Producer, Orchestrator, Conductor
Richard Balcombe is firmly established as one of the most versatile musicians of his generation.
In opera he has conducted The Gondoliers (English National Opera), Barber of Seville (Ulster Orchestra), Magic Flute and Offenbach’s Bluebeard (English Chamber Orchestra), Rigoletto (English Touring Opera), Madama Butterfly (Central Festival Opera), Falstaff, Tosca, Cosi fan Tutte, The Marriage of Figaro (London Opera Players), Die Fledermaus, The Merry Widow, Iolanthe and Pirates of Penzance (Carl Rosa) and HMS Pinafore & The Mikado (D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in the UK and America). He has also conducted for Bryn Terfel, Jose Carreras and Roberto Alagna and Angela Gheorgiu on BBC TV.
He has been privileged to work with some of the world’s leading orchestras including Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestre National de Lille, Odense Symphony, Stavanger Symphony, Estonian National Symphony, Stockholm Sinfonietta, Sonderjyllands Symphony, Prague Chamber Orchestra, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Orquesta Sinfonica Gran Mariscal (Venezuela); and in the UK the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Royal Phiharmonic, Royal Scottish National, City of Birmingham Symphony, English Chamber, Bournemouth Symphony, Hallé, Ulster, National Symphony, BBC Concert, BBC Philharmonic, Northern Chamber, London Concert and London Musicians Orchestras and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. Since 2012, he conducted Proms in the Park in Hyde Park for the BBC.
In the West End he was Music Director for Phantom of the Opera, Aspects of Love, Carmen Jones, Cats, and Once On This Island . Elsewhere - Divorce Me, Darling, Out Of This World, The Gondoliers and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Chichester), Babes in Arms (Cardiff International Festival), Follies in Concert (London Palladium), Guys and Dolls (Royal Philharmonic), Wonderful Town and South Pacific (Grange Park Opera), five national tours with Anton du Beke & Erin Boag; Musical Supervisor for Promises and Lies and Top Hat (World Premieres), and the national tour of Kiss me Kate.
Richard is also a prolific orchestrator and arranger providing orchestrations for most of the orchestras in the UK; for artists including Lesley Garrett, Willard White, Michael Ball, Sir Cliff Richard, Will Young and Ronan Keating and for projects including The Sound of Musicals (Barbican and UK tour), Sounds of Hollywood (Ruthie Henshall, UK tour), Fred Astaire: His Daughter’s Tribute (Palladium), Hollywood Symphonic (France), Can You Feel the Love Tonight?, The Magnificent Musicals and Something Wonderful (UK tours); Out of This World, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Babes in Arms and The Gondoliers (Chichester), Promises and Lies (Birmingham Rep) and The Merry Widow (Carl Rosa). He was Music Associate for BBC TV’s Maestro in 2008 and in 2009 he arranged, orchestrated and conducted the score for Adam Cooper’s Shall We Dance? (Sadlers Wells). He co-conceived, arranged and orchestrated What The World Needs Now...The Music of Burt Bacharach (premiered in 2012 by the Royal Philharmonic) and he has created reduced orchestral versions of 25 complete operas which are now used worldwide.
His recording credits include The Martyr of Antioch (Sullivan), With A Song In My Heart (Wynne Evans), Love Unspoken, The Musicality of Irving Berlin, Showstoppers From Broadway, three original cast albums, This Time It’s Personal (Michael Ball), The London Cello Sound, Fred Astaire: His Daughter’s Tribute, Brideshead Revisited and Merciless Beauty, the DVD Sometimes I Dream and What The World Needs Now...The Music of Burt Bacharach with the Royal Philharmonic.