Annilese Miskimmon

Belfast born director is a rising star in the opera world

Born in Belfast in 1974 and raised in Bangor, Co Down, Annilese Miskimmon read English Literature at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and Arts Management at City University, London.

Although still only 30 years old, her professional opera directing career has already taken her to the San Francisco Opera, the Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris), Den Norske Oper (Oslo, Norway) and Oper Frankfurt, where she has been involved in reviving productions by Richard Jones, Deborah Warner, and Graham Vick.

She has also worked with many of the world’s leading conductors, including Simon Rattle, Nicholas McGegan, Charles Mackerras, Mark Elder, Louis Langrée and Vladimir Jurowski.

Miskimmon made her Irish directorial debut in 2003, working for Opera Theatre Company (OTC) of Dublin on Rossini’s Cinderella at the Everyman Palace, Cork, a production which then toured nationwide. Since December of that year she has been Artistic Director of OTC.

While still in her final year at Cambridge, Annilese directed an enterprising professional production of an obscure work by J.C. Bach, returning a year later to direct a production of Arianna, a Monteverdi reconstruction by the then professor of music, Alexander Goehr.

She continued to gain valuable experience from 1996 until 2001 as a staff producer at Welsh National Opera (WNO), combining this busy position with freelance engagements for Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, English National Opera, Opéra National de Bordeaux, the Teatro Comunale di Bologna and the BBC Proms.

Miskimmon combines her position at OTC with a busy freelance directing career and was until recently consultant associate director at Glyndebourne, a role which combined input into casting and the building of creative teams with spotting and training young directors and the support and development of young singers.

A fluent and passionate  for opera, Miskimmon has considerableadvocate experience in education and outreach. She has worked with practically everyone involved in the development of the genre: children, young singers, directors, designers and composers – and audiences, of course.

She has led successful projects for Glyndebourne, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the National Opera Studio (London), the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, the Théâtre du Châtelet; WNO (Cardiff and Belfast), and, through WNO, a young singers’ project at Beijing Conservatoire funded by the British Council.

Recent directing credits include Puccini’s La bohème for OTC and English Touring Opera, Handel’s Semele for British Youth Opera at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Rossini’s La pietra del paragone for Stanley Hall Opera (UK), and the revival of the acclaimed WNO/Richard Jones production of Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades at La Monnaie, Brussels.

After OTC's Bohème tour she returns to ENO to revive Richard Jones’s production of Berg’s Lulu. Engagements in 2005 include Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea for OTC, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore for Holland Park Opera and Bizet’s Carmen in New Zealand.