Name: Gareth Morrell
Date of Birth: March 6, 1956
Residence: Dobbs Ferry, New York & Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey
British conductor Gareth Morrell made his New York conducting début with the Metropolitan Opera in January 1999, conducting Lucia di Lammermoor. Since that time he has conducted performances of Fidelio, Don Giovanni, Aida, Tosca, and Semiramide for the Met, and Tristan und Isolde in Puerto Rico. In 2007 he conducted La Bohème in the Met's season In The Parks, and also Die Fledermaus for Arizona Opera. Mr Morrell has been on the conducting staff at the Metropolitan Opera since the fall of 1996, serving as Assistant Conductor to James Levine for numerous productions. Other engagements include his début with the Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra in January, 2000, conducting Orff's Carmina Burana. In 1999 he was nominated for a Grammy in the best Choral Performance category for his participation as choral director in Simon Rattle's EMI recording of Walton's Belshazzar's Feast.
Born in Southport, England, Mr Morrell attended Tiffin School, where he studied voice, organ and conducting with Bruce Pullan and David Nield. As an undergraduate he attended King's College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the famous Chapel Choir. He pursued postgraduate studies in voice with Neil Howlett at the Guildhall School of Music, and also took part in masterclasses with Sir Peter Pears and Pierre Bernac.
As winner of the Lambeth Music Award he made his London recital début in the Purcell Room in 1979, and returned there for two further solo recitals. He was also active as an ensemble singer, appearing with such groups as the Consort of Musick, the John Alldis Choir, the Groupe Vocale de France, the Monteverdi Choir, the BBC Singers and the Schütz Choir. During the same period he appeared as a soloist in recitals with the Songmakers' Almanac, and in concert with the English Chamber Orchestra , the City of London Sinfonia, and with numerous orchestras throughout England. On the operatic stage he appeared in Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience, Mozart's Così fan tutte and Purcell's King Arthur.
From 1982 to 1988 was a member of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as vocal coach and musical assistant to many leading operatic singers and conductors. In 1988 he conducted the Royal Opera House production of Benjamin Britten's The Little Sweep.
From 1984 to 1994 he was director of the BBC Symphony Chorus, serving in that capacity for a wide range of concert and recording projects with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel and Christoph von Dohnányi. With Seiji Ozawa he collaborated in performances of Olivier Messiaen's opera St Francis of Assisi in London and Berlin, and with Andrew Davis in performances of Sir Michael Tippett's Mask of Time, the recording of which has been critically acclaimed. In 1988 Mr Morrell joined the opera faculty of the Royal Academy of Music in London, and conducted their production of Berlioz' Beatrice and Benedict. In 1989 he toured England with British Youth Opera, directing Mozart's The Magic Flute.
Mr Morrell took up residence in the USA in 1989, where he was a member of the conducting staff of the Cleveland Orchestra from 1989 to 1998 as Director of Choruses. He made his Cleveland Orchestra début in March, 1990, directing Mendelssohn's St Paul, and subsequently conducted the orchestra in over 90 performances of choral, symphonic and operatic repertoire. In 1991 he founded the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus, and from 1993 to 1998 was Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra.
In the United States Mr Morrell has given many vocal recitals in the Cleveland area and has appeared as a tenor soloist in Monteverdi's Vespers at Case Western Reserve University and at Oberlin College. He has been a regular soloist with Apollo's Fire, Cleveland's baroque orchestra, most notably in the title role of Monteverdi's Orfeo and as the Evangelist in Bach's St John Passion.. Commercial recordings of these two projects have been released, together with Monteverdi’s Vespers.