Culture award 2018 winner

David Pountney is Artistic Director of the Welsh National Opera (WNO) and is an internationally-renowned director and librettist. As both an artist and a cultural leader, David Pountney has made a unique contribution to the artistic life of Wales.

David joined WNO as Chief Executive and Artistic Director in 2011 but has been collaborating with the company since 1975 when he directed a ground-breaking cycle of Janáček's operas. In 1996, WNO’s 50th anniversary, they commissioned a new opera, The Doctor of Myddfai, composed by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, for which David wrote the libretto and directed the production.

To mark WNO’s 70th anniversary in 2016, David commissioned and directed 2 world premières, including Iain Bell’s In Parenthesis to mark the centenary of the Battle of Mametz Wood. Since joining WNO in 2011, David has made a significant contribution to the wider arts scene in Wales and encouraged partnership working between arts organisations. David was also chairman of the jury of the Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 2015 and 2017.

As well as being WNO’s Artistic Director, David continues to work around the world as a freelance opera director and his work is widely recognised and staged. He has also built a presence for WNO abroad, particularly in Oman and Dubai, where the company was the first British opera company to perform at the new Dubai Opera House in 2017.

The company will visit Hong Kong in 2018 to perform Pelléas et Mélisande at the renowned Arts Festival.