Thomas Guthrie is an innovative and award-winning director, musician, actor and writer working in theatre and music to tell stories in vivid, new and direct ways.
A former Jette Parker Young Artist Stage Director at the Royal Opera House in London, his revival of David McVicar’s Die Zauberflöte there in 2017 won What’s On Stage Best Revival 2018. His own critically acclaimed productions of Le Nozze di Figaro and Die Zauberflöte at Longborough Festival Opera led to an invitation to direct Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer there in 2018 (subsequently called ‘one of the best productions at this venue I have seen’, Rupert Christiansen, Telegraph).
Guthrie has a reputation for stylish, theatrical and controversial productions that remain intensely faithful to the music. Mozart’s Figaro without doors, Wagner’s Holländer without ships, the Purcell operas Fairy Queen – through the eyes of the Victorian painter Richard Dadd – and King Arthur – through the eyes of Welsh artist and writer, David Jones. Last year he directed two separate productions of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, one entirely with puppets and masks, the other set in 1960s Brighton. A passionate Schubertian, he has researched and written on ornamentation in Lieder, and produced Winterreise and Die schöne Müllerin with puppets and in his own – again controversial – arrangements (with, among other instruments, percussion and tree branch). And he also produced and directed the world premiere staging of the Bach motets. But the story and the music is always at the forefront of his work. ‘I believe that good theatre depends upon inspiring the imagination of the audience. Props and scenery are never the answer’, he said in a recent Q and A (Princeton University).
Tom also works with non-professionals of all ages and backgrounds. Some of his most thrilling projects have been in this field, including with Streetwise Opera, the Prison Choir Project and the Royal Opera House, through whom he has inspired hundreds to connect with their inner Caruso and raise the roof. His production of Ludd and Isis, an opera commissioned to launch the ROH’s new Production Park in Thurrock, involving a cast of hundreds, including professionals and amateurs of all ages, was acclaimed as ‘one of the Royal Opera House’s grandest achievements’ (Opera).
Thomas is the founder and artistic director of the charity Music and Theatre for All, Artistic Advisor to the York Early Music Festival, and singer/violinist with the Alehouse Boys, a project with the Norwegian group Barokksolistene (dir Bjarte Eike) recreating the sights and sounds of a 17th century London pub.
“Thomas Guthrie is hot news. His imagination knows no bounds”
Click here for the ROH’s video introduction to Tom’s award winning revival of Magic Flute (Sept 2017)
Click here for clips from his Winterreise production in Princeton, USA (Oct 2017)
Click here to see the Guardian’s photo essay on Tom’s Barbiere revival at ROH, 2016
Click here to watch Tom perform with Bjarte Eike’s Alehouse Boys on the BBC in 2016
Click here to watch a video on the making of the London premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Monster in the Maze conducted by Simon Rattle and directed by Tom from 2015