- Ryan Ebright
(b Hove, England, Sept 22, 1931; d Creve Coeur, MO, April 6, 2007). Director and librettist of British birth; naturalized American. Graham studied at London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, subsequently establishing a reputation by directing the premieres of many of Benjamin Britten’s church parables and late operas. In 1974, after working with the English Opera Group, Aldeburgh Festival, Sadler’s Wells Opera, English Music Theatre, and a number of major European opera houses, he made his American directorial debut with the US premiere of Britten’s Owen Wingrave at Santa Fe Opera, where he also directed the world premiere of Bright Sheng’s Madame Mao in 2003. In 1978 he joined Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; from 1985 until his death he served as artistic director, and under his leadership the company presented several American and world premieres. Graham worked with a number of other North American opera companies, including Minnesota Opera, Opera Omaha, San Diego Opera, and New York City Opera. An unceasing advocate of new and neglected works, Graham directed 56 world premieres; in the United States, these included John Corigliano’s ...