David Bates opens his 2020/21 season with a staged production of Handel’s Il Trionfo del tempo e del disinganno for Staatsoper Hannover. Marking his debut with the company, the opera is directed by Elisabeth Stöppler, featuring Sarah Brady, Sunnyboy Dladla, Nina van Essen, and Rodrigo Sosa Dal Pozzo in its cast. Further ahead, his opera plans include his debut with Komische Oper in 2021/22.
Directing from the harpsichord, David made his debut for Glyndebourne-on-tour at the start of 2019/20 with Robert Carsen’s exuberant production of Rinaldo featuring countertenor Jake Arditti in the title role and Anna Devin as Almirena. His plans that season also included Serse (with Jakub Orlinski) for Opera de Rouen and Ariodante for the London Festival of Baroque Music with La Nuova Musica. Both projects have now been postponed.
David’s previous opera productions have included Xerxes at Iford Arts, Cesti’s L’Orontea at the Innsbrucker Festwochen, Cavalli’s La Calisto for Cincinnati Opera (directed by Ted Huffmann), James Darrah’s production of Iphigénie en Tauride at the Lisbon’s Teatro São Carlos and Vivaldi’s Il Farnace with the Tony Award-winning theatre director Garry Hynes at the Spoleto Festival in the US. In December 2020 he will conduct a tour of Handel’s Messiah with the Irish Baroque Orchestra in Wexford, Dublin, and Drogheda.
A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music in London and of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, David Bates initially embarked on a professional singing career before turning to directing/conducting. Inspired by his work with such renowned conductors as Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Mark Minkowski, Andrea Marcon and Nicholas McGegan, and driven by a desire to articulate his own musical vision, he founded La Nuova Musica, a vocal and instrumental ensemble dedicated to the music of the Baroque and Classical periods.
Now in their eleventh year, La Nuova Musica’s engagements this season include returns to the Wigmore Hall for a Monteverdi Gala, Bath MozartFest for a symphonic programme of Mozart and Handel, Brighton Festival (as part of their three-year residency) for a Tenebrae project. They also plan to appear at the Lichfield Festival with Lucy Crowe, and at La Seine Musicale in France. In 2015, David Bates and La Nuova Musica embarked upon a series of concert performances of Handel for the London Handel Festival, performing Acis and Galatea, Berenice, Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, Il Duello Amoroso, Apollo e Dafne, Orlando and Alcina. They will perform Theodora in 2020/21, and have yet to perform Ariodante and Rodelinda.
Their first release for Pentatone, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice with Iestyn Davies, Sophie Bevan and Rebecca Bottone, was recorded live in concert and reviewed at the time by Opera Now as “a subtle, vivid and detailed performance of Gluck’s original 1762 Orfeo ed Euridiceat St John’s by David Bates and La Nuova Musica was just as intense and pleasurable – and a reminder how under-performed Gluck is. This was all about sounds and textures, a physical enjoyment of the half-hidden, frisson-inducing details of a passing discord or suspension, a drawn-out cadence, a viola line”. Their CDs for Harmonia Mundi, all of which have garnered outstanding reviews and received ‘Le choix de France Musique’ and ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Gramophone Magazine, includes Handel Dixit Dominus, Charpentier and CarissimiHistoires Sacrées, Couperin Leçons de Ténebres with Lucy Crowe and Elizabeth Watts and Pergolesi Stabat Mater.
As an assistant, he has worked with Emmanuelle Haim (including Opera de Paris and Opera Zurich) Ivor Bolton (Teatro Real) and, at Glyndebourne, with William Christie and Laurence Cummings.