Sir Antonio Pappano, music director at the Royal Opera House in London, has announced that he will remain in the position until at least the end of the house’s 2022-23 season.
The British-born Italian conductor and pianist took up the post in 2002, becoming the youngest conductor to lead the ROH’s orchestra. Pappano will be the longest-serving music director in the opera house’s history at the end of the current 2018-19 season.
Pappano commented: “I am absolutely delighted to continue as music director of the Royal Opera House until at least 2022-23. This place feels like my home and I am so excited to continue my artistic journey here, conducting the repertory that Oliver Mears and I have developed together, while continuing my collaboration with the finest orchestra and chorus in the world.”
During his tenure at Covent Garden, Pappano has directed a diverse and extensive repertory, including two world premieres: Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur (2008) and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole (2011). More recently, in the 2018 season he concluded an acclaimed fourth full cycle of performances of Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung, 1876).
He has received many awards, including the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal in 2015 and two Laurence Olivier Awards, one in 2003 for Outstanding Achievement in Opera and one in 2005 for the Best New Opera Production for Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk(Shostakovich, 1934). Pappano was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to music; in the same year he was made a Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (a Knight Grand Cross of Italy’s Order of Merit).
Oliver Mears, director of the Royal Opera, added: “Tony’s passionate and instinctual music-making, always informed as much by the drama as by the notes themselves, is the foundation of how we make opera at Covent Garden. It’s an honour to work with Tony, and I can’t wait to spend more time with him in the coming years as we strive to do full justice to the world’s greatest operatic masterpieces.”
Antonio Pappano in rehearsals for La Boheme at the Royal Opera House, London (David Bebber).