Elijah Moshinsky (born 8 January 1946) is an Australian opera director, theatre director and television director who has worked at the Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera, the Royal National Theatre, BBC Television and numerous other venues.

Early yearsEdit

Moshinsky's Russian Jewish parents had fled from Vladivostok to the French Concession of Shanghai, where Elijah was born.[1] When he was five years old, the family moved to Melbourne. He was an under-graduate resident at Ormond College, where in 1965 he was the set designer of a stage adaptation of Kafka's The Trial.[2] He graduated from the University of Melbourne and in 1973 won a scholarship to St Antony's College, Oxford, where he specialised in the study of Alexander Herzen.[3][4]

While still at St Antony's, Moshinsky directed a production of As You Like It for the Oxford and Cambridge Shakespeare Company.[3] When Sir John Tooley, the General Director at Covent Garden, saw the play, he offered Moshinsky a post as a staff producer for The Royal Opera.[4][5]

Opera directorEdit

In 1975, Moshinsky made his operatic debut at the Royal Opera House with "a stripped-down, low-budget production of Peter Grimes which won enormous popular and critical success."[1] That production was reproduced in at the Paris Opera introducing the piece to the French public.it was also presented at La Scala, Tokyo and Los Angeles. Subsequent productions at Covent Garden include Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, The Rake's Progress, Macbeth, Samson and Delilah, Samson, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Otello, Attila, Simon Boccanegra and Stiffelio.[3] At the Metropolitan Opera, he has directed, as well as Otello, Samson et Dalila and Samson, Un ballo in maschera, Ariadne auf Naxos, The Queen of Spades, The Makropulos Affair, Nabucco and Luisa Miller.[6] For the Lyric Opera of Chicago he directed Samson, The Bartered Bride, Nabucco, Lohengrin, The Pirates of Penzance, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagglicci, Samuel Barber's Antony and Cleopatra. For Welsh Opera he directed Berlioz's Béatrice et Bénédict, Cavalleria rusticanna. For Scottish Opera he directed La bohème and La forza del destino. At English National Opera in 1982, he directed the British premiere of Le Grand Macabre as well as Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and The Bartered Bride. Other engagements have included Wozzeck for the Adelaide Festival, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Boris Goudonov, Il trovatore, The Barber of Seville, Rigoletto, La traviata, Don Carlo with Opera Australia, Sicilian Vespers in Geneva and Benvenuto Cellini at the Maggio in Florence.[3] Stiffelio at La Scala and Vienna. At the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg he directed the original version of La forza del destino. At the Novaya Opera in Moscow he produced The Barber of Seville. More recently he directed Plácido Domingo in Simon Boccanegra at Covent Garden, Los Angeles and at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing. For the Korea National Opera he created new productions of Don Carlo and Romeo et Juliette. In 2015 he directed Giovanna d'Arco for the Buxton Festival.

Theatre directorEdit

For the theatre stage, his credits include Troilus and Cressida and Thomas Bernhard's The Force of Habit at the Royal National Theatre in 1976, and, elsewhere in London: Three Sisters and Robert Storey's Light Up the Sky in 1987, Ivanov, Much Ado About Nothing and Another Time (all in 1989), Matador (1991), Becket (1991), Ronald Harwood's Reflected Glory (1992), Cyrano de Bergerac (1992–1993), Richard III (1999), plus Shadowlands in New York (1990–1991).[7] he also directed the first production of Nigel Williams' adaptation of Lord of the Flies for the RSC.

Television directorEdit

Moshinsky has made a number of television films, mostly of operas. Non-operatic works, mainly for the BBC, include a number of Shakespeare's plays, televised between 1980 and 1985: All's Well That Ends Well, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cymbeline, Coriolanus and Love's Labour's Lost, and also Ibsen's Ghosts (1986) and Richard Brinsley Sheridan's The Rivals (1987). He also directed a three-part serial version of Kingsley Amis' novel The Green Man (1990).[7] He also directed two documentaries for BBC: Mozart in Turkey, which was filmed in the Topkapi Palace and Divas for Arena. He also directed a film of Tippet's The Midsummer Marriage for Channel 4.

Personal lifeEdit

Moshinsky married Ruth Dyttman in 1970. They have two sons and live in London.[8]


  1. ^ a b Max Loppert: "Moshinsky, Elijah", in vol. 3, p. 482, of Sadie, Stanley, ed. (1992). The New Grove Dictionary of Opera. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-522186-2.
  2. ^ "The Trial" Archived 11 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine by C. J. Stewardson in The Ormond Chronicle, 1965, p. 12
  3. ^ a b c d "Moshinsky, Elijah, Director", in Adam, Nicky (ed) (1993). Who's Who in British Opera. Aldershot: Scolar Press. p. 196. ISBN 0-859-67894-6.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. ^ a b Stephen Fay: "The many sides of Elijah Who?", The Independent, 24 January 1993.
  5. ^ "In Quest of the Inner Life: Elijah Moshinsky and Simon Boccanegra", ClassicalSource.com
  6. ^ Metropolitan Opera performances: Elijah Moshinsky, MetOpera database. Accessed 12 November 2012.
  7. ^ a b Elijah Moshinsky biography (1946)
  8. ^ David M. Cummings: International Who's Who In Music and Musicians' Directory (in the Classical and Light Classical Fields), Volume One, 2000/2001, 17th edition, p. 454.

External linksEdit