Just in: New chief at Opera North

Just in: New chief at Opera North


norman lebrecht

June 24, 2019

The Leeds based company has named Garry Walker as its next music director, effective August 2020. Walker is presently Chief Conductor of the Staatsorchester Rheinische Philharmonie in Koblenz.

Antony Hermus is appointed Principal Guest Conductor.

Opera North has been headless since April 2017 when Alexander Markovic vanished overnight for reasons never explained and which wild lawyers will not induce us to disclose.

The company did not rush into a panic appointment. Garry Walker, 45, is a former winner of the Leeds Conductors Competition.



  • FS60103 says:

    Really fine appointment. He’s a conductor with his feet planted firmly on the ground, and still hugely underrated. His recent Billy Budd at Opera North was shattering.

    Wish the heroic shit-stirrers of the opera press had spent remotely as much energy exposing what happened to ON’s last MD as they have on abusing their favourite punchbag, ENO. You’d think an unexplained departure followed by a major absence at a national opera company would have merited at least some digging, but I suppose that would have meant leaving WC2. Maybe ENO should hire ON’s lawyers.

  • Al says:

    This an excellent pair of appointments. Both conductors have already enriched the musical standard of Opera North and it is great we have continuity. There will be exciting times ahead.

  • John McLeod says:

    Excellent news! He is a superb conductor and a great musical ambassador for Scotland!