The Royal Opera House today announces the appointment of Speranza Scappucci as Principal Guest Conductor of The Royal Opera. Scappucci will take up the position in September 2025, at the start of the 2025/26 Season, becoming the first Principal Guest Conductor since 1997.
Speranza Scappucci conducting Attila, ROH 2022. Photograph by Tom Parker
Italian-born Scappucci previously conducted Verdi’s Attila for The Royal Opera in 2022. The Observer noted that her house debut was ‘the high point’ of the concert which featured Ildar Abdrazakov, María José Siri, Simon Keenlyside and Ștefan Pop, alongside the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House and members of the Royal Opera Chorus.
In her new position, Scappucci will work across a wide range of repertoire, including Bel Canto works and operas by Puccini and Verdi. Scappucci will be working alongside Jakub Hrůša who begins his tenure as Music Director of The Royal Opera in September 2025.
Speaking of the appointment Speranza Scappucci said: ‘I was thrilled to make my ROH debut with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House last summer. It was an immense joy to perform with such incredible musicians and singers, who display virtuosity combined with passion, making them unique in their excellence. I’m honoured to accept the position and look forward to being part of the Covent Garden family, working alongside Jakub Hrůša on a wide range of repertoire. Covent Garden is a house of great tradition, globally known for its world-class singers, conductors and directors. I’m excited for what’s ahead of me as part of this fantastic team.’
Scappucci, a former pianist and coach, also currently presents a classical music show on Italian National Television, aimed at educating new audiences and demystifying the artform. Scappucci adds: ‘In this unique institution, I’m inspired by the sense of responsibility in supporting the future of opera. I’m passionate about working with young singers and musicians and I look forward to being part of the Royal Opera House’s Learning and Participation outreach work.’
Oliver Mears, Director of The Royal Opera, said: ‘We’re delighted to welcome Speranza as Principal Guest Conductor. We were tremendously impressed by the wonderful relationship she forged with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in 2022. Her warmth, matched with outstanding musicianship and breadth of repertoire, make her the perfect addition to the Covent Garden family. We are excited about the developments and new collaborations Speranza will bring to the Royal Opera House’
Jakub Hrůša, Music Director Designate of The Royal Opera said: ‘Speranza Scappucci’s work in opera has always highly impressed me. She is an energising presence on the podium, inspiring the musicians and indeed everyone around her through her splendid passion, warmth, skill, and knowledge. I’m delighted that she will be a part of the team for the artistic work that lies ahead to fulfil The Royal Opera’s future dreams and visions.’
From 2017 to 2022, Scappucci held the position of Music Director of Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège. As a guest conductor, she has worked with some of the world’s leading companies – most recently making her debut with the Metropolitan Opera, New York (Rigoletto), Opéra national de Paris and Teatro alla Scala (I Capuleti e Montecchi).
Scappucci has conducted at major international opera houses including Wiener Staatsoper, Liceu Barcelona, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Staatsoper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Opernhaus Zürich, Los Angeles Opera, and Canadian Opera Company. As a conductor of symphonic work, she has led the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris and Orchestre National de Lyon.