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polly graham - opera director

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Opera and theatre director Polly Graham read English at Trinity College, Dublin and completed an MA in Text and Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Whilst a student she gained experience with the Santa Cruz Shakespeare Festival, Streetwise Opera and Le Théâtre du Soleil.

Polly spent two years as Genesis Assistant Director at Welsh National Opera, mentored by David Pountney and assisting Mariusz Trelinski and Pierre Audi amongst others. She was revival director for Pountney’s production of Usher House at San Francisco Opera. Polly is the recipient of the Independent Opera Director Fellowship 2016.

Her directing work for Welsh National Opera includes Frank Martin  Le Vin Herbé, the UK premiere of Iain Bell’s A Christmas Carol; Unheard Voices: CREW as well as Maxwell Davies Kommilitonen! for Welsh National Youth Opera.Elsewhere she has directed the UK première of Karl Amadeus Hartmann Simplicius Simplicissimus for Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells; A Christmas Carol in Trento; Le Vin Herbé (Der Zaubertrank) for Theater St Gallen; Mr Punch and Me for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Nighthawks for Yellow Earth Theatre’s Dim Sum Nights UK Tour, Alcina  with Barefoot Opera at the Arcola Theatre as part of Grimeborn Festival and Old Pye, a film co-directed with Simon Drew, for English National Opera’s Baylis programme.

Polly Graham’s productions have won Best Opera Production in the Wales Theatre Awards in both 2016 & 2017; she was nominated in the Newcomer category of the 2017 International Opera Awards and for the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award 2017. She has recently been announced as Artistic Director of Longborough Festival Opera.