English opera loses its only leader

English opera loses its only leader


norman lebrecht

February 15, 2022

Opera North has made it known that David Greed, only leader of the Orchestra of Opera North since its inception in 1978, will step down after Wagner’s Parsifal this summer.

He was the youngest concertmaster in the country when appointed and ON claims he is now the longest-serving Orchestra Leader in Europe.

Can that be true?


  • Tony Britten says:

    I think its probably true. David and I were in the same year at RCM and we both ended up at Leeds Grand Theatre in 1978 – he as leader of the new Opera North Orchestra and me for one week on tour as Music Director of ‘Godspell’. He is a fine player, hopefully he will have a busy retirement.

    • Ian Wells says:

      If only they could go back to their wonderful original name of English Northern Philharmonia. Less descriptive than their current name but splendid-sounding and redolent of the fabulous performances they always deliver, whether for opera performances or in concerts.

  • Una Barry says:

    He’s been absolutely wonderful and will be sorely missed by us all. David did a lot more for Opera North than just lead the orchestra, and appreciated.

  • Sam Magill says:

    I spent a few weeks on trial for the principal cello position and was very impressed with David’s outstanding abilities as Leader. 45 years is an amazing run! Congrats for his well-deserved retirement!!