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Press Release: Departure of Artistic Director

Northern Ireland Opera has today confirmed the departure of its Artistic Director Walter Sutcliffe who is taking up the post of Intendant and Director of Opera at Theater-Halle in Germany. A search for his replacement will be launched in the autumn of 2020.

Roy Bailie, Chairman of Northern Ireland Opera said ‘Since his arrival in 2017, Walter has made a significant contribution to the development of opera provision and the encouragement of new audiences. We wish him well in his new role’. Mr Bailie also remarked that Northern Ireland Opera’s first Artistic Director Oliver Mears is now Director of Opera at The Royal Opera, Covent Garden, and that Theater-Halle is one of the leading Opera Houses in Germany. ‘Northern Ireland is clearly a vibrant place for opera and talent development,’ he said ‘and this will be quality base on which we will continue to build.’

‘Whilst we address the challenges of Covid19 on delivering live performances, we are now offering an online opera club and we are planning for the delivery of our Glenarm Festival of Voice and our 2021 season’.

Mr Bailie concluded by commending the young artists of the Northern Ireland Opera’s Studio who earlier this week released their special version of Mozart’s ‘Soave Sia Il Vento’ in support of NHS and frontline workers.

Further Information: Cliona Donnelly – General Manager 07980 742 522