Musical Director & Conductor
Justin Lavender has sung leading tenor roles with most of the world’s major opera houses, including the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Vienna and Berlin State Operas and La Scala, Milan. The most recent stage appearances have been Don José both with the WNO and in the Royal Opera’s production of Carmen which travelled to Taiwan. He has a parallel concert career and many commercial recordings to his credit. Prominent among these is Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius with the CBSO, issued for the Elgar 150th anniversary. This recording was the Editor’s Choice in Gramophone magazine. The late Alan Blyth wrote, “The best modern Gerontius, Justin Lavender surpasses all recent interpreters.” Last year Justin sang Verdi’s Requiem in the 300th anniversary season of the Three Choirs Festival. A student of Mandarin Chinese, Justin has performed Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde using the original Tang Dynasty texts.
Justin is a Professor of Vocal Studies at the Royal College of Music, Vocal Tutor at the Birmingham Conservatoire, Vocal Consultant both to the choral scholars of King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, and to the choir of Canterbury Cathedral; and Honorary Professor of the Confucius Institute of North Carolina. Locally, he has previously conducted the Bicester Choral and Operatic Society in Haydn’s Creation.
From 2013 to 2015 he was artistic director of Opera at Bearwood, in Berkshire, where he conducted Carmen, Puccini’s Le Villi, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld, Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet and Smetana’s The Bartered Bride, as well as a number of concerts of varied operatic repertoire. He was artistic director of the 2016 Epsom Twinning Choral Festival, where he conducted choirs from England, France, Belgium and Germany.
Since moving to Buckinghamshire in 2015, Justin and the stage director, Alison Marshall, have fulfilled a long-held ambition to found an opera company. Arcadian Opera, based at Stowe School, has already established itself as a considerable musical presence in the area. Justin is proud to be associated with Arcadian Opera and with the Phoenix Singers.
Musical Director / Conductor
Messiah – Handel – with Trinity Camerata
Dixit Dominus – Handel – with Trinity Camerata
Symphony No. 8 in F Major – Beethoven
Choral Fantasia – Beethoven
Requiem – Mozart – with Trinity Camerata
Messa di Gloria – Puccini
Magnificat in D – Bach