Out of the Shadows

Monday, 13 January 2020

End of an Era: Michael Volpe to step down as General Director of Opera Holland Park

Michael Volpe
Michael Volpe
After 31 years at the company, Michael Volpe will be stepping down as general director of Opera Holland Park at the end of September 2020. Opera Holland Park today is very much Michael Volpe's creation, the result of his 20-year partnership with James Clutton, director of opera. The company has become known for its explorations of the further reaches of 20th century Italian opera and the Verismo repertoire, and it has given some notable performances and premieres include Wolf Ferrari's I gioielli della Madonna (one of the company's biggest undertakings) and Montemezzi's L'amore dei tre Re. But the main repertoire has not been neglected with, in recent years, everything from Mozart to Richard Strauss to Verdi.

On 1 October 2020, following Michael’s retirement, James Clutton will be appointed Chief Executive and Director of Opera of Opera Holland Park with overall responsibility for the company. A Deputy Chief Executive will be recruited in the coming months.

This year Opera Holland Park celebrates a highly successful five years as an independent charity, the theatre originally having been owned by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. As such, it is an apposite moment to take stock. This year's Opera Holland Park season opens on 2 June 2020 with Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin and continues with Verdi's Rigoletto, Lehar's The Merry Widow, a double bill of Delius' Margot le Rouge and Puccini's Le Villi, and Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance presented by Charles Court Opera. Full details from the Opera Holland Park website.

We wish Michael well on his early retirement and look forward to the next chapter in Opera Holland Park's history. But opera world will not be quite the same.

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