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date: 19 January 2020

Pountney, David (Willoughby)locked

  • Barry Millington

Extract

(Willoughby)

(b Oxford, Sept 10, 1947). English director. After education at Radley College and Cambridge University, where he was director of productions of the Opera Society, he began his career with Kát’a Kabanová at Wexford (1972). With this and a subsequent series of productions for the WNO and Scottish Opera, where he was director of productions from 1975 to 1980, he did much to advance the cause of Janáček in Britain. He made his American début with Macbeth at Houston in 1973 and his Australian début in Sydney in 1978 with Die Meistersinger.

From 1982 to 1993 he was director of productions at the ENO, where, in close collaboration with the designer Stefanos Lazaridis and the music director, Mark Elder, he evolved a definable house style. Characteristic features were the arresting images of dislocated reality, an inexhaustible repertory of stage contrivances, a determination to explore the social and psychological issues latent in the works, and above all an abundant sense of theatricality. ...

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