Royal Opera House Announces New Music Director

By Francisco Salazar

The Royal Opera House has named Jakub Hrůša as its new Music Director.

The company said that Hrůša will assume the position of Music Director Designate with immediate effect and will begin his tenure as Music Director in September 2025.

In a statement, the conductor said, “I have been privileged to work on two wonderful Royal Opera House productions as a guest conductor, and the recent Lohengrin was one of the highlights of my artistic life to date. I have always dreamt about a long-term relationship with a house where one can reach the highest standards in opera, and I realized very quickly that I adored the whole team of artists and staff at Covent Garden. I am thrilled to accept the position of Music Director, and I feel immensely excited about the future collaboration. London is not just a place I have loved living and working but will now be precious to me as my true artistic home in the field of opera. I feel blessed that I can devote my skills and energies to the future of this extraordinary opera house.”

Oliver Mears, Director of The Royal Opera added, “Jakub has proven himself to be one of today’s most exciting conductors in both the symphonic and operatic repertoirery. We have been hugely impressed by not only his superlative music and theatre-making, but also by the generosity and warmth of his personality: Jakub is a true collaborator, able to get the very best from his colleagues. As a musician of high intellect, thoughtfulness, and a deep conviction in the power of music to change us, he is the perfect fit for Covent Garden.”

Hrůša will succeed Antonio Pappano who steps down from his post at the end of the 2023-24 Season, after 22 years. Hrůša will become The Royal Opera’s seventh Music Director following on from Karl Rankl, Rafael Kubelík, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Colin Davis, and Bernard Haitink.

Pappano, the Royal Opera’s longest serving Music Director, will become Chief Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in September 2024. In the 2024/25 Season, Hrůša and Pappano will share House responsibilities, and both will appear as special guest conductors across the ROH Season.

Hrůša has conducted “Carmen” and “Lohengrin” at the Royal Opera House and is set to conduct works by Puccini, Prokofiev, Britten, and Janáček in coming seasons. During the 2027-28 Season, Hrůša will be reunited with Barrie Kosky to conduct the new full cycle of Richard Wagner’s epic Der Ring des Nibelungen.

Hrůša is currently Chief Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, a position he has held since 2016, and he is also the Principal Guest Conductor of the Czech Philharmonic and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He has conducted at the Salzburg Festival, Vienna State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Zurich Opera, Frankfurt Opera, and Glyndebourne Festival among others.

The appointment comes following an extensive international search which was led by Sir Simon Robey, Roger Wright CBE, Sir Lloyd Dorfman CVO CBE, Janis Susskind OBE, Alex Beard CBE, and Oliver Mears.