Internationally renowned as an opera and concert conductor of distinction, Harry Bicket is especially noted for his interpretation of baroque and classical repertoire, and became Artistic Director of The English Concert in 2007, one of the UK’s finest period orchestras. Born in Liverpool, he studied at the Royal College of Music and Oxford University and is an accomplished harpsichordist.
Plans for the 2012/13 season include returns to Chicago Symphony, Metropolitan Opera (Clemenza, Cesare), Liceu Opera (Lucio Silla) and extensive touring with the English Concert (including Far East and America). Highlights of the 2011/12 season included acclaimed productions for Metropolitan Opera (Rodelinda), Chicago Lyric (Rinaldo) and Bordeaux Opera (Alcina) as well as extensive concert and touring projects with The English Concert featuring soloists such as Ian Bostridge, Andreas Scholl and Vesselina Kasarova as well as appearances at the BBC Proms (B Minor Mass) and Edinburgh International Festival in a programme with David Daniels. Future plans include returns to Metropolitan Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Liceu Barcelona, Sante Fe and Houston Grand Opera.
Recent guest conducting includes Los Angeles Philharmonic, his Japanese début with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, productions for the Liceu Barcelona (L’Arbore di Diana), Theater an der Wien (Iphigenie en Tauride), Atlanta Opera (Orfeo), Canadian Opera Company (Idomeneo). Critically acclaimed concerts and tours with The English Concert (BBC Proms, Spain, Middle East, Austria, Germany, USA) and his début with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as returns to the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (including the world premiere of Ken Hesketh’s oratorio Like the sea, like Time), Rotterdam Philharmonic (St Matthew Passion), Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Opera has included Santa Fe Opera (Platée,
Radamisto), Minnesota Opera (Croesus), Theater an der Wien (Mitridate). Other recent performances include Messiah and Missa Solemnis with Minnesota Orchestra, Messiah with the New York Philharmonic and critically acclaimed debuts with the Israel Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. Symphonic guest conducting has included San Francisco Symphony, Bayerische Rundfunk, Detroit Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo, Houston, Symphony, Seattle Symphony, St Paul Chamber Orchestra, NACO Ottawa, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and Indianapolis Symphony.
Bicket has appeared widely with period orchestras and ensembles, including Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Handel and Haydn Society, as well as festivals such as Glimmerglass, Spoleto, Aspen, Tanglewood and Santa Fe. He has enjoyed great success with leading mainstream symphonic orchestras - his programmes often showcase his gift for choral repertoire, from the great Passions, Masses and Oratorios of the baroque and classical eras to the works of Fauré, Elgar and Tippett.
Staged opera has included Opera Australia (Giulio Cesare); Scottish Opera (Gluck’s Orfeo); New York City Opera (Figaro, Entführung, Clemenza, Rinaldo); Royal Danish Opera (Gluck’s Orfeo); Glimmerglass (Partenope, Agrippina); New Israeli Opera (Poppea); Aldeburgh Festival (Purcell’s Faerie Queen); Edinburgh Festival (Clemenza); Spoleto Festival (Giasone, Tamerlano, L’ile de Merlin); English National Opera (Orfeo, Ariodante, Semele, Xerxes, Combattimento), Welsh National Opera (Clemenza di Tito); and Opera North (Radamisto, Return of Ulysses, Magic Flute, Croesus), Los Angeles Opera (Cesare, Poppea); Canadian Opera (Rodelinda, Idomeneo).
He made his Glyndebourne Festival debut in 1996 with Peter Sellars’ landmark production of Theodora and returned in 1999 and 2003. In 2004 he began his relationship with the Metropolitan Opera with an acclaimed new production of Rodelinda with Renée Fleming and David Daniels, and was immediately re-engaged for Cesare (2006/7) and Clemenza di Tito (2008). He made his début with the Bayerische Staatsoper in 2000 (Rinaldo, new production) and over the following seven years was a regular guest conductor, including Ariodante, Serse, Orlando, Orfee, Barbieri, Entführung and Zauberflöte. In 2001 his first Barcelona production, Giulio Cesare, earned him the Opera Critics Prize for best conductor. He has since returned for Midsummer Night’s Dream (2005), Ariodante (2006) and L’Arbore di Diana (2009). 2003 saw debuts with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, conducting Partenope, and with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden conducting Handel’s Orlando, which received an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Opera Production.
Bicket’s discography 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 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). His Virgin Classics recording in 2008, (his first with The English Concert) featured Bach arias and cantatas with David Daniels, Handel Duets (Chandos) with Sarah Connolly, Rosie Joshua and most recently with Lucy Crowe on Harmonia Mundi.