DONALD STURROCK - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Born in 1961, and grew up in England and South America. After reading Modern History at Oxford University, he joined BBC Television's Music and Arts Department where he worked full-time as writer, producer and director until 1992.
At the BBC he worked with many of the world's leading musicians, including Solti, von Karajan, Richter, Menuhin, Gergiev and Tennstedt, making a number of original, intense and highly-acclaimed music documentaries with them. These included After the Storm, an intimate and revealing portrait of the final years of the composer Bela Bartok, which won the 1989 Hungarian President's Prize; Six Foot Cinderella, a fantasy about the life of the operatic bass Robert Lloyd; and Words Return to Music, an exploration of the life, music and philosophy of the Russian composer Alfred Schnittke.
In 1992, he wrote and directed The Graham Greene Trilogy for BBC2's ARENA series. This three-hour programme, narrated by Sir Alec Guinness, and first broadcast in 1993, received outstanding reviews in the British and European press. It was described by David Gritten in the Daily Telegraph as a "towering achievement... British television at its absolute peak". The Broadcasting Writers Guild voted it Best Documentary of 1993.
Sturrock has a long relationship with the writing of Roald Dahl. In 1985, he made a short film about Dahl for the BBC and in Spring 1998, he completed a full-length documentary about him. Since 1992, he has been Artistic Director of the Roald Dahl Foundation, commissioning composers Paul Patterson, Eleanor Alberga, Kurt Schwertsik, Vladimir Tarnopolski, Tobias Picker, Peter Ash, and Georgs Pelecis in musical adaptations of Dahl's children's stories. These have included: Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Goldilocks, The Minpins, and Jack and the Beanstalk. In 1995 Sturrock directed an award-winning television version of Little Red Riding Hood with Danny DeVito, Ian Holm and Julie Walters.
Sturrock has also written and directed a four-part BBC documentary series, Placido Domingo's Tales at the Opera, including films about the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Wiener Staatsoper and the LA Opera, as well as The Art of Singing and the Grammy award nominated The Art of Piano for Ideale Audience and Warner Home Video.
As a stage director, Sturrock directed the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s opera Fantastic Mr. Fox at the Los Angeles Opera. He also translated Robert Thomas’s detective comedy Eight Women for the Southwark Playhouse.
He has written five opera librettos. The Golden Ticket, an opera based on Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with music by Peter Ash, premiered in June 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri, before further performances at the Wexford International Festival and in Atlanta, Georgia. His other librettos include Fantastic Mr. Fox (Picker), Keepers of the Night (Ash), and Letters of A Love Betrayed (Eleanor Alberga) which was presented by Music Theatre Wales at the Royal Opera House in 2009. Rain Dance with music by Stuart Hancock opened in London in December 2010 and was presented in Boston in 2014.
In September 2010, Storyteller, Sturrock's authorised biography of Roald Dahl was published simultaneously by Simon and Schuster in the U.S.A and HarperCollins in the U.K. It was longlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize and won the Spear’s Biography of the Year Award. Sturrock is currently preparing an edition of Roald Dahl’s letters for publication by Penguin and John Murray in 2016.