Karen Gillingham is a freelance opera director, facilitator and creative director of Garsington Opera Learning & Participation.

She has recently directed A Trip to the Moon at LSO Barbican with Sir Simon Rattle, Silver Birch at Garsington Opera, Beautiful World at the National Theatre, Abu Dhabi and Hospital Passion Play at London’s V&A.  Karen trained as a director and performer at both Manchester Metropolitan University & on The Knack at English National Opera.

Karen was co-artistic director of the Royal Opera House’s Youth Opera Company for nine years and has worked with all the major UK opera companies on productions ranging from The Magic Flute for Garsington Opera at West Green House and Twenty Women Singing a tour of women’s prisons with Welsh National Opera as well as large scale community operas such as South of the River with English National Opera and Beached with Opera North.

Recent productions include Magna Carta – The Freedom Game (a community opera for Surrey Arts at the Royal Albert Hall, Out of the ruins (Royal Opera House – A Gala Celebration); The Crackle (as associate director -Royal Opera House) and director of Worldskills opening ceremony at O2 London. 

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