Opera Scotland

John Barker Suggest updates

Born Twickenham, 23 September 1931.

Died Kingston, 6 February 2018.

English conductor, chorus master, repetiteur and translator.

John Barker studied at the Royal College of Music and in Salzburg with Lovro von Matačić. In 1958 he joined the music staff at Glyndebourne for a season. The years from 1959 to 1974 were spent on the staff at Sadler’s Wells Opera, as conductor, Chorus Master and then Head of Music Staff. His conducting debut with SWO was The Merry Widow 1959. At SWO he conducted more than 600 performances across the repertory including Orpheus and Euridice, The Marriage of Figaro, Cinderella, The Italian Girl in Algiers, Count Ory, Ernani, A Masked Ball, The Force of Destiny, The Flying Dutchman, The Ring, Madam Butterfly, The Rake’s Progress, and The Violins of Saint Jacques. He also conducted the première of Lucky Peter’s Journey (Williamson 1969).

In 1975 he moved to Covent Garden as Head of Music Staff and Chorus Master. There he conducted Le nozze di Figaro (1976), and added Troilus and Cressida, Turandot and Peter Grimes, among others.

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