A Wagner enthusiast since his youth, Anthony worked for Welsh National Opera, with the legendary Sir Reginald Goodall, and has gained international authority as a conductor and coach of Wagner’s works. In March 2017, the Wagner Society awarded Anthony the Reginald Goodall Memorial Award for outstanding services to Wagner’s music and musical life in this country.
2013 was the culmination of more than 10 years of living with Wagner’s Ring. It began with the shortened CBTO version of the Ring orchestrated for small orchestra by Jonathan Dove, which was performed at Longborough (also in Cambridge) 2002, and in 2004 with Sir Donald MacIntyre as Wotan. In 2005/6 he conducted the Jonathan Dove Ring version for Opera Theater Pittsburgh. In 2007/8 a full version of Das Rheingold was produced at Longborough, and the cycle was built year by year with an orchestra of up to 70 players and a cast that introduced some wonderful new singers as well as those with long experience; the director was Alan Privett. The full Cycle was performed three times in 2013: the only fully staged Ring in Britain in the bicentenary year of Wagner’s birth. Following this year’s production of Tristan und Isolde, there are plans to stage Tannhäuser, Lohengrin and Parsifal in the next five years as well as reviving the Ring.
Since his first Parsifal performances for WNO in 1983, he has conducted Tristan, Rheingold, Siegfried, Götterdämmerung, Parsifal again (2003), all with WNO, as well as concert performances of Parsifal in Wellington with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. For WNO, in addition to Wagner, he has conducted a wide range of operas, especially Mozart (all of his major operas and in particular The Magic Flute and Figaro), Beethoven Fidelio, Leonore, Richard Strauss, Die Frau ohne Schatten, Elektra, Ariadne auf Naxos. Other 20th century operas include Janacek Katya Kabanova, Jenufa, Berg Wozzeck, Martinu The Greek Passion, James MacMillan The Sacrifice. After retiring from WNO he was invited back to conduct Le Nozze di Figaro in Cardiff and the Spring tour 2012.
For Glyndebourne he conducted a performance of Die Meistersinger in 2011, and for Welsh National Opera, Le Nozze di Figaro in Cardiff and on their Spring tour 2012. For Lübeck in 2012, a performance of Parsifal in October and two concerts of music by Copland, Ives and Gershwin.
For Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where he is an Honorary Fellow, he conducted the Chamber Orchestra in Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Wesendoncklieder in March 2013. For the Georges Enescu Orchestra in Bucharest, he conducted two all Beethoven concerts. For Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Chamber Orchestra, he conducted Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Wesendoncklieder in March 2013.
CD: James MacMillan, The Sacrifice, Welsh National Opera, Chandos, BBC live broadcast from the Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff October 2007.