"the musical performance under David Parry sweeps more or less everything before it"
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
"David Parry conducts with energy and elegance"
Robert Thicknesse, The Times
"David Parry conducted with exemplary sense of style"
Michael Kennedy, Sunday Telegraph
David Parry is acknowledged as an inspirational champion of operatic, concert and symphonic repertoire across a vast range. He is known both for the re-appraisal of important lesser-known compositions and for a consistently fresh approach to established repertoire.
2021 - 2022 highlights include a special streamed production of Hänsel und Gretel for Scottish Opera, La cenerentola at the Grange Festival and La bohème at the Nederlandse Reisopera.
Significant credits include the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s The Adventures of Pinocchio (in separate productions for Opera North and Staatstheater Stuttgart), Der Fliegende Holländer (for Portland Opera), Madama Butterfly (in Anthony Minghella’s production for ENO which earned him an Olivier Award), Cosí fan tutte and the premiere of Dove’s Flight (both for Glyndebourne Festival Opera) and Maria Stuarda (for Stockholm Royal Opera).
David Parry made his operatic debut with La Cenerentola for English Music Theatre and subsequently joined the conducting staff first at Dortmund then at Opera North. He was Music Director of Opera 80, and founding Music Director of Almeida Opera, with whom he gave the world premieres of works by Nigel Osborne, Kevin Volans, Elena Firsova, and Param Vir. Other significant world-premieres have included Stephen Oliver's Mario and the Magician at the Batignano Festival, and Jonathan Dove’s Tobias and the Angel in 2006 and his oratorio There was a Child at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival in 2009.
Photographer credit: Marco Borrelli
This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.
The Grange Festival, July 2021
In the pit, David Parry's speeds took no prisoners and he skillfully managed the tricky task of co-ordinating stage and recording in the vivid ensembles in a natural manner, whilst almost making us forget that it was a recording. His accompaniment of the recitatives was always imaginative and kept the pace of the drama moving at just the right tempo. Parry also contributed the intelligently witty surtitles.
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill (4.5 stars)
... with such a spirited Rossini conductor as David Parry in charge.
George Hall, The Stage (5 stars)
Happily, the festival has hit the operatic bull’s-eye with Stephen Barlow’s dazzling staging of Rossini’s greatest comedy, La Cenerentola (Cinderella), meticulously conducted with rhythmic flair and genuine Italianità by one of the UK’s most experienced Rossinians, David Parry. It’s a gem of a show, delivered by a true ensemble cast who, thanks to Barlow and Parry, work together like clockwork in Rossini’s masterly concerted numbers.
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times
Hansel and Gretel
Scottish Opera, February 2021
The score is expertly played and lovingly conducted by David Parry who conveys the expressive potential of every note
George Hall, The Stage, 10 February 2021
Conductor David Parry excels in the pacing of the children’s growing panic in the woods and its easing into the lyric consolation of the Sandman’s song
David Nice, The Arts Desk, 12 February 2021
Clark’s arrangement makes the most of the score and conductor David Parry and the orchestra perform it superbly
Keith Bruce, VoxCarnyx, 10 February 2021
David Parry conducts with all the steadiness and security that you would expect from someone of his experience
Simon Thompson, Bachtrack, 10 February 2021
David Parry's pacing of a slimmed down version of Humperdinck’s score preserved its Romantic warmth and radiant contouring
Opera Magazine, April 2021
Il barbiere di Siviglia
Theater Basel (October 2019)
Musically, the standards of this production in Basel are high to very high. Conductor David Parry (previously seen in Basel with “Finta Giardiniera” and “Maria Stuarda”) always manages to combine the lightness, which is so important in Rossini’s [operas] with the necessary sense of rhythm. The Sinfonieorchester Basel masters his occasionally very fast tempi brilliantly.
Reinmar Wagner, Aargauer Zeitung
Conductor David Parry, who accompanies the recitatives himself from the fortepiano in an inspired way, chooses speedy tempi, which do not trouble the orchestra. The few quiet moments, too, the Briton realises with great sensitivity.
