Finnegan Downie Dear makes conducting debut at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden



Fresh from the news of his nomination for the Newcomer Award at the 2020 International Opera Awards, young British conductor Finnegan Downie Dear makes his Royal Opera House debut conducting two performances of Gerald Barry’s Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. Having assisted Thomas Adès throughout preparations, Finnegan will lead the Opera House Orchestra in performance for the first time on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February.

Antony McDonald’s production – the first staged production of Barry’s 50-minute opera – has been described as “brilliant in every surreal detail” by The Guardian’s Andrew Clements, and features two starry casts that include AH singers Nicky Spence, Robert Murray and Mark Stone. View select production images below.

Later this season, Finnegan returns to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf, conducting a contemporary ballet programme that includes the world premiere of Dark with Excessive Bright by Robert Binet, with music by Missy Mazzoli plus Beethoven Symphony No. 7. He then returns to the Royal Opera House to conduct a new production of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw in June.

As Music Director of the award-winning company Shadwell Opera, he collaborates with the UK’s finest young singers and instrumentalists, bringing stagings of seminal twentieth-century and contemporary works to new audiences. Earlier this season they toured Ravel’s Ma mère l’Oye and Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are, giving the Russian premiere of the latter at the Mariinsky Theatre, St. Petersburg. The Times gave the London performance an excellent four-star review, writing:

“The Shadwell Ensemble played with terrific fervour under Finnegan Downie Dear”…”a lovely performance by the orchestra of Ravel’s fairytale ballet score, Mother Goose, the silky sonorities beautifully balanced by Downie Dear”.

Recent symphonic engagements include debut performances with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Resonanz Hamburg, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and the State Philharmonic of Kosice.

Future plans include conducting debuts at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Royal Swedish Opera, Frankfurt Opera, at the Tiroler Festival; and at the Wiener Konzerthaus with Klangforum.

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