Philip Sunderland

Royal Academy Opera - Head of Preparatory and Vocal Faculty Opera

Experienced conductor with major British opera companies

Former Chorus Master with Opera North

Music Director, W11 Opera for Young People

Philip Sunderland studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio. He began his professional life as a member of the Music Staff at English National Opera. This lead to further engagements with English Touring Opera, The Royal Opera, Glyndebourne and Opera North.

Philip began to be recognised as a conductor whilst working for English Touring Opera, for whom he conducted The Marriage of Figaro, Pearl Fishers, La Cenerentola and Daughter of the Regiment. Increasingly in demand as an assistant conductor at Opera North, he was head-hunted for the position of Chorus Master, a post he held for four years. Whilst at Opera North he conducted Sweeney Todd, La Traviata and the Brahms Requiem in York Minster with the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North.

In 2004 Philip moved back to London to pursue his busy freelance career. He is Music Director to W11 Opera for Young People, commissioning and performing a new piece each year with a cast of 85 young people. He was Music Director to Swansea City Opera and conducted Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi for English Touring Opera, with whom he recently conducted the Olivier Award-winning Paul Bunyan.

Philip’s opera From Cars to Mars was commissioned by Swansea City Opera and was performed by a cast of homeless people in the city. His second opera, The Glass Knight, was commissioned for the community of Saffron Walden in 2016.

Philip will take over from Gareth Hancock, who becomes the new Director of Royal Academy Opera.

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