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SEÁN DORAN - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Seán Doran is one of the most innovative and daring artistic directors working in today's international arts world.

© Aoibheann at evanne.co.uk
He has often been employed as a catalyst for change, the outsider who breaks the mould and pioneers new artistic direction. He is seen as a leader with vision, a risk-taker renowned for merging the challenging with the popular to create exceptional artistic events.

After commencing a career as a clarinettist and conductor of a music-theatre company in London, of which Sir Simon Rattle was Patron (1985-90), Doran was appointed to directorships of four major international arts festivals (1991-2003). These included:

  • Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the UK Year of Literature 1995 (Wales), the world's largest ever literature festival.
  • Artistic Director of the Belfast Festival at Queens, Ireland's largest multi-arts festival (1997 & 1998).
  • Festival Director of the Perth International Arts Festival, Australia's largest multi-arts festival (2000-2003).

At the age of 42, Seán Doran was appointed Artistic Director & Chief Executive of English National Opera (from 2003), the first Irishman ever to lead one of England's national arts companies. Today he leads his own company Insideworld Imagine.

In 2002 Seán Doran was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government for his directorship of the Perth Festival. In 2001 Seán also became an Australian citizen alongside his Irish citizenship. He is married to the opera singer Ruby Philogene (http://www.philogene.net/) and lives in both London and Perth, Australia.
Download Seán's CV here.

'Doran’s sense of place is acute – and strategic...
In some ways Doran’s nerve is breathtaking' VICTORIA LAURIE, THE AUSTRALIAN

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SEÁN DORAN - SOME PROJECTS

Seán commissioned 51 sculptures from Turner Prize-winning artist Antony Gormley for a salt lake in the Australian outback. He staged the Merce Cunningham Dance Company on an Australian beach to an audience of 4000 and he invited former U.S. President Jimmy Carter to be figurehead of the world's largest literature festival in Wales.

© Aoibheann at evanne.co.uk
At English National Opera, he commissioned film director Anthony Minghella's opera debut, Madam Butterfly, which subsequently opened the 2006/7 New York Metropolitan Opera season, the first time in that company's history they had opened a season with another company's work.

‘The most beautiful show of the year in operatic London’
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH ON MADAM BUTTERFLY

Two of Seán's final inspirations at ENO were to pair Deborah Warner & Ian Bostridge in Benjamin Britten's Death in Venice and to invite Improbable Theatre to make their opera debut with the composer Philip Glass (Satyagraha 2007). Death in Venice became the second most popular Britten production in ENO's history. Satyagraha is the most popular contemporary work in ENO's history, selling over 17,000 tickets. Both productions were outstanding artistic and critical successes.

The artists of Seán's programming at ENO were awarded all eight nominations at the 2006 Olivier Awards, winning both opera category awards.

In more popular mode, Seán presented Bono of U2 in his first live on stage Conversation (with The Guardian's Robin Denselow in 1995) and opened the literature component of his inaugural Belfast Festival with Australian icons Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue (1997).

It was Seán's idea to grass London's Trafalgar Square, Glyndebourne-style, in preparation for its first ever opera staging in 2004. However, many will remember Seán's most daring and successful audience development idea of all: taking English National Opera to the Glastonbury Festival in June 2004 when over 50,000 popular music fans responded with glee to Act 3 of Richard Wagner's opera The Valkyrie.

50 ARTISTS SEÁN HAS COMMISSIONED AND WORKED WITH

YEHUDA AMICHAI • LAURIE ANDERSON • VLADIMIR ASHKENAZY • GERALD BARRY • BONO • ANNE BOGART • IAN BOSTRIDGE • MATTHEW BOURNE • ALFRED BRENDEL • TRISHA BROWN • DAVID BYRNE • ROMEO CASTELLUCI • NICK CAVE • CHEN SHI ZHENG • ORNETTE COLEMAN • MERCE CUNNINGHAM • WILLEM DAFOE • LEV DODIN • JULIUS DRAKE • MATS EK • GERALD FINLEY • VALERY GERGIEV • PHILIP GLASS • ANTONY GORMLEY • DIMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY • RICHARD JONES • SIMON KEENLEYSIDE • JIRI KYLIAN • ELIZABETH LECOMPTE • PHYLLIDA LLOYD • PHELIM MCDERMOTT • DAVID MCVICAR • ANTHONY MINGHELLA • KATIE MITCHELL • MARK MORRIS • CONALL MORRISON • VAN MORRISON • OHAD NAHARIN • YOKO ONO • ANNE SOFIE VON OTTER • AMOS OZ • E. ANNIE PROULX • SILVIU PUCARETE • MIKEL ROUSE • CARLOS SANTOS • RONNIE SCOTT • FIONA SHAW • JULIET STEVENSON • BILL VIOLA • DEBORAH WARNER AND ROBERT WILSON.