Mark Wigglesworth lands new job

Mark Wigglesworth lands new job


norman lebrecht

August 24, 2017

The British conductor who resigned last year from English National Opera has been named principal guest this season with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

The Ensemble Modern co-founder Cathy Milliken is named composer in residence, requiring her to deliver three new works.




  • David Nice says:

    Well, he should be at the head of a major British orchestra, but lucky Adelaide, anyway.

  • jonathan dunsby says:

    ===he should be at the head of a major British orchestra

    Well he was at the head of a major British opera house but ran off when the finances got bad

    • Mercurius Londiniensis says:

      ‘Ran off’ is unfair; ‘found his position untenable’ would be nearer the mark.

      • Mike Schachter says:

        In what sense “untenable”?

        • Mercurius Londiniensis says:

          Well, these matters were extensively aired (on this blog and elsewhere) at the time. But MW’s position became untenable when it became clear (contrary to assurances given when he accepted the post) that the ENO managers were not committed to maintaining ENO as a full-strength and full-time opera company.

          • David Nice says:

            Yes, at the risk of rehashing extensively discussed old news, it was a question of principle. He had always maintained that his position was dependent on a full-time company. When that became impossible – and he worked out an extensive and viable plan to make that possible, only for it to be dismissed with all too little discussion – he had to leave. But what’s absolutely clear to me and others is that the six operas he conducted showed us music-making at a level I’ve never heard at ENO, not even from Ed Gardner.

  • DESR says:

    More to the point, has anyone ever seen Mark Wigglesworth and the Marxist critic and toy-thrower-in-chief Mark Berry in the same room together?

    Maybe separated at birth?

    (Too many Marx. Ed)

  • ben LEGEBEKE says:

    Wigglesworth is a very good conductor. Did some years ago an excellent Peter Grimes with him for Dutch National Opera.

    • Mercurius Londiniensis says:

      Indeed he is. All the productions he conducted during his curtailed tenure at ENO were excellent from a musical point of view. *La Forza del Destino* particularly impressed: although an admirer of his work for over 25 years, I would not have guessed that middle-period Verdi was his ‘thing’.

      This, by the way, is why I objected (above) to Jonathan Dunsby’s saying that MW ‘ran off’. Resigning from ENO when he did may well prove to be a bad career mistake, but it was not done flippantly, and the UK is not so full of opera conductors on his level that we can afford to lose him for long. It would be extremely regrettable if he were to follow in the footsteps of the late and much lamented Jeffery Tate and become one of those outstanding British conductors whom British audiences have too few opportunities to hear live.

      • Another has-been says:

        Actually he is following precisely in the steps of Jeffrey Tate because the Adelaide post only became available because of Tate’s sad death earlier this year.

        • Mercurius Londiniensis says:

          Thanks; that point had escaped me. Let us hope he does not follow in JT’s steps in being neglected by UK orchestras and promoters!

  • Suzanne says:

    I admire Cathy Milliken greatly, but she was not the founder of Ensemble Modern! Founding member (as oboist): yes. With many many others. I’m sure she would want you to get the facts right.