Oliver Mears

Director, The Royal Opera

English director Oliver Mears is The Royal Opera’s Director of Opera. He joined The Royal Opera in March 2017. 


Mears studied English and History at Oxford University and began his career assisting playwright Howard Barker. In 2004 he co-founded London-based opera company Second Movement and directed numerous site-specific productions for the company, including several UK stage premieres. He was Artistic Director of Northern Ireland Opera from the company's foundation in 2010 until 2017. His productions for Northern Ireland Opera included Tosca (winner of the 2012 Irish Times Theatre Award for Best Opera), Der fliegende HolländerMacbeth (with Welsh National Opera), SalomeAgrippinaHansel and GretelThe Turn of the Screw (with Kolobov Novaya Opera Theatre, Moscow) and Noye's Fludde (part of the London Cultural Olympiad and Beijing Music Festival). For The Royal Opera, he has directed Rigoletto and The Rape of Lucretia (with Britten Pears Music). He has also directed L’elisir d’amore (Norwegian National Opera), Eugene OneginOrpheus in the Underworld (both Scottish Opera), Aida (Theatre Magdeburg), Don Giovanni (Bergen National Opera) and for other companies including the Young Vic, Aldeburgh Music, Opera North, Pimlico Opera, Early Opera Company, Nederlandse Reisopera, and the National Opera Studio.   

In 2012 Mears was nominated for the UK TMA Achievement in Opera Award for his leadership of Northern Ireland Opera, and in 2013 was nominated for the International Opera Award for Best Newcomer (Director).  

The position of Director of the Royal Opera is generously supported by Sir Mick and Lady Barbara Davis.

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