William Relton made his professional début playing the title role in Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy in the West End in a cast which included Kenneth More, Megs Jenkins, Annette Crosbie, and Laurence Naismith, directed by Frith Banbury and produced by H M Tennant. He went on to develop his acting career in television and live theatre. His major stage roles included Cherubin in Beaumarchais’s The Marriage of Figaro at the National Theatre, Bernstein’s Candide Candide and Tony West Side Story, Gilbert’s/Sullivan’s Marco The Gondoliers and Ralph Rackstraw HMS Pinafore, Hamlet in Hamlet, Wilfred Owen in the one-man play All The Arts of Hurting, Kenneth in Berlin’s Call Me Madam, etc, in London’s West End. Television engagements included roles in Clayhanger, Play for Today, The Lost Boys and Degrees of Error. Film appearances have included Beauty and the Beast, The Great Gastby and Slumdog Millionaire.
He made his international directing début with Verdi’s Otello for Opéra de Nice where he was invited back to direct Le nozze di Figaro. Subsequent directing engagements have taken him throughout Europe and the UK, including to Det Kongelige Teater, Copenhagen, Norwegian National Opera, Oslo, Drottingholms Slottstheater, Stockholm, Staatstheater Darmstadt, English National Opera, and Dorset Opera, among many others.
His opera productions during the past five years include Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte and La finta giardiniera, Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, Bizet’s Carmen and Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Rossini’s La gazza ladra, Puccini’s La bohème, Leoncavallo’s I pagliacci, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Händel’s Alessandro, Bizet’s Les Pêcheurs de perles, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, Haydn’s Il mondo della luna, and Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, etc.
Earlier in his career he both performed and worked as Executive Producer for Music Theatre London where he made his début as an opera director with Mozart’s Così fan tutte in a co-production between MTL, The Greenwich Theatre, Die Kammerspiele, Hamburg, and NDR-TV. He also produced tours for MTL to the Vienna Festival and in Germany, Holland and throughout the UK. He also worked on productions at Opera North and the English National Opera before joining Co-Opera Company where he was in charge of Touring Operations and Education. Currently he is Artistic Director of Opera Forge, an ambitious new company with plans to mount Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen over the next three years.
On the operatic stage, his roles have included Mozart’s Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Basilio Le nozze di Figaro and Ferrando Così fan tutte as well as Tisbe in Rossini’s La cenerentola. He has recently played the Haushofmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne Festival and the Frankfurt Opera.
William Relton is much sought-after for directing and teaching in opera schools in Scandinavia and the UK, where he has directed productions and/or scenes for the opera departments of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music and National Opera Studio in London, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. In Scandinavia he has regularly worked at the Opera Academy of the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Operahogskolan in Stockholm, the Opera School in Göteborg and KHIO in Oslo.
William Relton’s recent engagements include directing new productions of Rinaldo for Estonian National Opera, Tallinn, and Verdi’s Otello for Opera på Skäret in Sweden. He also returned to Frankfurt Opera for further performances as the Haushofmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos.
William Relton is delighted to have been recently appointed as Artistic Director to West Green House Opera.