New opera guy in Northern Ireland

New opera guy in Northern Ireland


norman lebrecht

December 07, 2016

Northern Ireland Opera have picked Walter Sutcliffe as artistic director, replacing Oliver Mears who has gone to Covent Garden.

Sutcliffe has extensive experience as a stage director in Europe.

You wonder why he was not considered at ENO.


Official release:

Following an extensive recruitment process attracting applications from across the world, Northern Ireland Opera is delighted to announce opera and theatre director Walter Sutcliffe as its new Artistic Director. Walter will take up the position with the company in February 2017.

A graduate of the University of Cambridge and the Royal College of Music, London, and former Staff Director at Deutsche Oper am Rhein, Düsseldorf, Walter has extensive opera and theatre experience, and has directed critically-acclaimed productions which have been seen in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Italy, France and Estonia.

As stage director, Walter has been a regular guest at the Oper Frankfurt, and has directed productions for Teatro Regio di Torino, Semperoper Dresden, Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Theater Magdeburg, Theater Chemnitz, Di Capo Opera, New York (where he directed the American stage premiere of Leoš Janáček’s first opera, Sarka), Klangbogen Festival, Vienna (where he directed the Austrian premiere of Michael Tippett’s The Knot Garden), and the Royal Academy of Music, London, amongst many others. Debuts at Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile and Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires are also planned.


  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    Very good appointment. Walter is extremely capable and personable.

  • Louise McDermott says:

    Northern Ireland Opera is a very smart and well led company…who have clearly made a very good choice. Exciting times ahead