Nicholas Cleobury is Head of Opera at the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Brisbane, where his productions have included DIE ZAUBERFLOTE , L'ETOILE and ALBERT HERRING (Directed by Bruce Beresford) and the Debussy/Ravel Double Bill (Directed by Stephen Barlow).ALBERT HERRING:
“...the orchestra under the baton of Nicholas Cleobury took to it with energy and precision...slick sophistication to rival professional companies.”
Debussy/Ravel Double Bill:“Under the baton of Nicholas Cleobury, QCGU’s Head of Opera, the Queensland Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra played very well, the Maestro bringing the various colours of both impressionistic scores to life within the stylistic demands of the works. Debussy’s opening musical sequence was both lyrical and atmospheric and there was a lovely legato flow and rhythm to this piece. Cleobury paid great attention to the leitmotifs and the strong melodies of the Ravel, while carefully managing his singers in some tricky vocal passages.”
“Nicholas Cleobury was masterful and purposeful in his clear and deliberate musical direction...the ensemble seemed particularly well rehearsed and delivered as were the orchestral interludes.”
September 2017 Double Bill Debussy’s L'ENFANT PRODIGUE and Ravel’s L'ENFANT ER LES SORTILEGES (Directed by Stephen Barlow):
“The orchestra, conducted with love and intensity by the obviously popular Nicholas Cleobury, didn’t miss a trick throughout this kaleidoscopic labyrinth of a score. It was truly a revelation to me, and I cannot think of another opera school in the country which could have done it better.”
He was, until last year, Artistic Director of Mid Wales Opera.
His first tour with Verdi's FALSTAFF (Directed by Martin Lloyd-Evans) was named in the Daily Telegraph as one of the "Top 10 Opera Events of 2010":“…for a modestly scaled but crisply executed and entertaining production of Falstaff, a work that even the most celebrated opera houses can’t pull off.
"All praise to Mid Wales Opera, whose touring version is an absolute delight…with Nicholas Cleobury conducting a sprightly account of the sublimely mercurial score, this is altogether a treat."
DAILY TELEGRAPH“MWO's new Music Director is off to a great start: he conducts a treacherous score with distinction. The whole thing is a delight.”
TIMES 2011 tour Puccini MADAM BUTTERFLY (Directed by Stephen Barlow):
"It is thanks to Artistic Director and conductor Nicholas Cleobury driving the score forward with a real feel for its detail that Puccini's characterisations begin to shine through."
"MWO's Musical Director, Nicholas Cleobury, led a tight beautifully paced account of the pared-down score."
2012 tour Mozart DON GIOVANNI (Directed by Martin Lloyd-Evans):
“... the strong musical values of the conductor Nicholas Cleobury.”
“... the orchestra achieves wonders under Nicholas Cleobury's well paced direction... Mozart's score is lovingly delivered.”
Nicholas Cleobury was Artistic Director of BRITTEN IN OXFORD in the centenary year 2013: a comprehensive series of concerts talks, workshops and masterclasses. He conducted the WAR REQUIEM, the world premiere of 2 PSALMS and a birthday concert in the Sheldonian Theatre with the English Chamber Orchestra. He also toured ALBERT HERRING with Mid Wales Opera. 2013 tour Britten Albert Herring (Directed by Michael Barker Caven):
“Nicholas Cleobury’s introduction writes of the “many glories of this tightly controlled, yet humorous and ultimately moving opera. He is right on all three attributes, translated with aplomb into his production.”
THEATRE IN WALES
“Nicholas Cleobury conducts a crack ensemble of 12 players, this is the highlight of my Britten centenary trawl to date.”
2014 tour CARMEN (Directed by Jonathan Miller):
“…heroes of the show...are the ten-piece band under MWO’s musical director, Nicholas Cleobury, playing the score in an extremely skilful reduction by Stephen McNeff.
“Nicholas Cleobury conducts an inspired reduction of Bizet's.”
2015 tour Handel ACIS and GALATEA with MWO, RWCMD and Brecon Baroque:
“Nicholas Cleobury made it all work with his spirited cast.”
“A happy collaboration...Cleobury's handling of his forces ensured Handel's score was subtly realised.”
“There is charm in the playing of Rachel Podger's Brecon Baroque under Nicholas Cleobury's deft direction - I found the show irresistible.”
“The orchestra is superfine. Nicholas Cleobury conducts crisply and with energy.”
“Nicholas Cleobury was the animated musical director of the splendid Brecon Baroque, who played with bite and great commitment throughout.”
SOUTH WALES ARGUS
2017 TOUR Handel SEMELE with MWO, RWCMD and the Academy of Ancient Music:
“Nicholas Cleobury has produced a cracker. Through it all music was the star...a perfect balance of sound.”
WALES ARTS REVIEW
“...subtly nuanced period performance...the evening's most delectable sounds, incisive and expressive.”
He has conducted with many opera companies and festivals including: Aldeburgh Festival; Arcal (Paris); British Youth Opera; Camden Festival; Canadian Opera; Chelsea Opera Group; Chicago Opera Theater; English Bach Festival; English National Opera; Flanders Opera; Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Gothenburg Opera; Hamburg Opera; Kent Opera; Malmo Opera; Omaha Opera; Opera 80; Orkney Festival; Stockholm Royal Opera; Two Moors Festival; Welsh National Opera.
He has also conducted extensively at Zurich Opera, where his productions have included: DIE ENTFUHRUNG; LE GRAND MACABRE; HARLEY (World Premiere); LEONORA; LE VIN HERBE; PETER GRIMES; WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE; DIE ZAUBERFLOTE. He has also conducted numerous ballets, including works by Berg, von Bose (world premiere), Debussy, Glass, Ligeti, Prokofiev and Stravinsky.
He also works regularly at the National Opera Studio and the Jette Parker programme at the Royal Opera House, London.