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Artistic Director of the Opera

Thomas de Mallet Burgess


Thomas de Mallet Burgess commenced as Artistic Director at Finnish National Opera on 1 August 2023, bringing with him a sustained and distinguished record of creative and organisational achievement.

From 2018 to 2023, he was General Director at New Zealand Opera and during his tenure there he introduced major strategic and artistic reforms that transformed New Zealand’s national opera company as he effectively engaged diverse and broader audiences. In addition to its regular audience, his immersive production of Handel’s Semele attracted a record number of under-twenty-fives, while 47% of the audience for the New Zealand-Tahitian commissioned work Ihitai ‘Avei’a – Star Navigator were first-timers.

Prior to this, in Australia 2012 he founded the innovative site-specific opera company, Lost & Found Opera and worked as its Artistic Director until 2018. This venture was hailed as “the nation’s most innovative opera company” (Opera Magazine, 2017) and “one of the few genuinely disruptive arts organisations in Australia” (The West Australian, 2016).

His opera directing credits extend to Canadian Opera Company, the Royal Opera House in London, and Wexford Opera Festival, among others. He is also internationally renowned for his expertise in performing arts training and education. As such, he is a frequent visiting artist at universities and conservatories.

He is passionately interested in the relationship between audience and performer; and committed to finding new audiences through the limitless potential of the arts and creative industries to help forge a community’s identity and give it voice.

Thomas de Mallet Burgess was educated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, where he studied Philosophy and Modern Languages, graduating with a BA and MA.