Laurence Dale

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Laurence Dale directing l'Orchestre du Festival d'Evian, May 2012

Laurence Dale (born 1957) is an English tenor, artistic director and conductor.


Laurence Dale studied singing at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Rudolf Piernay and the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Early leading roles included that of Hilarion in the Gilbert and Sullivan opera Princess Ida with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Ambrosian Opera Chorus in 1982, and Ramiro in Rossini's opera La Cenerentola with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in 1983.

Amongst many Mozartian rôles, as well as baroque and romantic, his portrayal of Tamino, with which he opened Mozart year in Salzburg in 1991 was described by the press as legendary. He performed this rôle regularly in Vienna's Staatsoper and Berlin's Deutsche Oper, then in Paris Opera Bastille and throughout the world. In 1992, he created the Rodrigue in Rodrigue et Chimène to open the new opera in Lyon, recorded for Erato under the direction of Kent Nagano.

Following the performance of Claudio Monteverdi's Orfeo as celebrations for Herbert Wernicke's Monteverdi year production at the 1993 Salzburg Festival, he recorded the title rôle under the direction of René Jacobs for Harmundia Mundi.

He has recorded under the direction of Georges Prêtre, Gounod's Messe de Saint Cécile alongside Barbara Hendricks and Jean-Philippe Lafont, Mozart's C minor mass with Franz Welser-Möst, and the title rôles of Auber's Gustave III and Etienne Mehul's Joseph en Egypte.

Having created the rôle of Don José in Peter Brook's La Tragédie de Carmen in 1981 at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris, and played the rôle through three seasons, including New York, that Peter Brook turned him to re-direct the production for the Opera de Bordeaux and further performances on tour.

Immediately afterwards he directed Lehar's Der Zarewitsch for the Operette Festival, Bad Ischl and literally the next day, Haydn's L'Incontro improvviso for the Haydn Festival Eisenstadt and EXPO 2000, Hannover. These productions received praise from the Viennese press, which led to him being re-invited at Bad Ischl, in a co-production with Salzburg to mount Lehar's Das Land des Lächelns (designed by Hartmut Schörghofer).

In 2001, he conceived and prepared the New York Off Broadway Salsa musical (¡MUSICA!), which following the disaster of 11 September had to be abandoned. He directed the French première at Nantes of Thomas Adès's Powder Her Face, (conducted by John Burdekin).[1] In 2002, he mounted two operas for New York Gotham Chamber Opera, Les Malheurs d'Orphée by Milhaud and Purcell's Dido and Aeneas (designed by Dipu Gupta and Fabio Toblini and conducted by Neal Goren). In 2003 a third Lehar's operetta was presented in Bad Ischl, The Count of Luxemburg, having originally opened in Innsbruck. He re-conceived the 1769 farcical opera L'Operia Seria (Gassmann) with the Dutch Reisopera, and made his own performing edition of Offenbach's Hoffmann's Tales. He mounted the double bill Poulenc's La Voix Humaine and Ravel's l'Heure Espagnole in 2011, as Rossini's La Pietra del Paragone for Opera Trionfo, or Die Fledermauss from Johann Strauss at the Norvegian National Opera in 2012.

As the Artistic Director of l'Opéra de Metz he staged Britten's Turn of the Screw, Thomas Adès Powder Her Face, and Lehar's Land of Smiles. For the opening of the season Les Jeux de Pouvoir, he mounted the twin productions of Auber's Gustave III (the modern stage première) and Verdi's Gustavo III the French première of the original version of Un Ballo in Maschera). He completed this unique season with Meyerbeer's Les Huguenots (starring Rockwell Blake as Raoul. In South Africa, as Artistic Consultant to Opera Africa in Gauteng, he directed Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi, and Verdi's Aida. He created Opera Extravaganza expressly to showcase new South Africa singers whom he formed, trained and caches.

He redirected his 2006 Opéra de Monte Carlo production of Richard Strauss Ariadne auf Naxos for l'Opéra Royal de Wallonie, Liège.

The 16 March 2008 Laurence Dale stood in for the indisposed conductor, entered the pit at the Civic Johannesburg and conducted the Johannesburg Philharmonic in the performance of Aida. Since then, he has received invitations to conduct concerts and operas and, after 10 years as Artistic Director of the Evian Festival Les Escales Musicales, has been additionally named Musical Director of the Festival. In June 2011 he welcomed to Evian the chorus and orchestra of the Opera National de Lorraine which he conducted in Gounod's Ste Cécila Mass and Elgar's The Music Makers (the French première). In 2009 he conducted the Sinfonia Varsovia and the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne in a concert comprising Fauré's Requiem and works of Wagner and Rossini. For the 2010 season, he conducted the Philharmonie of the Nations.

Stage Director[edit]

  • 2012 Johann Strauss: Die Fledermaus - Den Norske Opera.
  • 2011 Maurice Ravel: L'Heure Espagnole - Enschede - Nationale Reisopera.
  • 2011 Francis Poulenc: La Voix Humaine - Enschede - Nationale Reisopera.
  • 2011 Gioacchino Rossini: La Pietra del Paragone - Opera Trionfo Heemstede.
  • 2010 Vincenzo Bellini: Norma - Moldavian National Opera, Chisinau.
  • 2009 Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos - Opéra Royal de Wallonie.
  • 2008 Albert Lortzing: Zar und Zimmermann - Tiroler Landestheater.
  • 2008 Giuseppe Verdi: Aïda - Opera Africa, Johannesburg.
  • 2007 Jacques Offenbach: Les Contes d'Hoffmann - Nationale Reisopera.
  • 2007 Opera Extravaganza - Opera Africa.
  • 2006 Vincenzo Bellini: I Capuleti e i Montecchi - Opera Africa.
  • 2006 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Don Giovanni - Vlaams Radio Orkest in Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
  • 2006 Richard Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos - Opéra Royal de Monte Carlo.
  • 2005 Florian Leopold Gassmann: L'Operia Seria - Nationale Reisopera Enschede.
  • 2004 Giacomo Meyerbeer: Les Huguenots - Opéra Théâtre de Metz.
  • 2003 Daniel Auber: Gustave III ou Le Bal masqué - Opéra Théâtre de Metz.
  • 2003 Franz Lehár: Der Graf von Luxemburg - Lehár Festival, Bad Ischl.
  • 2002 Darius Milhaud: Les Malheurs d'Orphée - Gotham Chamber Opera.
  • 2002 Henry Purcell: Dido and Aeneas - Gotham Chamber Opera.
  • 2002 Franz Lehár: Land des Lächelns - Salzburger Landestheater.
  • 2001 Thomas Adès: Powder her Face - Angers Nantes Opéra.
  • 2000 Franz Joseph Haydn: L'Incontro Improvviso - Haydn Festival Eisenstadt.
  • 2000 Franz Lehár: Der Zarewitsch - Lehár Festival, Bad Ischl.

Artistic Director[edit]

  • 2001-2012 Festival International d'Evian: Escales Musicales - Grange au Lac




  1. ^ Kasow, Joel. Report from Saint Etienne. Opera, April 2002,Vol 53 No 4, p437.

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