Conor Mitchell | Composer


Conor Mitchell


A multi award-winning opera/theatre composer, librettist and stage director, Conor Mitchell is unique in his field, working towards a vision of ‘total theatre’ through contemporary musical performance. His music blends the worlds of stage design with contemporary visual arts and finds new ways to engage his audience through socially relevant, politically charged subjects. He is the recipient of the Arts Council Northern Ireland Major Individual Artist’s Award - the highest honour bestowed by the agency - and a life fellow of the Arts Foundation for composition. Known as much for his opera and music-theatre canon as his contemporary work, his pieces are regularly performed outside of Ireland. Recent work includes the Rome, Holland, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, New York festivals as well as productions across Europe and the UK.

As founder and Artistic Director of The Belfast Ensemble, his most recent new chamber work Lunaria was performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of PRSF’s New Music Biennial and broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s New Music Show. His radical chamber opera Abomination: a DUP Opera was listed in the Top Ten Classical Works of 2019 alongside works from the Royal Opera House and others, and was winner of 'Best Opera Production' at the 2020 Irish Times Theatre Awards. He is currently working on an largescale orchestral 'Queer Mass', and a new opera ‘The Trial of Harvey Weinstein’.

Other scores include his Concertino for Flute & Orchestra, his opera Our Day (NI Opera), the children’s opera The Musician, Shadowtime (London Gay Men’s Chorus, Royal Festival Hall), Requiem for the Disappeared (Spark Opera), the sinfonietta 20: Ceasefire (Kabosh). He was among a few composers honoured with writing for the Britten 100 celebration in Aldeburgh with his Cabaret Songs and his award-winning song cycle Ten Plagues (Royal Court, Traverse Theatre) was recently revived at Wilton’s Music Hall, London, performed and released by Marc Almond.

September 2020