Opera Scotland

Dennis Arundell Suggest updates

Born: London, 22 Jul 1898.
Died London, 10 Dec 1988.

English director, actor, author, translator, composer, and musicologist.

After war service, Dennis Arundell studied at Cambridge, directing theatre productions including Semele (1925), The Soldier’s Tale (1928), and The Fairy Queen (1931). He composed for wireless, theatre, and film, setting many of A P Herbert’s lyrics. He acted at the Lyric Hammersmith and the Old Vic, and created stage roles of Lord Peter Wimsey in Busman’s Honeymoon, and the husband in Gaslight. After the war he returned to opera translation and direction. He staged many productions for Sadler’s Wells, including The School for Fathers (1946), Faust (1947), Tosca (1949 and 1960), Kátya Kabanová (1951 British premiere), The Marriage of Figaro (1951), The Flying Dutchman (1958) and Merrie England (1960). For Beecham he produced The Bohemian Girl (Covent Garden 1951) and Irmelin. He also directed operas in Australia and Finland, before taking charge of opera at the Royal College of Music 1959-73. He wrote several books on music and composed two operas himself. For Scottish Opera he directed both the opening productions, Madama Butterfly and Pelléas et Mélisande (1962).

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