Georg Rudiger, Der Sonntag
Every detail of [the production] makes sense. It puts the staging on the same level as Rossini’s music: conductor David Parry and the Sinfonieorchester Basel, situated on the stage, reveal the music’s depth uncompromisingly – they sugarcoat nothing and yet play so beautifully. Just like the scenic realisation, the musical one shows how strikingly close this comedy is to tragedy. When music teacher Basilio spells out the devastating effects of slander (accompanied by video footage of refugees and asylum seekers), the strings wheeze in turn – wonderful! … In short: musically this evening is a gift from heaven.
Alexander Dick, Badische Zeitung
The audience at the premieres celebrate both productions. That is not least due to their compelling musical standards... the Sinfonieorchester Basel under David Parry ... handle the tempi-packed score splendidly.
David Parry is a very experienced conductor and, with the Sinfonieorchester Basel, offered a buoyant performance of this glorious music, which he has carved out to the finest detail.
Marco Stücklin, Opernmagazin
Wolf-Ferrari Il segreto di Susanna & Mascagni Zanetto
Scottish Opera, Lammermuir Festival (September 2019)
Conductor David Parry and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera brought the score to life with energy and enthusiasm.
Rowena Smith, The Guardian
David Parry conducted both scores as though they deserved the same conviction that others would bring to Verdi or Puccini. The orchestra responded to him beautifully, and the blend in the church acoustic was remarkably successful.
Simon Thompson, Seen and Heard International
The Scottish Opera Orchestra [played] with impulsive sweep under the heaving baton of David Parry.
Ken Walton, The Scotsman
The rich orchestration was given a vigorous performance by the large orchestra under conductor David Parry.
Keith Bruce, The Herald Scotland
David Parry conducts the orchestra of Scottish Opera with an appropriately fluid pace throughout.
Thom Dibdin, The Stage
Vaughan Williams: The Pilgrim’s Progress
Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (March 2019)
From the moment the quiet brass hymn-tune emerged from the pit, it was clear that David Parry had a true understanding of the work. His conducting was by turns highly dramatic and sensitive, spacious where necessary but always moving forwards, and with clear cues that gave his young singers maximum confidence. Parry’s account was both luminous and purposeful, underlining the work’s dramatic intentions.
Nigel Simeone, Opera Magazine
Mendelssohn, Chopin and Elgar with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Festival Hall (February 2019)
[Parry] was on fine form here. … Parry pressed the [Mendelssohn] forward, capturing dramatic urgency but allowing the moods to shift without sounding hurried. … Benelli Mosell’s lyrical playing was well-matched by the sensitive texturing that Parry drew from the LPO.
The main virtue of Parry’s approach to the Elgar was in his avoidance of anything approaching bombast; energetic, yes, there was plenty of vim from the opening bars, but as with the Chopin, there was a sense of lyricism to the LPO’s performance. The Larghetto can run the risk of sounding overly melancholy, but Parry gave us something more nuanced that eschewed the vulgar in favour of a calmer contemplation, epitomised by the depth of the oboe-playing. If the second movement was subdued, the third lacked none of the virtuosity that a good performance requires, the fluttering of the woodwind giving way to splendidly robust brass, the string colour beneath a rich gold. Perhaps best, though, were the dying strains of the finale; the richness of the horns and the precision of the strings standing out as the music ebbed away. It was a studied interpretation, but one that benefited from the detail and texture that Parry gave it.
Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack ****
Dove: Marx in London (World Premiere)
Theater Bonn (Dec 2018)
There is much richly challenging writing for the orchestra under the excellent David Parry.
Martin Kettle, The Guardian ****
The Beethoven-Orchester Bonn plays all this competently and transparently under the taut direction of David Parry.
Alexander Menden, Süddeutsche Zeitung
The zappy conversational tone of the piece is mixed up with more lyrical passages. The Beethoven-Orchester and the choir realise this excellently under the direction of Davie Parry.
Stefan Schmöe, Online Musik Magazin
The Londoner composer’s music is played virtuosically by the Beethoven Orchester under David Parry; it is brilliant, witty and eclectic in a good way and moves elegantly between Stravinsky, Britten and the composers of American minimalism.
