Stuart Stratford

Stuart Stratford read music at Trinity College, University of Cambridge, studying conducting with David Parry and later in Russia, at the Saint Petersburg State Conservatoire, Symphonic and Operatic Conducting Faculty, for three years. He was the Junior Fellow in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester in 1999 and 2000.

He made his debut for English National Opera in 2004 and returned there in February 2010 with Philip Glass’s Satyagraha. For Opera North he has conducted PagliacciA Midsummer Night’s Dream and the new Jonathan Dove opera, Swanhunter.

He is a regular conductor at Opera Holland Park and has staged performances of Eugene Onegin, The Queen of SpadesJenufa, Iolanta, Katya Kabanova, La Forza del Destino, L’amico Fritz and Rigoletto.

He has worked at the Almeida Opera Festival and has given many first performances of major new works: Tobias and the Angel (Dove), Ion (Param Vir), Kantan (Goehr), L’altra Euridice (Dove), Ariadne (Langer) and The Embalmer (Batistelli). He has staged The Turn of the Screw, Falstaff and Pagliacci for English Touring Opera, and Francesca Zambello’s La Boheme with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in the Albert Hall.

For Opera Rara he made his debut recording with the Philharmonia Orchestra of Mercadante’s I Normanni a Parigi.

David Parry

Studied at Cambridge. He joined Opera North as a resident conductor, and from 1983 to 1987 was music director of Opera 80. In 1992 he became music director of Almeida Opera. He made his debut at Glyndebourne with Cosi fan tutte in 1996 and the same year conducted Rossini’s Ricciardo e Zoraide at the Pesaro festival. He has guested at English National Opera and has made regular appearances at opera houses and concert halls throughout Europe, particularly in Spain where he has conducted the Spanish National Orchestra. His UK engagements include concerts with the Philharmonia, the Ulster Orchestra and Bournemouth Sinfonietta. As well as work for the Chandos label, he has made many recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for Opera Rara.

Sir Charles Mackerras

Born of Australian parents in the USA, Sir Charles studied in Sydney and Prague. He was Conductor Laureate of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Conductor Emeritus of the Welsh National Opera, Principal Guest Conductor Emeritus of the San Francisco Opera, Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra and from 1997-2003, Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, following his life-long association with both the orchestra and many aspects of Czech musical life. He has undertaken much research into performance practice of the 18th and 19th centuries and has conducted his own performing editions of the works of Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms with the world’s leading orchestras and opera houses.

Sir Charles received a CBE in 1974 and was knighted in 1979. He was honoured with the Medal of Merit from the Czech Republic in 1996, made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1997 and made a Companion of Honour in the 2003 Queen’s Birthday Honours. In May 2005 he was presented with the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal and in November 2005 was the first recipient of the Queen’s Medal for Music.

James Judd

A sought-after guest conductor, James Judd is music director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. After graduating from London’s Trinity College of Music, he came to international attention as assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, a post he accepted at Lorin Maazel’s invitation. He has made guest appearances with several noted ensembles, including the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Prague Symphony and Orchestra National de Paris. He has worked with all the major British orchestras – the Hallé, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and with the Philharmonia whom he conducts on the Opera Rara recordings of Donizetti’s Ne M’Oubliez Pas (ORC4) and Meyerbeer’s Dinorah (ORC5).

Alun Francis

Alun Francis has conducted more than 150 orchestras and opera ensembles in 25 countries. Since joining the Ulster Orchestra and Northern Ireland Opera Trust as conductor and artistic director in 1966, Francis has conducted most of Britain’s major orchestras, including the City of Birmingham Symphony and the Hallé. He has recorded widely, winning the Premiere Prize at the Cannes Classical Awards in January 2000 for his recording of the complete symphonies of Darius Milhaud on CPO. His opera repertoire includes over 70 works and he has recorded six discs with Opera Rara, including the world premiere of Donizetti’s Gabriella di Vergy (ORC3).

Sir Mark Elder

Sir Mark Elder has been Music Director of the Hallé since September 2000.  He was Music Director of English National Opera between 1979 and 1993, Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra from 1992–1995, and Music Director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in the USA from 1989–1994.  He has also held positions as Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. He has worked with many of the world’s leading symphony orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Chicago Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic and the London Symphony. In the UK he enjoys close associations with both the London Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Sir Mark Elder has appeared annually at the Proms in London for many years, including, in 1987 and 2006, the internationally televised Last Night of the Proms and from 2003 with the Hallé Orchestra. He works regularly in the most prominent international opera houses, including the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera New York, the Opéra National de Paris, the Lyric Opera Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, and other guest engagements have taken him to the Bayreuth Festival (where he was the first English conductor to conduct a new production), Amsterdam, Zürich, Geneva, Berlin, and Sydney. Sir Mark Elder has made many recordings with orchestras including the Hallé, London Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, and the Rochester Philharmonic, as well as with English National Opera, in repertoire ranging from Verdi, Strauss and Wagner to contemporary music. Recordings for Opera Rara include Donizetti’s Dom Sebastien (Opera Rara ORC33), Imelda de’ Lambertazzi (ORC36), Linda di Chamounix (ORC43), Maria di Rohan (ORC44), Belisario (ORC49), Rita (ORC52), Le Duc d’Albe (ORC54) and Offenbach’s Fantasio (ORC51).

