David Pountney To Receive Knighthood

By Nicole Kuchta

It has been announced that Welsh National Opera Artistic Director David Pountney will receive the honor of knighthood for his services to opera.

Pountney, whose hit production of “Katya Kabanova” at the 1972 Wexford Festival brought him international recognition, served as English National Opera’s Director of Productions and as a guest director at some of the foremost opera houses around the world before being named WNO’s Artistic Director in 2011.

He has received a Janáček medal and a Martinů medal, and his productions “have twice received an Olivier award,” according to the press release. Pountney has written librettos and has translated operas into English from Russian, Czech, German, and Italian.

In addition to his newest honor, Pountney “is a CBE, a Chevalier in the French Ordre des Arts et Lettres, has the Cavalier’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and was awarded the Ehrenkreuz des Bundes Oesterreich in 2014.”

“I am delighted that the genre of opera should, through me, receive the recognition that this honor bestows,” says Pountney. “I am very grateful to the many companies around the world who gave me a platform to express my skills in this field, especially Scottish Opera, English National Opera, the Bregenz Festival and Welsh National Opera. But most particularly, I am grateful to all the wonderful singers, orchestral players, backstage staff, composers and librettists who have helped me to practice my craft at an international level, and to the audiences to whom I hope we have brought the joy and emotion that music and theatre have to offer.”

Although his tenure at WNO will come to an end this summer, Pountney plans to return to direct “Les Vêpres Siciliennes” in 2020. As for other upcoming projects, he is set to direct the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2020 Ring Cycle, starring Christine Goerke, Burkhard Fritz, and Eric Owens.