became internationally known through his production of Katya Kabanova at the 1972 Wexford Festival. He was Director of Productions for Scottish Opera 1975 – 1980, Director of Productions at ENO 1980 – 1993 and Intendent at Bregenz festival from 2003 – 2014. Since 2011 he has been Artistic Director of WNO, where he has directed Lulu, Guillaume Tell, Pelléas et Mélisande, Figaro gets a Divorce, In Parenthesis, Khovanshchina and War and Peace
As a freelance Opera director he has created work throughout the world including at Zurich Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, New York Metropolitan Opera, Norwegian National Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, Vienna State Opera, The Royal Opera House and Opera North. His productions have won the Janáček medal, 2 Olivier awards and the Schickaneder Prize.
He has directed many world premieres, including three by Peter Maxwell Davies for which he also wrote the libretto, and has translated operas into English from Russian, Czech, German and Italian.
He 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 Osterreich in 2014 and an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Cardiff University in recognition of his contribution as an artist and cultural leader.