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Musical Director / Supervisor / Arranger
Richard Balcombe is firmly established as one of the most versatile musicians of his generation.
In opera he has conducted The Gondoliers (English National Opera), Barber of Seville (Ulster Orchestra), Magic Flute and Offenbach's Bluebeard (English Chamber Orchestra), Rigoletto (English Touring Opera), Madama Butterfly and Magic Flute (Central Festival Opera), Falstaff, Tosca, Cosi fan Tutte, The Marriage of Figaro (London Opera Players), Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, The Gondoliers and Pirates of Penzance (Carl Rosa) and HMS Pinafore & The Mikado (D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in the UK and America). He has also conducted for Bryn Terfel, Jose Carreras and Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorgiu on BBC TV.
He has been privileged to work with some of the world's leading orchestras including Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestre National de Lille, Odense Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, Estonian National Symphony, Stockholm Sinfonietta, Sonderjyllands Symphony, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orquesta Sinfonica Gran Mariscal (Venezuela); and in the UK the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Scottish National, English Chamber, Halle, Ulster, National Symphony, BBC Concert, London Pro Arte, East of England, Northern Chamber, London Concert and London Musicians Orchestras and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera.
In the West End he was Music Director for Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Carmen Jones, Cats, and Once on this Island; he was Music Director for Divorce Me Darling, Out of this World, The Gondoliers and How To Succeed In Business (Chichester Festival), Babes in Arms (Cardiff International Festival), Follies in Concert (London Palladium), Wonderful Town and South Pacific (Grange Park Opera), Anton and Erin Steppin Out (national tour 2010) and Musical Supervisor for Promises and Lies (Birmingham Rep; world premiere), and the 2004/2005 national tour of Kiss Me Kate.
Richard is also a prolific orchestrator and arranger and has provided orchestrations for the LSO, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, RSNO and the BBC and London Concert Orchestras; for artists including Lesley Garrett, Willard White, Michael Ball, Sir Cliff Richard, Will Young and Ronan Keating and for projects including The Sound of Musicals (Barbican and national tour), Sounds of Hollywood (Ruthie Henshall, national tour), Fred Astaire: His daughter's Tribute (London Palladium), Hollywood Symphonic (France), Can You Feel The Love Tonight, The Magnificent Musicals and Something Wonderful (UK tours); Out Of This World, How To Succeed In Business, Babes in Arms and The Gondoliers (Chichester Festival), Promises and Lies (Birmingham Rep) and The Merry Widow (Carl Rosa). In 2009 he arranged, orchestrated and conducted the score for Adam Cooper's Shall we Dance at (Sadlers Wells) and he has created reduced orchestral versions of 25 complete operas which are now used worldwide.
His recording credits (as conductor and/or orchestrator) include The Martyr of Antioch (Sullivan), Love Unspoken, The Musicality of Irving Berlin, Showstoppers from Broadway, original cast albums of Once on this Island and Divorce me Darling, This time it's personal (Michael Ball), The Rutter & Gadd Family album, The London Cello Sound, Fred Astaire: His Daughter's Tribute, Short Stories (Mario Frangoulis); Brideshead Revisited and Merciless Beauty (as co-producer) and the DVD Sometimes I Dream (Mario Frangoulis).