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  Richard Farnes - Conductor

Photo by Chris Blott

Richard Farnes won the 1990 British Reserve Insurance Competition for Young Conductors. He read Music at King's College, Cambridge, where he was organ scholar, and studied at the National Opera Studio, Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music, where he conducted the first British production of Rossini's Journey to Reims. At the Academy he won both the Henry Wood and Philharmonia Chorus conducting scholarships, and was awarded a European Community Youth Orchestra Scholarship in 1988 for his contribution to the orchestra as its keyboard player. On completion of his studies he gained valuable experience working on the music staff of the Glyndebourne Festival, Bath and Wessex Opera, Scottish Opera and Opera Factory (also as assistant conductor for Birtwistle's Yan Tan Tethera at the South Bank).

For English Touring Opera he conducted Falstaff, La Bohème and The Barber of Seville; for European Chamber Opera Mozart's Bastien und Bastienne and Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona; Verdi's Macbeth for City of Birmingham Touring Opera. In 1994 he assisted Sir Edward Downes on Aida at the Royal Opera House and on Nabucco for New Israeli Opera, Tel Aviv, subsequently conducting several performances.

Recent engagements have included the world premiere of David Horne’s Friend of the People, Tosca, The Magic Flute, and a double bill of works by Param Vir for Scottish Opera, La traviata, Simon Holt’s The Nightingale’s to Blame, Giovanna d'Arco, Britten's Gloriana, Figaro, and Cimarosa's The Secret Marriage for Opera North, The Makropoulos Case for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Die Entführung aus dem Serail , La Bohème and Le Nozze di Figaro for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, The Rake's Progress in Dublin, Albert Herring for the Guildhall School of Music, and concerts with the Haydn Chamber Orchestra, the English Northern Philharmonic, the Royal Opera House Orchestra in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Operatic engagements in 2000/2001 included a new production of Othello directed by Peter Hall for the 2001 Glyndebourne Festival, a return to Scottish Opera for L’elisir d’amore, The Cunning Little Vixen for English National Opera, and Eugene Onegin for Opera North. This season has included a revival of Britten’s Gloriana for Opera North, which was taken on tour to Barcelona, The Cunning Little Vixen for Opera Theatre Company in Ireland, and next season he will conduct Albert Herring for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and Tosca for Opera North.

In 1992 Richard Farnes founded Equinox, a chamber orchestra and ensemble that aims to promote twentieth century repertoire to wider audiences and which has given a number of concerts at St John's Smith Square in London.

MARCH 2002

See here for reviews of past performances

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