Obituary: Jonathan Miller Dies At 85

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Royal Opera House)

Jonathan Miller has died at the age of 85.

The British director grew up in St John’s Wood, London and was educated at St Paul’s School and St John’s College, Cambridge. He went on to study natural sciences and medicine and later went on to qualify as a medical doctor in 1959.

In 1962, he went on to make his directing debut in 1962 with John Osborne’s “Under Plain Cover.” That would be the start of his theater and television career as a director. He went on to direct six of the BBC Television Shakespeare plays as well as an adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Miller started to direct opera in the 1970s and made his operatic debut at the Kent Opera and Glyndebourne. Shortly after, he went on to make his English National Opera where he went on to have a four-decade relationship. There he directed legendary productions of “La Bohème,” “Aida,” “Rigoletto,” “The Barber of Seville,” “The Mikado,” “Carmen,” “Der Rosenkavalier,” “La Traviata” and “The Elixir of Love.” The company also celebrated his association with the company with the evening-length tribute Marvellous Miller.

Miller went on to work with some of the most prestigious opera companies in the world including Teatro alla Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Zürich Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera and the Royal Opera House. He also worked at numerous festivals including the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and the Salzburg Festival, as well as regional companies such as Opera Omaha, and Cincinnati Opera.

Aside from his work in the theater, Miller held research fellowships in the history of medicine at University College, London and in neuropsychology at Sussex University.

He went on to write, contribute and edit numerous books and won several awards including a Special Tony Award. He is survived by his two sons and a daughter.

Here is his legendary production of “Rigoletto.”