall thrilled”

    “What a great band The English Concert is, and what a wise leader Harry Bicket is. Nary a scratchy violin nor an off-key trumpet; only bright, alert playing with judicious embellishments and a superb sense of drama.”

    Robert Levine, Bachtrack, 27 March 2018

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    09 Dec 17 Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro Metropolitan Opera
    Metropolitan Opera

    “Conductor Harry Bicket led a stylish, taut and efficient performance without sacrificing the lush melodies and harmonies of Mozart’s score. His tempo was just right, with enough variation to keep us engaged, and his dynamic control was superb, allowing singers to float their lines above the music. The complex ensemble singing at the end of Act 2 was performed with exquisite beauty, deft balance and control. Linda Hall, on harpsichord, played with unusual strength and clarity.”

    Ako Imamura, Bachtrack, 10 December 2017

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    29 Jul 17 Alcina Santa Fe Opera
    Santa Fe Opera

    “Harry Bicket showed again why he is so reliable with this music, conducting a performance replete with subtle pleasures, from unexpected touches of texture (he used a Baroque harp as a continuo instrument to complement himself on harpsichord and the singers) to dramatically revelatory dynamic contrasts. His intuition of the right pacing to bring out Alden’s staging was unfailingly persuasive. “

    Thomas May, Bachtrack, 30 July 2017

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    30 Mar 17 Handel, Rameau, Purcell Cleveland Orchestra
    Severance Hall

    “Harry Bicket charms with all-Baroque Cleveland Orchestra program”

    “Bicket’s program of Handel, Rameau and Purcell was thoroughly delightful, with three works new to The Cleveland Orchestra.”

    “Harry Bicket contributed stylish continuo”

    Timothy Robson, Bachtrack, 01 April 2017

     

    “Cleveland Orchestra takes deep, welcome dive into the Baroque with guest conductor Bicket”

    “Bicket coaxed some of the most insightful and dynamic accounts of Baroque music the orchestra has given in some time.”

    Zachary Lewis, Cleveland.com, 31 March 2017 

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    01 Mar 16 Handel: Orlando The English Concert
    Barbican Centre

    ★★★★

    “… Harry Bicket’s daringly slow but impeccably judged accompaniment. Both conducting and playing were first-rate throughout.”

    Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 02 March 2016

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    26 Feb 16 Handel: Orlando The English Concert
    Birmingham Town Hall

    ★★★★★

    “It was performed exquisitely by Harry Bicket, the English Concert and a quintet of singers that it would be hard to surpass.”

    “How Handel uses the orchestra to convey his characters’ innermost feelings becomes even clearer in concert, especially when played with the cleanly etched lines, supple grace and invigorating energy of the English Concert, directed from the harpsichord by Bicket.”

    Rebecca Franks, The Times, 01 March 2016

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    09 Dec 15 Stradella: Christmas Cantata The English Concert
    Christ Church Spitalfields

    ★★★★

    “Under Bicket’s skilled direction, the players of the English Concert made delectable sounds in bringing this intricate score – full of ingenuity and charm – back to life.”

    George Hall, The Guardian, 10 December 2015

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    20 Jul 14 Beethoven: Fidelio Santa Fe Opera
    Santa Fe Opera

    “From the moment the Santa Fe Opera house lights dimmed, with a hint of sunlight still lingering above the surrounding hills, it was impossible not to be caught up in the drama of Fidelio… Harry Bicket led, firmly and freely, the Santa Fe Opera orchestra and singers”

    Rafael de Acha, Seen and Heard, 12 July 2014

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    05 Apr 14 Handel: Hercules Canadian Opera Company
    Canadian Opera Company

    ★★★★★

    “Under Harry Bicket’s superb conducting, Handel’s score becomes less a series of fussy arias and recitatives than a fully realized cohesive drama, and a fully felt exploration of the human condition as experienced through war”

    Catherine Kustanczy, Bachtrack, 07 April 2014 

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    02 Feb 14 Handel: Theodora The English Concert, Tour
    Various

    “You certainly couldn’t have asked for a more inspired performance than the one given on Sunday, with Harry Bicket conducting the spirited English Concert and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street.”

    Vivien Schweitzer, The New York Times, 03 February 2014 

     

    “I wonder whether the English Concert has ever sounded better than it does now under Bicket.”

    Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 29 January 2014 

     

    “Maestro Bicket consistently adopted tempi that were inherently right for the music and for the singers.  (…) he displayed a natural affinity for collaboration with vocalists, and his shaping of scenes disclosed a deep understanding of Händel’s dramatic structures, which are crafted with as sure a hand as in any of the composer’s operas.”

    Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts, 31 January 2014 

     

    “This was a high-quality performance on all counts. Bicket is not just a brisk, non-interventionist Baroque conductor. He searched out colour and expression in the inner parts, drawing a wealth of rich playing from the English Concert, and kept the music underpinned with a sturdy rhythmic impetus.”

    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 10 February 2014 

     

    “Flawless and uplifting.”

    Michael Church, The Independent, 10 February 2014 

     

    “Much of the time, my ear was seized by the wonderful playing in the orchestra. Conductor Harry Bicket and the players of the English Concert found a special tone for the piece, a kind of husky harshness, especially noticeable during the wonderful “dungeon” arias in the second act.”
    Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 09 February 2014 

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    04 Apr 13 Handel: Giulio Cesare Metropolitan Opera
    Metropolitan Opera

    “Mr. Bicket draws a lithe, lyrical and stylish performance of this great score from the Met orchestra, reduced in numbers and complemented by a Baroque continuo group.”

    Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 05 April 2013

     

    “Under the baton of Harry Bicket, the musical realization, all four-and-a-half hours of it, is superb…. The Met orchestra has finally found its Baroque chops…”

    Judith Malafronte, The Classical Review, 05 April 2013 

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    01 Nov 11 Handel: Rodelinda Metropolitan Opera
    Metropolitan Opera

    “The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra played splendidly under Harry Bicket’s alert leadership. Their crowning moment was surely the soulful echoes and plaints that wove their way through Bertarido’s Con rauco mormorio, with Handel in his most inspired pastoral mode.”

    Marion Lignana Rosenberg, The Classical Review, 15 November 2011

     

    “To a remarkable degree, Mr Bicket has the Met orchestra sounding like a period band, scrubbed free of most vibrato.”

    James R. Oestreichnov, The New York Times, 15 November 2011