From Russia with Love to Jonathan Darlington Vancouver Opera Festival Special Tribute Concert Tuesday, May 1 at 7:30pm Vancouver Playhouse


To recognize Jonathan Darlington’s extraordinary partnership with the VO Orchestra, join us for a special evening full of surprises!


To pay tribute to Jonathan Darlington’s extraordinary fifteen-year music-making partnership with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra a special concert entitled From Russia with Love to Jonathan Darlington will be one of the highlights of the second Vancouver Opera Festival. The performance will include “Two Pieces for 6 hands” by Sergei Rachmaninoff with Maestro Darlington and friends at the piano, Russian arias performed by principals from Eugene Onegin, a special appearance by GOH ballet dancers and Igor Stravinsky’s “The Soldier’s Tale – Suite” with violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, and percussion.  

The celebration of Jonathan Darlington is also an opportunity for the closest friends of Vancouver Opera to come together.  The evening will begin with a gala dinner in which we recognize BMO for its extraordinary support as presenting sponsor of the Festival.  Also present will be a group of donors that have made special contributions to make this evening possible and to other 2018 Vancouver Opera Festival events. To conclude the evening, we will raise a toast to Maestro Darlington in the lobby after the performance!

Jonathan Darlington took up the position on Music Director in 2003 and will be named Conductor Emeritus at the end of the current season. The 2nd Annual Vancouver Opera Festival will mark his last event as Music Director before stepping down from his 15 years in the post, but his ongoing strong relationship with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra will continue with his return as a guest conductor in future seasons.

Darlington commented on the move, “I have had a terrific time working with the Vancouver Opera Orchestra. They are a committed group of talented musicians and I look forward to returning as a guest conductor in the future”

Darlington returns as a guest conductor in the 2018/2019 Vancouver Opera season for 3 performances of Gounod’s Faust. (April 27, May 2 and 5 at 7:30pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre)

Kim Gaynor, General Director of Vancouver Opera, announced today the official launch of a search for the next Music Director of Vancouver Opera.  We have formed a Music Director Search Committee comprised of a group of 8—from the management team, the board, and orchestra and chorus musicians — to aid in the candidate search, which unofficially began in September 2017. The search committee will define what qualities are needed in the next Music Director and they will be involved both in proposing potential candidates and evaluating guest conductors. Members of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra will also be consulted during the evaluation of guest conductors in order to arrive at the best choice. 

In a process which is likely to last take several years, potential Music Director candidates are invited as guest conductors before deciding if there is a match. According to Gaynor, “When an opera company of our calibre goes into search mode, we use everybody’s networks, and we look around the globe to find the perfect fit, however, we will be looking particularly closely at Canadian conductor candidates”.

The last time Vancouver Opera chose a Music Director the selection process did not in fact take very long. “From the first time Jonathan Darlington conducted our orchestra, it was a match made in heaven. The orchestra musicians pretty much unanimously acclaimed him as Music Director” according to Adrianne Wurz, Associate Director of Artistic Planning, who was present at the time.


Jonathan Darlington was offered the position of Music Director of Vancouver Opera in 2002, with his first appearance conducting La Boheme in 2003. Throughout his tenure he has conducted 32 productions, ranging from Mozart to Tan Dun. Born and educated in England, he is fluent in several languages and currently resides in Paris.

Jonathan Darlington possesses a vast symphonic and operatic repertoire from the Baroque to the Contemporary. He began his career as a freelance pianist, chamber musician and repetiteur. Born in Lapworth near Birmingham in England he was a boy chorister at Worcester Cathedral and went on a music scholarship to King’s School Worcester. He subsequently studied music at Durham University, graduating with honours, followed by graduate studies in piano at The Royal Academy of Music in London.

Throughout his illustrious career, he has worked with some of the most outstanding musical personalities of our time.

In 1996 he was invited to become part of the musical team at Deutsche Oper am Rhein (Düsseldorf – Duisburg) and in 2002 he was offered the position of Music Director of the Duisburger Philharmoniker. In the same year he also became Music Director of Vancouver Opera. With both ensembles Jonathan has enjoyed a hugely successful relationship.

Jonathan Darlington is both a “Laureate” (LRAM) and “Fellow” (FRAM) of the Royal Academy of Music, London and as a French resident is proud to hold the distinction of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.

Feature image: Jonathan Darlington photo Tim Matheson

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