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Dafydd Burne-Jones: Profile

Can you describe your job in one sentence?
I assist visiting directors to achieve the production they have imagined in rehearsal and am responsible for maintaining the theatrical standards of our productions in performance.

 

What do you love about working in opera?
Every day I am surrounded by people who are passionate about what they do and are at the very top of their game. I spend most days listening to beautiful music played and sung by highly talented artists, and seeing that work coming to fruition through the efforts of enormously skilled and enthusiastic craftspeople. No one could fail to be uplifted working among such extraordinary colleagues.

 

10 years ago did you imagine you would be working for this company?
I think I probably did. Yes. I have been thirty-seven years in the theatre, and it took me a long time to work my way round theatre, television, musicals, etc. By the time I washed up on the shore of Scottish Opera I had been round the pond a few times. And of course I was born in Glasgow. This is my country, my city, and my company.

 

What has been your most memorable opera experience so far?
I think working with Leonard Bernstein on Candide in 1988 in Glasgow and then at the Old Vic, where the Scottish Opera production won an Olivier award for best musical. Bernstein was a wonderful colleague… although my liver has yet to recover.

 

What do you do when you are not working?
I have two teenaged daughters and a two-year-old son… so that probably answers your question. But I am a passionate fisherman. Fly fishing for trout and sea trout mostly, but I have managed to outwit the odd carp.

 

What three things might people be surprised to learn about you?
I come from a shipbuilding family, so am not a bad carpenter. In fact that is how I started out in the Citizens’ Theatre… working on the fly floor hauling scenery up and down. I trained for some time to be a Catholic priest…so my Latin is better than one might expect from a carpenter. And I used to work regularly at Chelsea Flower Show, where our garden design once won a silver-gilt medal.

 

What is your favourite place in the world to be?
Venice. When I die I am going to haunt it. An incredible city. Fantastic food, amazing history. Lovely hotels, and street cafes where the whole world passes by. Failing that, the limestone lochs by Durness in Sutherland, for the most stunning landscape in Scotland.