John Copley

Recipient of the 2010 San Francisco Opera Medal, John Copley made his San Francisco Opera debut directing Handel’s Giulio Cesare in 1982 and celebrates his thirtieth engagement with the Company this season. In addition to Handel’s Orlando and Semele, his other San Francisco Opera credits include six seasons of La Traviata, the U.S. premiere of Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage, Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Queen of Spades, Il Trovatore, Idomeneo,  Anna Bolena, Peter Grimes, Manon, and Ariodante. Born in Birmingham, England, he trained at London’s Royal Ballet School and the Central School of Arts and Crafts before joining the Royal Opera as assistant producer and, later, principal resident producer; he has also directed fifteen productions for English National Opera. Among his U.S. credits are Lucia di Lammermoor and Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Rodelinda, Hansel and Gretel, and Rossini’s Ermione for the Dallas Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera premiere of Bellini’s Il Pirata. Copley’s production of Madama Butterfly inaugurated the Santa Fe Opera’s new theater in 1998. He has also directed in Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam, and Brussels, as well as at Milan’s La Scala and several seasons at Venice’s La Fenice. Copley directed the opening production of the Sydney Opera House in 1973 and returned for more than twenty productions there. Recent stagings include Giulio Cesare, Norma, and L’Elisir d’Amore at the Met; Carmen at Lyric Opera of Chicago; Lucia di Lammermoor at Opera Australia; Rodelinda and Le Nozze di Figaro at the Dallas Opera; and La Bohème at Covent Garden.