Edward Gardner, recently hailed by The Times (London) for the ‘sheer vivacity’ of his music-making, has been appointed Music Director of the Norwegian Opera & Ballet. He will assume the position of Artistic Advisor from 1 February 2022 before beginning his tenure as Music Director on 1 August 2024.
“It is my great pleasure to accept the job as Music Director of the Norwegian Opera & Ballet,” comments Edward. “I had a fantastic collaboration with the talented musicians there over the past year, and I look forward to creating performances of the highest quality for Norwegian and international audiences in one of the world’s best opera houses.”
Edward is set to undertake the role of Artistic Advisor with immediate effect. He will conduct several opera productions before taking charge as Music Director, including Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust in the spring of 2023.
The Norwegian Opera & Ballet’s Opera Director, Randi Stene, is delighted to welcome Edward as the company’s Music Director.
“Edperformed Wagner and Richard Strauss with us last season and proved his unique musical capacity, his operatic sensibility, his professionalism and his winning interpersonal expertise,” she says. “With him on board, the future of opera in Norway looks brighter than ever. I am very much looking forward to our close collaboration.”
One of today’s leading conductors
Edward Gardner is Principal Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic, a position he will relinquish at the end of the 2023/24 season. From August 2024 Edward will undertake the Music Directorship of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet (DNO&B).
In addition to his critically acclaimed work as Music Director of English National Opera (2007-15), Edward has been a regular guest conductor at companies such as New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala, Chicago Lyric Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Opéra National de Paris. He is currently working on a new production of Britten’s Peter Grimes at Bayerische Staatsoper directed by Stefan Herheim.
He is also in high demand as guest conductor with the world’s leading symphony orchestras, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester among them.
In October 2021, Edward and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra received Gramophone’s coveted ‘Recording of the Year’ Award for their recording of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes. The conductor was recognised for his services to British music in 2012 when he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in HM Queen Elizabeth II’s Birthday Honours.
Edward recently worked with the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra in a streamed version of the second act of Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, and in the spring of 2021 conducted music from Richard Strauss’s operas, for the film LISE starring soprano Lise Davidsen.
“Norway is still a young opera nation and approaches the tradition in a free way that I find very stimulating,” the conductor observes. “There is a freshness in the way music drama is created here that I would like us to pursue in every performance. Each time the audience arrives at the Opera, they should encounter something extraordinary.”