William Relton, Director

William made his professional debut as an actor in 1971 as The Winslow Boy in the West End opposite Kenneth More. He went on to develop his career in television and theatre playing everything from Hamlet to principal boy in pantomime. Major rôles were Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro at the National Theatre, Candide in Candide at the Edinburgh Festival, Marco in The Gondoliers and Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore, Wilfred Owen in the one-man play All The Arts of Hurting, Tony in West Side Story, Kenneth in Call Me Madam at the Victoria Palace, and he was in the ensemble of Sweeney Todd in the UK premiere production at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

In 1991 he joined Music Theatre London, an opera company with a difference in that it cast actors with good singing voices, as opposed to classically trained opera singers. rôles sung during this time were Don Ottavio, Basilio, Thisbe and Ferrando. He also worked as Executive Producer for the company over three years producing tours to the Vienna Festival, Germany, Holland and in the UK.

In 1993 he took over directing the company’s production of Cosi Fan Tutte and realised within the first half hour that directing opera was his next career.

Since then he has directed all over the UK and Europe including Drottningholm Serse & Il Mondo della Luna,  l’Opera de Nice Otell” and Figaro, English National Opera The Barber of Seville and La bohème, Staatstheater Darmstadt Albert Herring and Der Wildschütz, Vadstena Festival“Bassiano and Ödets Lotter, Kongelige Teater Copenhagen Midsummer Night’s Dream, London Handel Festival Sosarme and Ezio” Streetwise Opera Time Flows, Dorset Opera Nabucco, Hérodiade, Turandot and Pearl Fishers, Diva Opera Fledermaus, Zauberflöte and Hoffmann, RSAMD La Pietra del Paragone, Pelleas and Alcina, RAM Poppea.


His productions include: Carmen (Scottish Opera), Ariadne auf Naxos/ Phaedra, Cosi Fan Tutte (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama), Albert Herring (Co-Opera Co.), Night Pieces – Jerwood Project (Glyndebourne/LPO), The Marriage of Figaro and Peter Grimes (Surrey Opera), Twist and Shout - a musical about the Beatles (tour of Italy), The House of Bernarda Alba, The Dog Beneath the Skin (Cockpit Theatre, London), Hell and High Water, The Last Resort and A Christmas Carol (Strangeface Mask Theatre Company, UK tours).

He has revived/assisted on opera productions by Nicholas Hytner, Graham Vick, David McVicar, Jonathan Miller, Annabel Arden, Nikolaus Lehnhoff, Peter Hall and Deborah Warner, and has been on the directing staff at Glyndebourne, English National Opera, Garsington and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.