Giuliano Carella

Giuliano Carella studied in Milan and Padova, completing his conducting studies at the Accademia Chigiana in Siena under Franco Ferrara. Since making his debut in 1987 he has conducted in the most prestigious venues all over the world in a wide repertoire ranging from Paisiello, through the Italian belcanto, to Verdi, Puccini and the Verismo composers. He has conducted: Lucrezia Borgia, Cyrano de Bergerac with Alagna and Normain Monaco, Turandot and Norma at the Liceu in Barcelona, Andrea Chenier, Macbeth, Poliuto and Roméo et Juliette in Amsterdam, Norma, in Berlin Cenerentola in Geneve, Falstaff in Strasbourg and I Puritani at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, La Wally and Samson et Dalila in Amsterdam (Konzertgebouw), La Traviata and Maria Stuarda in Frankfurt, La Bohème and Toscain Detroit and Copenhagen, Rigoletto in Monaco and Lisbon, Attila and Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci in Marseille, Nozze di Figaro, Don Pasquale, Thais, La Bohémein Toulon. Giuliano Carella’s recording’s include: Pacini’s L’Ultimo Giorno di Pompeiand Verdi’s Ernani for Nuova Era, recital discs with Jennifer Larmore and Sumi Jo for Erato. For Opera Rara he has conducted Rossini’s Elisabetta Regina d’Inghilterra(ORC22) and Adelaide di Borgogna (ORC32), Donizetti’s Il diluvio universale(ORC31) and highlights from Meyerbeer’s L’Esule di Granata (ORR234).

Roland Böer

Roland Böer studied piano, composition and conducting. After a first engagement as Solorepetitor at the Oper Frankfurt 1996-1999, he worked from 1999-2001 at the Deutschen Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf/Duisburg and was assistant to Antonio Pappano at the Bayreuth Festival, the Theâtre de la Monnaie in Bruxelles and at the Royal Opera House in London. From 2002 until 2008 he was Kapellmeister at the Oper Frankfurt, where he conducted a wide repertoire including, La BohèmeChowanschtschina, the new production of Die verkaufte BrautDie Meistersinger von NürnbergLa Cenerentola and Un ballo in maschera. Since then he returned as a regular guest to this company, for the new production of Lucia di Lammermoor as well as the revivals of Don Carlo and Arabella. On the concert stage he worked with the Rundfunkorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Radiosinfonieorchester Frankfurt, the Oslo Philharmonic, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra di Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Bournemouth Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Opera North Orchestra, among others. He made recordings for EMI, Opera Rara (both with the Philharmonia Orchestra London) and BBC Scotland.

Maurizio Benini

After his debut at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna with Il Signor Bruschino and engagements in major Italian opera houses and festivals, Maurizio Benini made his debut at the Teatro alla Scala in 1992 with La donna del lago and Don Carlo, followed by PagliacciDon Pasquale and Rigoletto. In the same year he also conducted La scala di seta at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, where he returned subsequently for L’occasione fa il ladroLe siege de Corinthe and again for La scala di seta. He appears regularly with the Opéra de Paris and has also conducted at the Wexford Festival, the Wiener Staatsoper, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Metropolitan Opera and Covent Garden where he conducted the concert performances of Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux recorded by Opera Rara (ORC24). For Opera Rara he has conducted concert performances at the Edinburgh International Festival of Rossini’s Zelmira (ORC27) and La Donna del lago (ORC34) plus studio recordings of Mercadante’s Virginia (ORC39) and Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira (ORC46) and in the autumn of 2015 will conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in our studio recording of Leoncavallo’s Zazà which will also be given in concert at London’s Barbican on Friday 27 November 2015. Maurizio Benini is Associate Conductor for Opera Rara.

Gabriele Bellini

Born in Legnago (Verona), Gabriele Bellini completed his studies at the Venice and Milan Conservatories, with M° Dallavecchia, Coltro, Maderna and Donatoni. He then went on to study conducting, initially with M° Ferrara and then with M° Scherchen, Celbidache and Swarowsky. As a conductor of symphonic music and opera, M° Bellini has performed in important European houses, including Covent Garden, Komisch Oper and La Scala Opera House, where he was also a close collaborator of M° Abbado for many seasons. In 1990, M° Bellini was named musical director at The Netherlands’ Opera Forum (later called Oost Nederlands Orkest), where, during his 8 years there, he conducted both Italian and German repertoires (which included, L’Elisir d’AmoreNormaCosì fan tutteCarmenMacbethStiffelioWerther and Wozzeck). At the same time, M° Bellini recorded Linda di Chamounix, Il Matrimonio Segreto and La Sonnambula for the ARTS label. He has also recorded Il Barbiere di Siviglia with the English National Opera Orchestra for Chandos and Le Rondine for Kicco Classic. For Opera Rara he has conducted Ricci’s La prigione di Edimburgo(ORR228).