The current artistic director of Northern Ireland Opera is set to take the top job at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden early next year.
Oliver Mears will become the ROH’s director of opera in March 2017, taking the reins from Kasper Holten.
At Northern Ireland Opera, Mears focused on promoting the work of Northern Irish and Irish composers, building new audiences for opera along the way.
He also established the country’s first dedicated young artists programme.
Mears said: ‘I have had a wonderful time at Northern Ireland Opera over the last six years and am proud of the company’s growth and artistic excellence. I’m thrilled to be joining the Royal Opera to work alongside Antonio Pappano, Peter Katona, Cormac Simms, John Fulljames and the team – we have already had some inspiring conversations and I look forward to the future working together.’
Mears has previously directed critically acclaimed productions including the award-winning Tosca, L’elisir d’amore, Der fliegende Holländer, Macbeth, and The Turn of the Screw – among many others.
His production of Noye’s Fludde was part of the London Cultural Olympiad before touring to Beijing and Shanghai.
Antonio Pappano, music director of The Royal Opera, said: ‘I have been very impressed by Oliver Mears all through the selection process. He is fiercely intelligent, very knowledgeable about what is going on in the world of the performing arts, in particular theatre and opera, and he has genuine passion for our art form. I look forward to a very productive collaboration with him and wish him all success.’