First Kappelmeister / Erster Kapellmeister at Staatsoper Hannover Honorary Associate Artist, Royal Northern College of Music
A former member of Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists Programme, Associate Member of Royal Northern College of Music and First Kapellmeister of Staatstheater Hannover, James Hendry stands at the forefront of young British conductors. This season, Hendry takes on a slew of Italian masterpieces as he directs productions of Verdi’s Otello, Aida, and Messa da Requiem, adding to an already impressive catalogue with the theatre including Carmen, La Boheme, Tosca, Sweeney Todd, Eugene Onegin, Rigoletto and L’Elisir d’Amore. Elsewhere, he debuts at Opéra National de Lyon, leading a production of Offenbach’s Barbe-Bleue and, looking further forward, Finnish National Opera and Ballet for a production of Verdi’s Don Carlo.
In previous seasons, Hendry has worked on numerous productions at Royal Opera House Covent Garden such as Oreste, Der Rosenkavalier, Adriana Lecouvreur, Hänsel und Gretel and Turandot, and assisted Sir Antonio Pappano on the opera house’s productions of Madama Butterfly, La Forza del Destino,Macbeth and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, as well as directed productions at English National Opera (Lucia di Lammermoor), Oper Frankfurt (Don Giovanni), Luzerner Theater (Revue des Follies) and Opera North (The Marriage of Figaro). Also a keen symphonic conductor, he has appeared in recent seasons with George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchester der Tiroler Festspiele Erl, Southbank Sinfonia, Orchestra of Opera North,Niedersächsisches Jugendsinfonieorchester and Hull Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hendry grew up in Kingston upon Hull and was one of the first students to be accepted onto the Yorkshire Young Musicians programme. He went on to study piano with Helen Krizos at Royal Northern College of Music and later as a répétiteur with Kevin Thraves, earning a British Education Award for outstanding achievements during his studies. He has worked regularly with the Hallé choral team, working as Assistant Director of the Hallé Youth Choir, helping to prepare the choruses for the Hallé’s performance of Vaughan Williams’s Sancta Civitas at the BBC Proms and working as vocal coach and accompanist for the Hallé Choir Academy. He has an ongoing association with the National Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, for which he has conducted all the main G&S titles including The Mikado, HMS Pinafore and The Gondoliers.
HarrisonParrott represents James Hendry for worldwide general management.
“James Hendry literally electrifies the orchestra.”
Michael Demel for Der Opernfreund, May 2023
“James Hendry, first Kapellmeister, proves to be an atmospheric Rimsky-Korsakov interpreter. Finely-tuned and never overshadowing, the conductor accompanies the singers, but also knows how to lead the Hanover State Symphony Orchestra to highlights.”
Svenja Koch for Bachtrack, January 2023
“With Hendry, on the other hand, every muscle fibre seems to demonstrate exuberant enthusiasm. This is strange when you see it for the first time – but in the long run it is contagious.”
Stefan Arndt for Kultur & Leben, January 2023
“Rimsky-Korsakov’s music really glitters and sparkles, and conductor James Hendry is the prospector here, presenting the colouristic richness and instrumental finesse in full glory and with finely balanced sonority.”
Henning Queren for Neue Presse, January 2023
“On this night I saw the assistant conductor, James Hendry, who mastered this whirlwind opera creating vibrant orchestral passages and sensitive moments with the singers too.”
“The ensemble finished off with the finale from ‘Falstaff’ and again the star was in the pit – James Hendry conducted with accomplished zest, thrillingly allowing these young singers to emerge triumphant from this experience.”