Richard Farnes

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Richard Farnes (born 1964) is a British conductor, and was Music Director of Opera North from 2004 to 2016.


Farnes was a chorister at King's College, Cambridge before entering Eton College as a music scholar in 1977. He returned to King's as organ scholar in 1983 and subsequently studied at the Royal Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio.[1]

Later career[edit]

During his professional career, he has conducted operas at the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Scottish Opera, English Touring Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Glyndebourne on Tour, among other companies. He has also conducted the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.[2]

Before joining Opera North in 2004, Farnes had conducted The Secret Marriage, The Marriage of Figaro, Joan of Arc, La Traviata, Eugene Onegin, Gloriana and Tosca for the company, as well as the world première of The Nightingale's to Blame by Simon Holt.[3] The operas he has conducted since becoming Music Director include La rondine, Salome, Falstaff, Macbeth, Katya Kabanova and the award-winning Peter Grimes.

He is due to relinquish his post with Opera North following the 2015-16 season[4]

Selected recordings[edit]


  1. ^ Rupert Christiansen: "The accidental maestro",, 26 April, 2005
  2. ^ Biography at
  3. ^ Leeks, Stuart (ed) (2003). Opera North @ 25. Leeds: Opera North.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Steven Sloane
Music Director, Opera North
Succeeded by

Choristers of the Choir of King's College, Cambridge