Conductor Speranza Scappucci Named Principal Guest Conductor at the Royal Opera House
The company has not had a principal guest conductor since Daniele Gatti held the position between 1994 and 1997
The Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci has recently been named as the new Principal Guest Conductor at the Royal Opera House. Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci will step into the role at the Royal Opera House at the opening of the 2025/26 season — which is also when longstanding music director Antonio Pappano will step aside for incoming music director Jakub Hrůša.
A graduate of the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome and the Juilliard School, Scappucci works regularly at the major opera houses in Vienna, Rome, Barcelona, Zürich, Los Angeles, and New York. She was Music Director at Royal Opéra de Wallonie in Liège between 2017 and 2022, and in January of 2022 she became the first woman ever to conduct at La Scala in Milan.
Scappucci has also spent much of her career working as a pianist and coach. In addition, she presents a show on Italian national television which aims to de-mystify opera as an art form. She advocates for musicians to make the effort to reach out to their communities, and recently told The Guardian that musicians "can’t just be in our ivory tower."
"I was thrilled to make my ROH debut with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House last summer," Scappucci said. "It was an immense joy to perform with such incredible musicians and singers, who display virtuosity combined with passion, making them unique in their excellence."
"I’m honored to accept the position and look forward to being part of the Covent Garden family, working alongside Jakub Hrůša on a wide range of repertoire," she continued. "Covent Garden is a house of great tradition, globally known for its world-class singers, conductors and directors. I’m excited for what’s ahead of me as part of this fantastic team."
"Speranza Scappucci’s work in opera has always highly impressed me," added Jakub Hrůša. "She is an energizing presence on the podium, inspiring the musicians and indeed everyone around her through her splendid passion, warmth, skill, and knowledge. I’m delighted that she will be a part of the team for the artistic work that lies ahead to fulfill The Royal Opera’s future dreams and visions."
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