Jack Furness

Stage director

"Furness brought plenty of imagination to a piece that takes a serious journey through bad things, with a kind of wildness of inspiration that isn’t obvious in much of Bach’s other work."

Opera Now

"[In the Penal Colony] was impressive and horrifying… Taut and menacing, this staging conveyed its message powerfully"


"Jack Furness’s production keeps its options open – allusive as well as elusive. What’s being played out here is a human drama, indifferent to creed, colour, politics or location."

New Statesman

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Herald Angel Award winner Jack Furness studied music at Cambridge University, where he received a double first-class honours degree. Whilst at Cambridge, Furness founded the ambitious and innovative Shadwell Opera, of which he is Artistic Director.

Engagements in the 2017-18 season include Don Giovanni at the Teatru Manoel, Malta; Iolanta for Scottish Opera; Written on Skin with the Melos Sinfonia and Scottish Opera’s Opera Highlights tour.

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Where the Wild Things Are

Shadwell Opera, Alexandra Palace

An audience including many kids engaged effortlessly with Jack Furness’s simple but effective production ... Delivered by a highly energetic group of principals, Furness’s production – with sweeties and balloons (literally) thrown in – was unalloyed fun.

George Hall, The Stage, 31 October 2019

... this lo-fi but uproarious production deserves the chance to be seen more widely around the country... Jack Furness's staging boasted eccentric monsters (amazing what you can do with Seventies rock-god wigs and yellow Marigolds) and simple but striking effects.

Neil Fisher, The Times, 28 October 2019

Don Giovanni (Revival Director)

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, September 2019

Es Devlin’s busy set has felt intrusively hyperactive on previous viewings, but at this revival directed by Jack Furness the show has a more consistent focus than hitherto.

George Hall, The Stage, 17 September 2019

Either Jack Furness, the revival director of the Royal Opera’s 2014 Mozart production, has been given remarkable licence to pep up Kasper Holten’s original staging or I am getting soft-hearted in my mature years. Either way, I found this show far more emotionally compelling than on its previous outing a year ago.

Richard Morrison, The Times, 17 September 2019

The Lighthouse

Shadwell Opera, Hackney Showroom, November 2017

Hackney Showroom is a long way from the sea. But in this austere room director Jack Furness and his designer Alex Berry skilfully evoke the claustrophobic intensity of extended isolation.

Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 12 November 2017

Jack Furness's vivid production...

Mark Valencia, WhatsOnStage, 4 November 2017

Furness and Downie Dear have created a spine-chilling setting for this operatic shaggy dog story.

Amanda Holloway, The Stage, 6 November 2017

Written on Skin

Melos Sinfonia, LSO St Luke's, October 2017

Deftly directed by Jack Furness...

Richard Morrison, The Times, 24 October 2017

In the Penal Colony

Shadwell Opera, Arts Theatre, June 2014

The early simplicity of Furness's production is traded in later in the show for some very graphic visuals - all the more shocking for emerging from nowhere... it certainly cuts to the violent heart of Kafka's story; suddenly we're not talking about the idea of torture so much as torture itself, a dramatic sleight-of-hand that's elegantly handled.

Alexandra Coghlan, NewStatesman, 23 June 2014

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