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Diolch David

2 August 2019

This month WNO wish a very fond farewell to Sir David Pountney as Artistic Director. We wanted to express our gratitude for everything he has done for WNO and look back at some of his highlights since he took the position in 2011. 

A great opera director is someone who understand all the aspects of the opera. It’s great to have someone with strong opinions who knows the meaning of the story and doesn’t hesitate to bring it to the audience.

Tomáš Hanus, WNO Music Director

I’ve learnt a huge amount about what it truly takes to bring opera from idea to stage whilst working with David, and will certainly look back on his time as Artistic Director as the most exciting and taxing learning experience of my career to date. I truly believe he’s made me a better artistic professional and I am very grateful to him for the time he has always given me; his office, and rehearsal room, doors were always open.

Kathryn Joyce, Head of Artistic Management

Three words to describe David Pountney would be intelligent, witty and inspiring. For any donors that were lucky enough to attend a rehearsal, he is truly fascinating to watch. He’s so knowledgeable and he’s keen to share that knowledge, he is a joy to hear talk on all subjects. My favourite operas of his would be In parenthesis and War and Peace.

Sally Bird, Individual Giving Officer


Thank you so much to David Pountney for some absolutely fantastic opera productions from WNO over the last few years. We have enjoyed them so much.

WNO Friend

It is amazing working with David, having watched so many of his operas over the years, and everything, it’s overwhelming to work with him – it’s really really lovely

Carys Davies, the cat in Brundibár 2019

David has directed many notable productions for WNO since he arrived as Artistic Director. My top four have to be Lulu, In Parenthesis, Pelléas et Mélisande and War and Peace. David is inspirational, works to the highest standards on everything and is a master of the English language. He is annoyingly good at what he does!

Sara Evans, Head of Events

Although this is not a final goodbye as we’ll still be seeing plenty more of him over the coming year as he directs The Cunning Little Vixen this Autumn, the finale of the Verdi trilogy Les Vêpres Siciliennes in Spring 2020 and Bluebeard’s Castle in Summer 2020. Thank you David Pountney for being such a big part of WNO and we look forward to seeing you back hopefully for many years to come.