Derek Clark / conductor / accompanist / composer / arranger
Derek was born in Glasgow and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) and the London Opera Centre.
He joined Welsh National Opera’s music staff in 1977 as a repetiteur and staff conductor, conducting a wide repertoire ranging from Handel and Mozart to Maxwell Davies and Stravinsky.
He is a regular guest coach at the National Opera Studio, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD). As an accompanist he has appeared throughout Britain and he also works as an arranger and composer.
Since joining Scottish Opera as Head of Music in 1997, he has conducted Samson, The Magic Flute, Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Cosi fan Tutte, Fidelio, Carmen, Rigoletto, La Traviata, Barber of Seville, L’Italiana in Algeri, La Bohème, Tosca, Madam Butterfly, and James MacMillan’s Ines de Castro.
He provided reduced orchestrations for the Scottish Opera on Tour productions of Hansel and Gretel, Cenerentola, Die Fledermaus and, most recently, Carmen.
He has also conducted all three seasons of the company’s Five:15 Operas made in Scotland project, and the premiere of Rory Boyle’s award-winning opera Kaspar Hauser for the RSAMD.
In Scottish Opera’s 2013/14 season he conducted Scottish Opera’s three New Operas being performed as part of Edinburgh Festival, and performances of The Magic Flute and The Pirates of Penzance. He is also a guest judge at the music competitions in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
As an accompanist he plays regularly for soloists, and with Opera Alba and Coro Alba, performing a wide range of music, from opera to wedding repertoire, from operetta to Burns songs, from songs from the shows to Gilbert and Sullivan.