Bernhard Hartmann, Generalanzeiger Bonn
The Beethoven Orchester Bonn under David Parry throws itself into proceedings and takes sumptuous pleasure in the sound; the choir sings magnificently.
Peter Krause, Concerti
“On the podium David Parry evinced great affection for the partitura and there was marked deference to the singers in keeping the orchestral decibels as restrained as possible. That said, there was plenty of roof-raising raucousness when required.”
Jonathan Sutherland, Operawire
Nederlandse Reisopera (October 2018)
It is because of ... the musical standard of this performance that it is rated with four stars in this review: The Orkest van het Oosten plays a great Puccini under the guidance of veteran David Parry: blazing where it should be, tender where it can. Parry knows how he needs to support his singers.
Peter van der Lint, Trouw ****
Under the direction of David Parry, the Orkest van het Oosten gives a sultry, rhythmically fine, well-done interpretation.
Persis Bekkering, Volkskrant
The Orkest van het Oosten, the stars of the evening, conducted by David Parry, developed a sound that was almost too perfect, and got the most out of all aspects of Puccini’s score. The solo passages were a treat and the accompaniment of the soloists could teach the big name orchestras a thing or two. No, the singers or the orchestra were not to blame…
Olivier Keegel, Opera Gazet ****
In Puccini's Tosca, a large part of the musical drama lies in the orchestra. You hear the aggressively teasing opening chords and you know: there will be trouble. Under the direction of conductor David Parry, the Orkest van het Oosten allows the tension that goes under your skin to become fierce with sharply drawn rhythmic motifs, virulent brass, impending percussion and smoky low wood.
Joep Christenhusz, NRC ****
Parry creates beautiful dramatic moments, often through quietness and delaying.
Jordi Kooiman, Place de l’Opera
Mosè in Egitto
Oper Köln (April 2018)
The Gürzenich-Orchester, which used to show weaknesses especially in Italian repertoire, offered a surprise: under British bel canto specialist David Parry the performance comes off with striking agility and buoyancy, drawing out the orchestral colours lushly (horn, clarinet) and also realising the lyric moments appropriately for this repertoire.
Markus Schwering, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger
Parry, experienced with Rossini, achieves a near perfect firework of verve, full-bodied [sound], flexibility and lyricism with the Guerzenich-Orchester and the impressive chorus.
Pedro Obiera, Westfälischer Anzeiger
The Gürzenich-Orchester Köln is captivating under the direction of David Parry, with fiery rhythms and homogenously presented, well-dosed kinetic energy, nuanced in tempo and dynamics.
Ursula Decker-Bönninger, klassik.com
The Gürzenich-Orchester Köln under David Parry played with a rhythmically effective and bubbly Rossini sound, carefully and affectionately accompanying the singers in their in very demanding roles. The problematic placement of the orchestra on the left-hand side of the stage in the interim venue was handled brilliantly by the ensemble under Parry.
Achim Dombrowski, Opera Online
The Gürzenich-Orchester Köln under expert Rossini conductor David Parry, positioned on the left side of the stage, negotiated the fiery and lyric passages … superbly.
Ralf Siepmann, O-Ton
David Parry completes the performance marvelously with his fresh sounding Guerzenich-Orchester, and there is much applause for everyone.
Thomas Molke, Online Musik Magazin
Scottish Opera (October 2017)
“The soprano and tenor leads were effectively counter-balanced … by David Parry’s seasoned conducting, always alert to Verdian legato and the dramatic shape of the score.”
Andrew Clark, Opera Magazine
“It’s a hugely involving production that propels you along with sheer emotion, and the Scottish Opera Orchestra is on broad and resonant form under conductor David Parry.”
David Kettle, The Scotsman ****
“David Parry’s stylish, Italianate conducting”
Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times
“The orchestra, conducted by David Parry, was crisp and precise and often brilliant in the fuller textures”
George Forbes, Bachtrack ****
“In the pit, conductor David Parry and the Orchestra of Scottish Opera keep the momentum going”
Rowena Smith, The Guardian
“Conductor David Parry brings out the lightness and longing in the music and controls the sound of a very effective chorus.”
Catriona Graham, The Opera Critic
David Parry’s Repertoire and Discography
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