The Royal Opera will dedicate the current run of Mozart’sLe nozze di Figaro to former Royal Opera Music Director Bernard Haitink – celebrating all he accomplished during his tenure at the ROH. Music Director of the Royal Opera Antonio Pappano, who is conducting the revival run of David McVicar’s production, will pay a personal tribute before the performance on Tuesday 11 January 2022.  

Music Director of The Royal Opera Antonio Pappano said:‘Bernard was a towering musician whose warmth and total honesty in his music-making made his performances always ring true. Le nozze di Figaro was a favourite of his and we hope that this dedication honours the memory of this greatly missed figure in the world of opera. I, personally, shall be forever in his debt.’ 

The Dutch conductor, who was The Royal Opera’s Music Director from 1987-2002, made his Royal Opera debut in 1977 Season, conducting Don Giovanni and Lohengrin.  Other conducting highlights during his tenure included new productions of Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten, Borodin’s Prince Igor, Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades, Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, and three Janáček operas that included the first Covent Garden performances of Kát’a Kabanová. Haitink also conducted revivals of Verdi’s Don Carlos and Britten’s Peter Grimes to great acclaim. 

At The Royal Opera, he was best known as a Wagner interpreter. During his tenure, he conducted two Ring cycles (directed by Götz Friedrich and Richard Jones), and brand-new productions of ParsifalDie Meistersinger von Nürnberg and Tristan und Isolde. Haitink’s final appearance as Music Director of The Royal Opera was in July 2002, when he conducted a gala of extracts from some of his favourite works – Le nozze di FigaroDon Carlo and Die Meistersinger.