Internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, Harry Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of Baroque and Classical repertoire and in 2007 became Artistic Director of The English Concert, one of the UK’s finest period orchestras. He became Chief Conductor of Santa Fe Opera in 2013 and opened the 2014 season with a critically-acclaimed Fidelio. Born in Liverpool, he studied at the Royal College of Music and Oxford University and is an accomplished harpsichordist. He last appeared with Music of the Baroque in February 2003.
Recent and upcoming engagements include his debut with RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, return visits to Lyric Opera of Chicago (Orphée et Eurydice), Metropolitan Opera (Le Nozze di Figaro), Royal Northern Sinfonia, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, and a masterclass with the Juilliard School. Plans with The English Concert include European and US (Carnegie Hall) performances of Rinaldo and recording work, and performances of Bernstein’s Candide with Santa Fe Opera.
Highlights of recent seasons include acclaimed productions for Lyric Opera of Chicago (Carmen, Rinaldo), Santa Fe Opera (Alcina, Fidelio), Houston Grand Opera (Le Nozze di Figaro, Rusalka), Canadian Opera Company (Maometto II, Hercules), Atlanta Opera (Orfeo), Metropolitan Opera (Rodelinda, La clemenza di Tito, Giulio Cesare), Liceu Opera Barcelona (Agrippina, Lucio Silla), L’Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine (Alcina), and Theater an der Wien (Iphigenie en Tauride, Mitridate, re di Ponto). Previous engagements also include staged opera with Minnesota Opera, Opera Australia, Scottish Opera, New York City Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, New Israeli Opera, Aldeburgh Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Spoleto Festival, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera, Opera North, and Los Angeles Opera.
In the United States and Canada, Harry Bicket has appeared as a guest conductor with Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Cincinnati May Festival), Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, Seattle Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa), Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, and Messiah with the New York Philharmonic. In Europe, he has conducted performances and appeared with Oslo Philharmonic, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Rotterdams Philharmonisch, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Bayerische Rundfunk, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Previous work outside of Europe includes his Japanese debut with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra and a visit to Israel Philharmonic.
Recent highlights with The English Concert include UK and international touring within Europe, United States (most recently Ariodante featuring Joyce DiDonato) and the Far East, regular Wigmore Hall and Barbican projects, and BBC Proms.
He made his Glyndebourne Festival debut in 1996 with Peter Sellars’ landmark production of Theodora and returned in 1999 and 2003. In 2004, his first Metropolitan Opera production (an acclaimed new production of Rodelinda with Renée Fleming and David Daniels) was quickly followed by Giulio Cesare (2006/7) and Clemenza di Tito (2008) and he is now a regular guest. He made his debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2000 (Rinaldo) and over the following seven years conducted many performances including Ariodante, Serse, Orlando, Orfeo ed Euridice, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Die Zauberflöte.
Recordings to date with The English Concert include releases for Virgin Classics, Chandos, and Harmonia Mundi featuring Elizabeth Watts, David Daniels, Lucy Crowe, Sarah Connolly, and Rosemary Joshua. His discography also includes five recordings with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, including a collection of Handel opera arias with Renée Fleming (Decca) and Ian Bostridge (EMI), as well as selections from Handel’s Theodora, Serse, and the cantata La Lucrezia with Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (Avie), which was nominated for a Grammy Award. His Gramophone Award-nominated CDs also include Sento Amor with David Daniels featuring arias by Gluck, Handel, and Mozart (Virgin Veritas) and Il tenero momento with Susan Graham featuring arias by Mozart and Gluck (Erato).