Paul Curran (director)

Paul Curran (born 1964) is a Scottish opera director. He was General Manager (Artistic Director) of the opera company of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet (20072011),[1][2] and artistic consultant to Central City Opera of Denver, Colorado.[3]

Early life

Curran was born in Maryhill, Glasgow. At the age of five, he was rehoused with his family to Easterhouse. He played clarinet in the Glasgow Schools Orchestra, and saw his first opera (Scottish Opera's production of Wozzeck) in 1980.

The following year, his parents discovered that he was gay and threw him out.[4] He went to London, where he trained as a ballet dancer at the London Studio Centre and the Central School of Ballet before studying with Sulamith Messerer. He worked for a time as an usher at English National Opera during the period when Lord Harewood, Mark Elder and David Pountney formed the artistic management of the company.

Curran spent two years at the ballet school of the Finnish National Opera and then three years as a professional dancer with Scottish Ballet and in Germany. A hip injury terminated his ballet career, and he worked as an interpreter and stage manager before, at the age of twenty-seven, entering the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney to study directing.

Career in opera

After graduating, Curran worked for two years as an assistant to Baz Luhrmann on his production of Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream which visited the Edinburgh International Festival in 1994. As well as taking over responsibility for reviving this production, he assisted on other productions and worked as an interpreter. In the latter capacity, he encountered Valery Gergiev when the Kirov Opera visited Edinburgh in 1995, and was engaged to restage Prince Igor for a gala performance in the Royal Albert Hall. In the same year, he made his debut as an independent freelance opera director with an open-air Magic Flute for Bloomsbury Opera.

Curran's subsequent opera productions have included:

Curran has also directed the musicals Man of La Mancha and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for the Covent Garden Festival.

Forthcoming productions include Lulu for Chicago, Il trovatore for Bilbao, I puritani in Bologna and Peter Grimes in Oslo and at Washington National Opera.



  1. Pettersen, Tomas Lauvland. "New general manager of the Oslo opera appointed". Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  2. Ighanian, Catherine Gonsholt; Jørstad, Atle; Bjørn, Camilla (6 June 2011). "Operasjefen slutter" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  3. CCO interview
  4. Interview in Gay City Times Archived 21 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. "Faramondo, Deutsches Theater, Göttingen, Germany" – review by George Loomis, Financial Times, 9 June 2014
  6. Faramondo, production details Archived 26 November 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Brisbane Baroque 2015


  • Clark, Andrew (July 2007). "Paul Curran (People: 337)". Opera. 58 (7): pp.&nbsp, 772–80. ISSN 0030-3526.
  • Wexford Festival Opera, programme books for 2002 and 2004
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