Graham Vick CBE is at the top of his profession. In demand all over the world and working with many of the greatest singers in major opera houses, he is established as one of the foremost opera directors of our times. His productions have been seen at La Scala, Milan; Metropolitan Opera, New York; Mariinsky Opera, St Petersburg; Maggio Musicale, Florence and many more. His production of Verdi's Falstaff opened the newly refurbished Royal Opera House and between 1992 and 2000 he was Director of Productions at Glyndebourne. He has won many international awards including the Premio Abbiati in Italy (5 times) and The South Bank Show Award (twice). He is a Chevalier de L'Ordes des Arts et des Lettres, Honorary Professor of Music at the University of Birmingham and was Visiting Professor of Opera Studies at Oxford University. He was awarded the CBE for services to Opera in the Queen's Birthday Honours List in June 2009.
Throughout his career Graham has created projects designed to reach new audiences. It all started in his early 20s at Scottish Opera when he founded a small touring company with funds from a government job creation scheme to take opera to remote communities in the Highlands and Islands. In the 1980s he worked with a group of 300 unemployed young people on Leonard Bernstein's West Side Story in an abandoned mill in Yorkshire and in 1987 he came to Birmingham and founded this company with help from Birmingham City Council and Arts Council England. Graham views his work in Birmingham as entirely complementary to his international directing career and is adamant that excellence and accessibility are not at odds.
His pioneering work in Birmingham has attracted the attention of people and companies world-wide. Although a small operation, Birmingham Opera Company is now seen to be at the forefront of the modernisation of opera and a pioneer in its development as a 21st century artform.