Alexander Joel’s 2018/19 season includes his English National Opera debut with La bohème as well as his return to Royal Opera House Covent Garden for Tosca with a cast featuring Kristine Opolais and Angela Gheorghiu sharing the role of Tosca and Bryn Terfel as Scarpia. He launched his season with the Andreas Homoki production of Verdi’s Luisa Miller at the Hamburg State Opera, and his symphonic debut with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at the Concertgebouw.
Opera highlights during his 2017/2018 Season included the David McVicar production of “Rigoletto” at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, a new production of “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci” at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, a new production of Korngold’s “Das Wunder der Heliane” at the Vlaamse Opera and “Tosca” at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm. On the concert podium he conducted several concerts with the Vlaamse Opera orchestra as well as the Staatsorchester Braunschweig where he is still a regular conductor following his position there as music director.
He launched his 2016/17 season with a new Andrea Breth production of Manon Lescaut for the Dutch National Opera with Eva-Maria Westbroek in the leading role, followed by a complete new Ring cycle at the Staatstheater Wiesbaden (directed by Uwe Laufenberg), and a new production of Simon Boccanegra at the Vlaamse Opera in Antwerp, where he was appointed Principal Guest Conductor that season.
In 2015/16, Alexander Joel returned to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden for the fourth time for a Carmen revival, having previously conducted La Traviata and La Bohème (twice), and had been re-invited there again for Rigoletto at the end of 2017. He made his North American debut with the Boston Lyric Opera (Lehár’s Merry Widow) in Spring 2016, and conducted a highly acclaimed Otello in a Michael Thalheimer production at the Vlaamse Opera. Other productions that season have included Manon for the Opéra de Marseille, Turandot in both the Opernhaus Zürich and the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Don Giovanni and Madama Butterfly for the Royal Stockholm Opera, and La Traviata for both the Staatsoper Hamburg and the Volksoper Wien.
Further highlights over the last seasons have included premieres of Madama Butterfly at the Staatsoper Hamburg (available on DVD/Arthaus), Verdi’s Macbeth at the Royal Danish Opera, new productions of Rigoletto and Madama Butterfly at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, Faust at the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden. He has also conducted numerous productions at the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Finnish National Opera, then New National Theatre in Tokyo, and Den Norske Opera.
On the concert platform, upcoming highlights include his symphonic debut with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the WDR Rundfunkorchester Köln at the Konzerthaus in Dortmund. Other recent orchestral debuts have included concerts with the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano and the BBC Philharmonic.
Alexander Joel was First Kapellmeister at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein from 2001 to 2007. From 2007 to 2014 he held the position of Generalmusikdirektor of the Staatstheater and Staatsorchester Braunschweig where, besides the famous Italian repertoire, he also conducted the great German pieces such as Salome, Lohengrin, Rosenkavalier, Tristan und Isolde and Parsifal, as well as covering most of the symphonic repertoire, with his emphasis being Mahler’s Symphonies (Mahler’s Symphony No.1 available on CD on the Corvello Classics label).
Son of a British mother and a German father, Alexander Joel grew up in Vienna and London and was educated in Switzerland. After a brief spell of studying French and English Law at King’s College in London, he moved back to Vienna to study piano at the Academy of Music, before completing his conducting studies at the Vienna Conservatory of Music with honours in 1996. He was a prize winner at the European Conducting Competition in Spoleto that same year.