Breaking: Music director walks out on Opera North

We’re hearing that Alexander Markovic has resigned from Opera North.

He was appointed in February last year and started work, very promisingly this season.

Here’s what the company is saying:

Richard Mantle, General Director of Opera North, has announced that he has today accepted the resignation of Aleksandar Markovic as the Company’s Music Director. Mr Markovic will formally leave Opera North at the end of his first year in July 2017.

Mr Markovic is currently on extended leave and it has been mutually agreed that he will not return to the Company for the remainder of the season.



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  • This is very sad. The two opera he conducted for Opera North were of the highest quality musically and his scheduled future performances promised much.

    • Friends that have worked at ON tell me that the company is sometimes managed with a very limited and local vision, and little willingness to take risks and claim a space on the world stage. Maybe Markovic got tired of that?

      • I’ve heard rumour this was allegedly due to his conduct, not an artistic matter. Would make sense given tone of ON statement.

      • They do tour, don’t have their own theatre, and do a very fine and consistently good job, Lucas. They cut their coat according to their cloth, and will be 40 years old next year. They have the sense not to follow Scottish Opera or ENO. The north of England is not London and very much poorer. Maybe if some of the London people came up and supported Opera North and filled the theatre, then there would be more money to do other things. I have never seen any of the operas sold out, yet their work on what money they have has been wonderful. None of my friends here ‘do opera’ – it’s just not their culture but will go to the orchestral concerts in Leeds every week. Only so much money they can spend. And I speak as a Londoner who came up to see Opera North either in Leeds or in Manchester – or occasionally when they came to London at Sadlers Wells, so I’m not getting at those down South, but I moved out of there a few years ago. And Opera North is affordable.

  • What’s all this about then? I go to everything at Opera North and been season ticket for years, both whilst in London and now living in West Yorkshire, and it’s only on this site that we have been told. Very strange. Next season seemed to be very, very promising.

    • This was posted on the Opera North website by ON yesterday so it’s not entirely correct to state that it was ‘only on this site’. The radio 3 forum had this news posted way before it appeared here. I suggest you might cast your net wider to be kept up to date.

      • May well have done, Frederick, but I can’t spend my day looking at websites when I have music to learn and concerts coming up in which I have to sing, and a lot of travelling, plus my teaching of singing. I have many contacts at Opera North for many years, both in and out of their office, and this news came out in a rather strange way. But thanks for pointing me to the BBC Forum. I’ll make more use of that when I’m not so busy to keep up to speed like all of you are able!! I’m off to their Turandot next week, and just booked the whole season again.

        All the best.

        • Turandot for me too in a week or so, looking forward to it at the Town Hall.
          Richard Farnes was a near impossible act to follow in many ways but I concur that anyone taking on his mantle (no pun intended) would do so with their eyes open. A pity as Rosenkavalier was a great opener to this season. I did find it a little odd that the new man wasn’t down for that many of this seasons productions, or the next for that matter. Next year seems a bit fragmented to me but I’ve nonetheless taken the plunge and booked ahead.
          In terms of value for money ON is a veritable bargain indeed. Where else could one have seen an entire first class Ring Cycle for £50!
          Have to dash, websites to check out

          • Saw it last night on its opening night. It was good, and all for £15! Very different semi-production to how the Ring and Dutman was set up, but lovely singing. And Richard Armstrong was terrific as usual and so well liked at Opera North.

            Do hope Frederick that enjoy it too.

          • I meant of course Dutchman. Got problems with syncronisation of my keyboard and missing out of letters and Windows 10!

    • Richard Armstrong has replaced him for Turandot. The company announced this yesterday afternoon – surprised you didn’t hear sooner.

  • This sounds nasty, and much more related to music than the Toronto divorce. Something deeply off in this as described.

  • I was at Symphony Hall in Birmingham earier this year when he directed a programme with the CBSO and I was not very impressed by his conducting. It seemed rather ‘detached’ from what I was actually hearing.

  • Does anyone know what actually happened here? Why did he resign so out of the blue? He was a great addition to ON

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