Royal Danish Opera appoints new music director

Martin Cullingford30th Sep 2011
Jakub Hrůša - Danish post (photo: Zbynek Maderyc)Jakub Hrůša - Danish post (photo: Zbynek Maderyc)

Czech conductor Jakub Hrůša will take on the music directorship of the Royal Danish Theatre and its associated opera company from August 1, 2013.

Hrusa, 30, is currently music director of both Glyndebourne on Tour and the Prague Philharmonia, and will serve as an artistic consultant to Denmark’s flagship theatrical organisation until his arrival in Copenhagen.

This year has seen high-profile departures from the subsidiary Royal Danish Opera, as music director Michael Schønwandt and artistic director Kasper Holten – both native Danes – left the company.

Artistic director of the opera Keith Warner today described Hrusa as the ‘perfect man’ for the job. Warner was charged with appointing a new musical leader as soon as he arrived in Copenhagen in June. In line with Denmark’s stringently open democracy, the post was advertised and Hrůša applied along with 147 other musicians.

Gramophone’s June issue listed Hrůša as one of ten young conductors ‘on the verge of greatness’. With Glyndebourne’s touring arm the Czech musician has proved a distinct success; liked by musicians for his combining of firm interpretative ideas with a sound work ethic and humble, friendly demeanour. He conducted the Royal Danish Opera’s production of Boris Godunov in January 2011 and became, in Warner’s words, ‘hugely beloved and admired by our orchestra, chorus and soloists’.

With Hrůša’s new post comes the default music directorship of the Royal Danish Orchestra, which has a good claim to be the world’s oldest orchestra with its organisational roots stretching back to 1448. For opera and ballet productions the ensemble plays in the pit of the ‘old stage’ in central Copenhagen and of the new Operaen on the island of Holmen – a gift to the Danish people from the Maersk shipping dynasty, which opened in 2005.

Andrew Mellor

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