Darren came to directing opera after having worked for a number of years in musical theatre and plays, specialising as a choreographer and movement director. A graduate of LABAN and Cambridge University, he received the Bonnie Bird Choreography Award, which launched his freelance career. His work in opera has been praised for the powerful use of physical movement and dynamic staging. He has directed for the Bangkok Opera including Carmen, La Boheme, and Thaïs by Massenet. Over the past decade, he directed and choreographed productions for The European Chamber Opera, toured from Asia to the USA, and worked on productions at Opera Holland Park, with chamber opera groups and with the Royal Opera staging contemporary opera productions. Darren has also developed a specialist interest in historical dance, as Artistic Director of Nonsuch History and Dance, choreographing The Nonsuch Dancers and teaching period movement at RADA in London. He choreographed the contemporary opera The Lovely Ladies at Buxton Festival, and worked as dance consultant to the Royal National Theatre (She Stoops to Conquer) and at the Old Vic Theatre (The Duchess of Malfi), and choreographs the Shakespeare productions for The Lord Chamberlain’s Men.
Darren was drawn to Pop-Up Opera because he is passionate about the idea of adapting the opera setting individually to each venue, and directs the opera with inspiration from the commedia style.
For more info see www.darrenroyston.com
"Royston’s production could hardly be bettered and the evening puts the current English National Opera version set in a Butlins holiday camp and a fairground firmly in the shade."
Reviewsgate, Cosi fan Tutte
"Darren Royston’s direction is timed to a T and he really knows how to bring out the modern flavour in nearly 300 year old words."
West End Wilma, Cosi fan Tutte
"Warming up for both acts is the incomparable, uncontainable, and irrepressible Darren Royston. He conducts some of the audience playing tea cups"
Everything Theatre, L'elisir d'amore
"Royston manages the impressive feat of fitting a three act opera into an upstairs small room of a pub, all the while making it feel intimate but not crammed"
What's Peen Seen, Don Pasquale
"Stealing the show in a small but vital role was director and comedian extraordinaire Darren Royston. Like the hilarious relative every family needs, he provided a mid-way point between the audience and the opera, gently poking fun at everything and everyone and keeping the energy levels sky-high"
Fringe Opera, Don Pasquale
"Royston clearly has a comprehensive understanding of stage direction and comic timing and there is a glimmer of uncomplicated genius about the adaptation of the drama to the space in which it was performed."
Everything Theatre, Don Pasquale
"Stage director Darren Royston has created an absolute gem. His crazy, highly creative staging has the audience in fits of laughter, ensuring a cheeringly light-hearted evening"
What's Peen Seen, Rita & La Serva Padrona
"Darren Royston has ensured each moment and change in action is made clear and precise. The scene changes are fluid and performed as part of the action, helping to keep the performance moving at a constant pace"
Everything Theatre, Rita & La Serva Padrona
"Director Darren Royston, a bundle of energy lassoing in percussive audience participation at every opportunity, makes this L’Elisir full of fun, wit and ingenuity"
Reviewsgate, L'elisir d'amore