Stephen Higgins studied at Oxford University, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Opera Studio in London and is a conductor who has worked extensively in major opera houses and festivals both in the UK and abroad.
He spent his early professional career on the music staff of ROH, Glyndebourne and ENO and has worked on a wide variety of repertoire, ranging from Monteverdi, Mozart, Puccini, John Adams and Stephen Sondheim.
He has conducted many world premieres: ‘The Way Back Home’, a children’s opera at the Young Vic directed by Katie Mitchell, which he revived at the Opera de Paris at the Bastille, ‘Dr Dee’ by Damon Albarn, directed by Rufus Norris, which he conducted both for the Manchester Festival and at ENO, and recorded for EMI, and ‘The Duchess of Malfi’ by German composer Torsten Rasch, which was a collaboration with ENO and the theatre company, punchdrunk.
Equally at home in standard operatic repertoire, Stephen has conducted ‘Owen Wingrave’ for the Opera de Paris, ‘Magic Flute’ for ENO, ‘L’Elisir d’amore’ for Opera Holland Park, Don Giovanni for the Porto festival, ‘La Boheme’, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, Magic Flute’ for young singers’ company, Co-opera-co.
He also has an interest in music theatre, working with Sondheim on revivals of ‘A little Night Music’ and ‘Sunday in the park with George’ at the Châtelet theatre in Paris, and conducting ‘Phantom of the Opera’ in London’s West End.
Stephen is also considerably in demand as a vocal coach and as guest chorus master for opera companies up and down the country and he appeared on the recent ‘Maestro at the Opera’ on BBC2 as mentor to Josie Lawrence.
Other notable performances include another world premiere, Tansy Davies’ ‘Between Worlds’ at the Barbican, conducting ‘Crazy for you’ by Gershwin for Gothenburg opera, musical supervision for theatre pieces at the National Theatre in London and at Theatre La Criée in Marseille.
Since January 2016 Stephen has been Head of Music at Bergen Nasjonale opera in Norway. He has conducted Hansel and Gretel and Carmen for the company and has assisted visiting conductors on productions of Madama Butterfly, Il Turco in Italia, Otello, Peter Grimes and Messiah.
Stephen regularly works with young artist programmes and opera students at the main conservatories both in the UK and abroad.
Other notable engagements include conducting Massenet’s Thais for Chelsea Opera Group, Candide and Carmen in Norway and creating a new theatrical version of Disney’s Fantasia for the vaults theatre in Waterloo.