The Royal Opera House has named the conductor Jakub Hrůša as its new music director. The young Czech, currently with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, succeeds the current music director Antonio Pappano.

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Hrůša, who is also principal guest conductor of both the Czech Philharmonic and the Orchestra e Coro dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, joins immediately as music director designate. He will assume the role of full music director in 2025.

His predecessor Pappano is to step down from his post at the end of the 2023/24 Season, after 22 years. The two conductors will share responsibilities for the Royal Opera House's 2024/25 season. Pappano will then take up the post of chief conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra.

Hrůša has previous experience at Covent Garden, having conducted the ROH's production of Carmen in 2018, as well as Lohengrin earlier this year.

Plans for his tenure as music director include works by Puccini, Prokofiev, Britten and Janáček.

Hrůša said: 'I have been privileged to work on two wonderful Royal Opera House productions as a guest conductor, and the recent Lohengrin was one of the highlights of my artistic life to date. I have always dreamed about a long-term relationship with a house where one can reach the highest standards in opera, and I realised very quickly that I adored the whole team of artists and staff at Covent Garden.

'I am thrilled to accept the position of music director, and I feel immensely excited about the future collaboration. London is not just a place I have loved living and working but will now be precious to me as my true artistic home in the field of opera. I feel blessed that I can devote my skills and energies to the future of this extraordinary opera house."

Oliver Mears, Director of The Royal Opera, said: ‘Jakub has proven himself to be one of today’s most exciting conductors in both the symphonic and operatic repertoire. We have been hugely impressed by not only his superlative music and theatre-making, but also by the generosity and warmth of his personality: Jakub is a true collaborator, able to get the very best from his colleagues.

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'As a musician of high intellect, thoughtfulness, and a deep conviction in the power of music to change us, he is the perfect fit for Covent Garden.’

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Hrůša will become the Royal Opera’s seventh music director following on from Karl Rankl, Rafael Kubelík, Georg Solti, Colin Davis, Bernard Haitink and Pappano.

Authors

Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.