Joe Austin

Theatre and Opera Director


Joe Austin is an experienced director, coach, associate director and assistant director who works in opera and theatre. 

 © Matt Jamie Photography

© Matt Jamie Photography

Joe studied a joint honours music and drama degree at Hull University.

Previous opera productions include Strauss’ Salome (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra); St Nicolas (Opera North); Stephen McNeff’s Vivienne (Linbury Studio, ROH); Cavalli’s La Calisto (Hampstead Garden Opera); Haydn’s Lo Speziale (Retrospect Ensemble); Britten’s Albert Herring (Surrey Opera); Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Kodály’s Háry János, Handel’s Orlando, andlHGluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice (Ryedale Festival); Mendelssohn’s The Homecoming, Britten’s The Prodigal Son (Grimeborn Festival); Tosca (InterOpera Regional Tour).

As associate/revival director: Ring Cycle (Opera North); Fanciulla del West (Santa Fe); Don Giovanni (Basel Theatre)

As assistant director Joe has worked with, among others, Richard Jones, Calixto Bieito, Phelim McDermott, David Alden, Aletta Collins, Tom Cairns and Erica Whyman at companies such as ENO, Opera North and Old Vic Theatre. Joe runs his own opera course, has taught at Morley Opera School, and British Youth Opera.  

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Previous opera productions include: 

Britten's Albert Herring (Hampstead Garden Opera)

Cavalli's La Calisto (Hampstead Garden Opera)

Haydn's Lo Speziale (Retrospect Ensemble)

Stephen McNeff's Vivienne  (Linbury Studio ROH)

    Wagner's Siegfried  (Opera North: Staged concert tour)

    Britten's Albert Herring  (Surrey Opera)

    Stephen McNeff's A Voice of One Delight  (Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival - Riverside Studios)

    Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen  (Ryedale Festival: Ampleforth Theatre)

    Kodály's Háry János  (Ryedale Festival)

    Mendelssohn's Die Heimkehr aus der Fremde  (Grimeborn Festival and Ryedale Festival)

    Handel's Orlando  (Ryedale Festival)

    Britten's The Prodigal Son  (Grimeborn Festival and Ryedale Festival)


    Previous direction in theatre includes:

    Restoration; Storm; Never Tell Them; Pork  (Oxford Playhouse)

    Unfinished; Death of a Small Independent Retailer  (Liverpool Everyman)

    Welcome Home  (Landor Theatre)

    Gale Force Clothes Pegs  (Southwark Theatre)

    Sightseeing  (5065 for Soho Theatre)

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    Joe has taught at Morley College Opera School, and at the Italian Opera Summer School. He also gives coaching sessions privately.


    Previous assistant direction includes: 

    Mastersingers of Nuremberg (Richard Jones, ENO)

    The Girl of the Golden West (Richard Jones, ENO)

    Peter Grimes (David Alden, ENO) 

    All About My Mother (Tom Cairns, Old Vic)

    Dido and Aeneas/ La Voix Humaine (Aletta Collins, Opera North) 

    Macbeth (Tim Albery, Opera North) 

    Hansel and Gretel (John Fulljames, Opera North) 

    Marieluise (Erica Whyman, Gate Theatre) 

     Cunning Little Vixen 2011 Photo: John Lightfoot ©  

    Cunning Little Vixen 2011
    Photo: John Lightfoot ©  

     © Joe Austin 2016