Exclusive: Royal Academy opera chief quits

Exclusive: Royal Academy opera chief quits


norman lebrecht

December 02, 2019

Gareth Hancock, head of opera at the Royal Academy of Music, resigned this morning from the RAM, effective immediately. He had been suspended a week ago for inappropriate conduct with students, following a report in Slipped Disc.

Anthony Legge, Sir Arthur Sullivan Visiting Professor of Opera, has been appointed interim head of opera. A former head of music at English National Opera, Legge has been Assistant Music Director at Opera Australia for the past 11 years, so he may not be around all that much.


Our sources say this is not over yet.



  • VocediTenore says:

    I think he already served as head of opera in the past.

    • Una says:

      Yes – I think until 2008 to go to Australia, so it’s not all that long ago. He’ll be an asset to the RAM and hopefully stop young singers either singing stuff from the wrong vocal category or before they should. Tony knows his stuff and also found him years ago to be very nice. His invaluable little book on choosing the right operatic repertoire for auditions with its notes, particularly for Germany, has served me well throughout my career as a British singer and now for teaching.

  • kundry says:

    RAM cannot get anyone better than Tony Legge!
    He is absolutely perfect for them!

  • Eleganza says:


    Anthony Legge hasn’t worked at Opera Australia for over two years; he left in April 2017 to return home to the UK.

    Also of relevance is that Anthony Legge was previously ahead of Opera at the Royal Academy, and a very good and highly respected one at that. So he would be a natural choice to fill in temporarily while RAM considers their next appointment.

  • John Rook says:

    Tony Legge is a perfect fit, is he not?

  • drummerman says:

    Is he related to Walter Legge?

  • Richard says:

    Tony Legge couldn’t be better, a supportive thoughtful mentor.

  • Alumnus says:

    A great and stabilising appointment at a very difficult time – auditions for next year’s intake begin very soon, a better chairman for that panel could not be imagined. As a former and very successful head of Royal Academy Opera, Tony is a perfect person to steer the department through the next few months. A terrific choice and RAO are lucky to get him back. The students gain hugely from this.