- For the retired footballer of the same name, see Dave Pountney
David Willoughby Pountney CBE (born 10 September 1947) is a British theatre and opera director and librettist internationally known for his productions of rarely performed operas and new productions of classic works. He has directed over ten world premieres, including three by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for whom he wrote the librettos of The Doctor of Myddfai, Mr Emmet Takes a Walk and Kommilitonen!
Pountney was born in Oxford and educated at St John's College, Cambridge. His first major breakthrough came in 1972 with his production of Káťa Kabanová for the Wexford Festival. From 1975 to 1980, he was the Director of Productions at Scottish Opera, and, from 1982 to 1993, Director of Productions at English National Opera, where he directed over twenty operas. From 1993 to 2004, he worked as a free-lance director at the Zurich Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and other houses in America, Japan, and the United Kingdom. He has also directed at De Nederlandse Opera and Opera Australia. In December 2003 he became the Intendant of the Bregenz Festival, a post he held until 2014. In April of that year 2011 he was named head of the Welsh National Opera with his appointment as chief executive and artistic director to begin in September 2011.
He has worked as a librettist for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies on The Doctor of Myddfai, Mr Emmet Takes a Walk and Kommilitonen!, and has translated opera librettos into English from Russian, Czech, German,and Italian.
Pountney is a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (a French civilian honor), a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et Lettres, has the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and was awarded the Ehrenkreuz des Bundes Osterreich in 2014. and a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire).
- Janáček cycle: Jenůfa, From the House of the Dead, The Makropulos Case, Káťa Kabanová, and The Cunning Little Vixen (Scottish Opera, in collaboration with the Welsh National Opera)
- Toussaint (by David Blake; 1977, English National Opera, premier)
- Rusalka (English National Opera)
- Osud (English National Opera)
- The Midsummer Marriage (English National Opera)
- Doktor Faust (English National Opera)
- Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (English National Opera)
- Königskinder (English National Opera)
- Hänsel und Gretel (English National Opera)
- The Adventures of Mr Broucek (English National Opera)
- The Fairy Queen (English National Opera)
- Julietta (Opera North)
- The Greek Passion (Bregenz Festival)
- Masquerade (Nielsen) (Bregenz Festival, and also Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in Fall 2005)
- Der Kuhhandel (Bregenz Festival and Opera North)
- King Roger (Bregenz Festival and Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona) (2009)
- The Passenger (Bregenz Festival 2010)
- Macbeth (Zurich Opera) (2001)
- Baumgartner, Edwin (July 22, 2009). "David Pountney, der Herr der Seebühne" ("David Pountney, The Lord of the Lake Stage"). Wiener Zeitung (German)
- BBC News (April 1, 2011). "David Pountney to head Welsh National Opera"
- Clements, Andrew (January 21, 2002). "Review: Mr Emmet Takes a Walk". The Guardian
- Christiansen, Rupert (March 22, 2011). "Review: Kommilitonen!, Royal Academy of Music. The Daily Telegraph
- Der Standard (March 11, 2004). "Wider die kulturelle Polarisierung" ("Against Cultural Polarization")
- White, Michael (July 14, 1996). "Hits, myths and a pair of icons". The Independent