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Gerard Jones

Stage Director

Biography highlights

Gerard directed the Young Artists’ Summer Performance 2016 on the main stage at the
Royal Opera House with the ROH Orchestra and the ten singers in the programme.
The 2-hour piece comprised scenes by Kát`a Kabanová, Mireille, Eugene Onegin,
Leoncavallo’s La bohème and Die Fledermaus. In November 2016, Gerard directed
and co-designed a new production of Handel’s Oreste for the Royal Opera at Wilton’s
Music Hall (due to works at the Lynbury Studio of the ROH).


Later 2017 Gerard presented in London a new staging of La Tragedie de Carmen, for
the Royal Opera at Wiltons Music Hall followed by the invitation from Calixto Bieito to
stage two of Monteverdi’s madrigal books at Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao where Calixto is
Artistic Director. In June 2018 he presented a semi-staged of Siegfried with Sir Mark
Elder at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall.


One of the four finalists of the European Opera Directing Prize 2018, he will present the
final staging of Manon Lescaut.


His work as Assistant Director at ROH includes Graham Vick’ Morgen und Abend,
Kasper Holten’s Eugene Onegin and Die Meistersinger; Ted Huffmann’s Psychosis
4.48; Jan Philip Gloger’s Cosi fan tutte; Katie Mitchell’s Written On Skin.


Gerard began assistant director work at ROH back in 2008. His collaboration with
Richard Jones goes back to a list of productions. At Glyndebourne, Falstaff, Macbeth,
and Der Rosenkavalier; weheras at the Royal Opera the titles Anna Nicole (ROH world
premiere), Gloriana (Hamburg and ROH) and most recently Boris Godunov , Rodelinda
(ENO) and Peter Grimes (La Scala).


Also with Moshe Leiser & Patrice Caurier he has collaborated in the new production of
L’Italiana in Algeri for the Salzburger Festspiele 2018 with Cecilia Bartoli; as well as in
Madame Butterfly and Il Turco in Italia.


Other directors include Anthony McDonald: Der Ring des Nibelungen for Nationale
Reisopera, Rusalka at Grange Park) and Les enfants et les sortileges at Bolshoi; John
Fulljames’ Quartett (ROH) and Orphee et Euridice (ROH and La Scala) and David
Alden’s La Calisto.


Gerard graduated a degree in music and clarinet to Grade 8 with “Distinction”; as well
as piano and violin. He also graduate in Italian and German Studies from University of
Central London (UCL).


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June 2018
0217:00

Wagner - Siegfried - Stage Director

The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

Sir Mark Elder, Conductor

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Teatro Arriaga, Bilbao - Monteverdi Madrigals

The young British stage director Gerard Jones raises an unusual antinuclear allegation
through the use of the madrigals composed 400 years ago by the Italian creator Claudio
Monteverdi, in the show that will be staged at the Arriaga Theater on the 19th and 20th of
December.


The show devised by this young and relevant figure of the British stage, is based on the
books Fifth and Sixth of the Madrigals of Monteverdi, considered the precursor of the opera,
closes the cycle dedicated by the Arriaga Theater of Bilbao to his figure, with reason for the
450th anniversary of his birth in 1567.


In the assembly, the five actors recreate five survivors of a nuclear disaster who, through
music, lament the lost natural world and the human lives devastated by the disaster..

- EFE, El Periódico


Royal Opera House London - Oreste

For Jones, the horrific cruelty of the classics translates easily into a grungy post-apocalyptic world where order has entirely broken down: a tagged urban underbelly where all protagonists wonder in a traumatised daze of psychopathic bloodlust. Acting is strong – we shall surely see more of baritone Gyula Nagy, and soprano Vlada Borovko, who lands in this world like something out of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and sings with style to match.

- Cara Chanteau, The Independent

Jones describes the world he evokes as “post-social”, and places it beyond the boundaries of
civilisation, both geographical and moral. In a graffiti-daubed outpost, Toante (Simon
Shibambu) presides over a cult of human sacrifice, where Ifigenia (Jennifer Davis) batters
victims to death with a hammer and Toante’s psychotic sidekick Filotete (Gyula Nagy)
bundles body parts into rubbish bags. Angela Simkin’s Oreste is a self-harming paranoiac, separated from his wife, Ermione (Vlada Borovko), his friend Pilade (Thomas Atkins) and, most crucially, his medication, which Ermione carries in her handbag..

- Tim Ashley, The Guardian

In Gerard Jones’ production the action is updated to a modern day setting, with the
dystopian atmosphere shaking the normal certainties that truth and justice will ultimately prevail. The
set, designed by Jones and Matt Carter, is covered from top to toe with graffiti, which on the one
hand suggests extreme poverty and deprivation, but on the other alludes to a style and
culture all of its own. A similar point could be made in relation to the ripped, dirty clothes
and makeup of some of the protagonists. These might be seen as fashion statements in their own right, but the streams of eyeliner pouring down Ifigenia’s face could result either from deliberate
effort or from her tears. 


Traditional weapons become Stanley knives and hammers which means there is nothing
clean or noble about Toante’s killing, with each protagonist taking their turn to pummel
away at him offstage before returning with blood splattered clothes. Far from his death
seeing the dawning of new more enlightened age, the ending as we see it suggests that
things will proceed extremely badly as Ermione takes exception to the affection that Oreste
and Ifigenia show each other.

- Sam Smith, Opera Online

But there is no consolation in recognition in this hard-hitting production, which never
forgets that the story of Oreste washing up on a hostile island is born out of bloodsome
family affairs in the House of Atreus. Gerard Jones, directing the rising artists of the Royal
Opera House, creates a Tauris ruled by a murderous tyrant that has elements of dystopic
societies everywhere: graffiti, summary executions, psychological breakdown..

- Claudia Pritchard, Cultural Whispers


ROH Young Artist Programme

This year the set on offer on the main stage was for Il Trovatore, a dead loss for this event,
so a wall with one entry was placed halfway back to create an anonymous space for the
excerpts, ably directed by Richard Gerard Jones.

- Stephen Mead, Der Neue Merker


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