News

back to top

Biography 816 words

Download biography as pdf Download biography as word doc

Jonathan Darlington is currently Music Director of Vancouver Opera, a title he is proud to have held for over a decade, and where he has led the company in productions ranging from Mozart to Tan Dun. Born and educated in England, he is fluent in several languages and currently resides in Paris. Maestro Darlington has conducted an impressive array of ensembles in many of the world’s greatest concert halls and opera houses. Recent engagements include performances in opera and concert with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Staatsoper, the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Semperoper, l’Orchestre National de France, the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Paris Opera Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, l’Orchestre de Paris. Engagements in the immediate future see him return to the Semperoper Dresden (Die Zauberflöte and Die Fledermaus), Frankfurt Opera (The Makropulos Case), the Swedish Royal Opera (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Opera Australia Così fan tutte). Jonathan possesses a vast symphonic and operatic repertoire from the Baroque to the Contemporary and has a reputation for structuring concert programmes that take the listener on a fascinating musical journey owing to their strong inner dramaturgical

read more...

Jonathan Darlington is currently Music Director of Vancouver Opera, a title he is proud to have held for over a decade, and where he has led the company in productions ranging from Mozart to Tan Dun.

Born and educated in England, he is fluent in several languages and currently resides in Paris.

Maestro Darlington has conducted an impressive array of ensembles in many of the world’s greatest concert halls and opera houses.

Recent engagements include performances in opera and concert with the Vienna Philharmonic at the Staatsoper, the Staatskapelle Dresden at the Semperoper, l’Orchestre National de France, the Konzerthaus Orchester Berlin, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Paris Opera Orchestra, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, l’Orchestre de Paris.

Engagements in the immediate future see him return to the Semperoper Dresden (Die Zauberflöte and Die Fledermaus), Frankfurt Opera (The Makropulos Case), the Swedish Royal Opera (Le Nozze di Figaro) and Opera Australia Così fan tutte).

Jonathan possesses a vast symphonic and operatic repertoire from the Baroque to the Contemporary and has a reputation for structuring concert programmes that take the listener on a fascinating musical journey owing to their strong inner dramaturgical thread,

Jonathan Darlington began his career as a freelance pianist, chamber musician and repetiteur. Born in Lapworth near Birmingham in England he was a boy chorister at Worcester Cathedral and went on a music scholarship to King’s School Worcester. He subsequently studied music at Durham University, graduating with honours, followed by graduate studies in piano at The Royal Academy of Music in London.

After graduation he moved to Paris where, as a freelance pianist for Radio France, he worked with some of the most outstanding musical personalities of our time: Pierre Boulez – “Le Soleil des eaux”, Riccardo Muti  – Verdi’s “Requiem”, Olivier Messiaen – “Trois Petites Liturgies” etc… His activities as an accompanist led him to work as a repetiteur  – (Glyndebourne tour, L’Opéra de Nancy, Opera North) – and he became a founding member of the experimental French touring opera company ‘ARCAL’ for which he directed several productions.

During the same period he accompanied singing master classes at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Studies in Aldeburgh (England), where he worked with such renowned singers as Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Ileana Cotrubas, Hugues Cuenod, Hans Hotter, Janet Baker and Peter Pears.

Jonathan Darlington made his conducting debut in 1984 at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris, directing Francesco Cavalli’s “Ormindo” from the harpsichord. Whilst still essentially a keyboard player, an important stepping-stone in his conducting career was the Berlioz Festival in Lyon, initially as assistant to Serge Baudo for “Les Troyens” in 1987, and two years later to John Nelson for “Benvenuto Cellini”.

In 1990 Myung-Whun Chung engaged Jonathan as assistant and subsequently as deputy to the music director at the Paris Opera. It was there that he made his acclaimed debut in 1991 with “Le nozze di Figaro”, starring a dream cast which included Renee Fleming and Ferrucio Furlanetto. He remained with the Paris Opera as deputy music director until 1993, conducting productions of “Die Zauberflöte” and “Das Lied von der Erde”. His “Swan Lake” with the  Paris Opera Ballet was recorded for video in 1992.

His success at the Paris Opera led to numerous engagements with other international orchestras and opera houses and he decided to return to the freelance world, this time as a conductor.

In 1996 he was invited to become part of the musical team at Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf – Duisburg) and in 2002 he was offered the position of Music Director of the Duisburger Philharmoniker. In the same year he also became Music Director of Vancouver Opera.

With both ensembles Jonathan has enjoyed a hugely successful relationship. With the Duisburger Philharmoniker that success was rewarded when he received the German Music Publisher’s prize for the best concert season 2009 -10 together with the Echo Klassic prize for the best concerto recording (Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto) with Susanna Yoko-Henkel in 2011.  The same year Jonathan Darlington received the ‘Mercartorplakette’ in recognition of his services to music and the cultural life of the city of Duisburg. The success of his tenure with the Duisburger Philharmoniker was subsequently rewarded when he became the recipient of the coveted “Musikpreis der Köhler-Osbar-Stiftung”. Past recipients include Yehudi Menuhin, Alfred Brendel, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Hans Werner Henze, Krzysztof Penderecki, Pina Bausch etc.

Jonathan Darlington is both a “Laureate” (LRAM) and “Fellow” (FRAM) of the Royal Academy of Music, London and as a French resident is proud to hold the distinction of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

back to top

Photos

back to top

Reviews

"Conductor Jonathan Darlington gives the score a flat-out, hyper-emotional reading in which the great tunes still soar magnificently, but an insistent verismo edge intensifies the overall dramatic contour. "

David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun

"This version of Swan Lake is a dazzling performance…..the Royal Opera Orchestra under the direction of Jonathan Darlington gives additional depth and finesse to the work. Seldom has the woefulness inherent in Tchaikovsky’s music shone forth with greater softness and clarity."

Susanne Sigroth-Lambe

"Under conductor Jonathan Darlington they [the orchestra] are superlative, and Mozart shines as bright as ever"

Jennie Sharpe, Arts Hub

"Jonathan Darlington conducts with an unerring sense of pace and drama… this is an assured and detailed reading of Mozart’s thrilling score"

Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine

"Jonathan Darlington reigned over orchestra, choir and soloists with brisk but sympathetic tempi and a firm hand... His creative musicality kept the performance thriving with energy... the balance between stage and orchestra was finely tuned throughout"

Zoltan Szabo, Backtrack

"Conductor Jonathan Darlington’s pristine work results in an immaculate performance of the classic score by the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. The music sounds superb in its own right, yet never comes close to overshadowing the singing in any way"

Simon Parris, Man in Chair

"What makes the Toronto premiere particularly satisfying is the sensitive work by Vancouver Opera principal conductor Jonathan Darlington and the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra"

John Terauds, The Star

"Opening with orchestral work Ragtime, conductor Jonathan Darlington delivers a transparent and patient version of this ironically mechanical score. In doing so, he calibrates the pulse of the audience"

John Keillor, National Post

back to top

Discography