Manager: William G. Guerri
Management Territory: North America
For over forty years, the British director John Copley has maintained a place as one of the seminal theatrical figures of our time. Beginning with his debut production of Suor Angelica for Covent Garden in 1965, Mr. Copley became one of the most dominant directorial influences in the history of British opera, staging some 15 productions at Covent Garden and 13 at the English National Opera, as well as numerous productions in the English provinces. He has also directed for every other major British and American company, as well as . . . those of Germany, Canada, Greece and Australia. Across a body of work that has inspired a generation of opera goers, he has become known for an approach emphasizing integrity to the truth of the score itself, as well as a boldly original sensibility. Born in Birmingham, he was a dancer at London’s Royal Ballet, and was active throughout his youth as an actor and designer. This all-inclusive immersion in the theatrical experience profoundly informed his work when he turned to his childhood love of opera. He began his career stage-managing for Sadler’s Wells Opera and Ballet and Covent Garden. Rising quickly through the ranks at Covent Garden, he became assistant producer and then principal resident producer of the company, and his interpretations of the Mozart-Da Ponte operas, the nineteenth-century Italian classics, and the works of Benjamin Britten became mainstays at Covent Garden and beyond. His productions proved to have evergreen appeal: his rendering of Le nozze di Figaro remained in the repertoire for 21 years, and his Cosi fan Tutte for 24. His production of La bohème is still in repertoire at the house, where it has played for 27 years. Over the span of his career at Covent Garden, he developed fruitful collaborations with conductors including Sir Georg Solti, Sir Colin Davis, Carlos Kleiber and Sir John Pritchard. At the English National Opera, he created landmark productions in partnership with artists such as Sir Charles Mackerras and Dame Janet Baker. Among these was Giulio Cesare, an uncommonly dynamic and theatrically charged staging of the Handel classic that decisively influenced subsequent directors of Baroque opera. Widely acclaimed, the production went on to San Francisco, Geneva and finally the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. His career in America is equally distinguished. Among his many milestone productions are a broodingly Romantic staging of Bellini’s Il pirata at the Metropolitan Opera in 2002, a fanciful Il barbiere di Siviglia seen in Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas and elsewhere, and a visually stunning rendering of Michael Tippett’s Midsummer Marriage for San Francisco Opera. Other recent work has included La Traviata in San Francisco in 2004, a new Norma at the Met in 2001, and a production of Madama Butterfly that opened the Santa Fe Opera’s new theater in 1998. In the 2005-2006 season he directed Carmen at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Handel’s Rodelinda in Dallas, and Le nozze di Figaro at San Francisco Opera. 2006- 2007 produced Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera and Giulio Cesare at the Metropolitan Opera. Last season his work was seen at Lyric Opera of Chicago (Il barbiere di Siviglia) and the San Francisco Opera (Ariodante). His extraordinary productivity in Australia has yielded more than twenty-five productions for both the Australian Opera in Sydney and the Victorian State Opera in Melbourne. In Europe, he has an enduring relationship with the Greek National Opera, where he has staged Madama Butterfly, Otello, and Macbeth, as well as a new production of Il Corsaro in 2001. He has also helmed productions in Munich, Berlin, Geneva, Brussels, Amsterdam, Drottningholm, Stockholm and Gothenburg. In the current season, he directs Madama Butterfly for The Dallas Opera. Recently, he directed Idomeneo for the San Fancisco Opera, Le nozze di Figaro for Dallas Opera, and Peter Grimes in San Diego. Many of his productions can be seen on video, including Mary Stuart and his celebrated Giulio Cesare from English National Opera, as well as La bohème and Lucrezia Borgia from Covent Garden and L’elisir d’amore from the Metropolitan Opera.