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DAVID  
EATON 

Conductor | Pianist | Composer | Lyricist

Photo: Bill Knight

 
"A musical director of almost supernatural ability and sureness"

Robert Thicknesse, Opera Now

About David

David studied at the Royal College of Music and has a busy career performing, conducting and writing.  He trained as a pianist and an organist and held several organ scholarships at St. George's, Beckenham, St. Luke's, Chelsea and Christ Church, Chelsea.

 

As a pianist he has performed at the Wigmore Hall, St. John's, Smith Square, The Royal Festival Hall and The Purcell Rooms, as well as live on BBC Radio and Television.

 

He is a busy accompanist and repetiteur, including working for the BBC Proms, as well as spending much time performing piano accompanied opera for Charles Court Opera, The Kings Head Theatre and Regents Opera.

David is also a conductor and has directed a wide range of music from Gilbert and Sullivan, in which he specialises, to Ligeti and Britten.

He regularly arranges and writes for several companies and is passionate about opera in English. He has had several of his own translations performed, and his translation of The Elixir of Love was nominated for an Off-West End award, which was ultimately won by Charles Court Opera's production of HMS Pinafore, for which David was the musical director.

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Photo: Bill Knight

 

"Gilbert and Sullivan needs an excellent conductor, and in David Eaton, we got one."

David Mellor, Daily Mail
 

 

Composer

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David working on recordings with members of The Nativity cast

David has written music for numerous productions and performances including all of the Charles Court Opera pantomimes. His original score for Beowulf (2021) won him a nomination for Best Musical Director (Offies) and won the Best Panto (Offies)

He has also produced  arrangements of everything from Queen to Vanilla Ice and is proficient in Qlab, Logic Pro X and Ableton Live.

He wrote a musical, Hamilton (Lewis), for the King's Head Theatre which ran at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh as well as at the King's Head itself.

David has also written an opera, Olga's Story, based on the book by Stephanie Williams, which was performed at the Rosemary Branch Theatre.

He continues to write and produce work for all theatrical mediums.  

Listen

A selection of works composed or arranged by David for various productions.

I'll make you feel like a woman
00:00 / 02:27

Sung by Emily Cairns and John Savournin, from Snow White,

Backing, Meriel Cunningham, Jennie Jacobs and Matt Kellett

Music David Eaton, Lyrics David Eaton, Drums Dave Jennings

Hands and Mask
00:00 / 02:21

Sung by Emily Cairns , John Savournin, Meriel Cunningham, Jennie Jacobs and Matt Kellett, from Snow White

Music David Eaton, Lyrics David Eaton, Drums Dave Jennings

Is He Gone
00:00 / 02:50

Sung by Phillip Lee, from Hamilton (Lewis)

Music David Eaton, Lyrics David Eaton

Nativity Act One Finale
00:00 / 02:03

Sung by Emily Cairns, Catrine Kirkman, Meriel Cunningham, Jennie Jacobs and Matt Kellett, from Nativity

Music David Eaton, Lyrics David Eaton

With material from Troika (Lieutenant Kije) by Sergei Prokofieff

Promotional Videos

Promo for A Nativity Panto - Charles Court Opera

Promo for Buttons - Charles Court Opera

"A ringing endorsement for opera in English"

Hugh Canning on The Magic Flute

Lyricist and Translator

David has been working as a translator and lyricist for 15 years.  He started writing lyrics for the first Charles Court Opera Pantomime, Cinderella, and has written for all the subsequent pantomimes.  He also wrote the updated lyrics for the Gilbert and Sullivan review show - Express G and S - performed at The Pleasance, London Wonderground and the City Varieties in Leeds.

As well as writing lyrics for his own compositions and arrangements, David writes opera translations and has produced versions of 'Bastien and Bastienne' (Grimeborn), 'The Magic Flute' (Iford and the King's Head), 'The Barber of Seville' (Iford), 'The Elixir of Love' (Kings' Head) and 'Tosca' (Trafalgar Studios).

'The Elixir of Love' at the King's Head (for which David was also musical director) was nominated for an 'Best Opera Production' Off-West end award.

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David working with Matthew Kellet on The Elixir of Love, photo Bill Knight

 

Listen

Translations and other new lyrics by David

Papageno Suicide Aria
00:00 / 02:33

Sung by Matthew Kellett, from The Magic Flute

Translation David Eaton, Piano David Eaton

Ach Ich Fuhl's
00:00 / 03:41

Sung by Catrine Kirkman, from The Magic Flute

Translation David Eaton, Piano David Eaton

Dulcamara's Aria
00:00 / 03:58

Sung by Matthew Kellett, from The Elixir of Love

Translation David Eaton, Piano David Eaton

They're on the manifest
00:00 / 02:44

Sung by Phillip Lee, from Express G&S

Lyrics David Eaton, Piano David Eaton

Here is a curious case
00:00 / 01:10

Sung by Matthew Kellett, from Express G&S

Lyrics David Eaton, Piano David Eaton

Promotional Videos

Promo for The Magic Flute (Charles Court Opera)

 "It’s rare in London to see and hear Gilbert and Sullivan performed with such dazzle and panache as this"

Hugh Canning, The Times

Conductor

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David is the musical director of Charles Court Opera and has conducted numerous productions for them, over more than a decade, including The Magic Flute at Iford Arts and The Barber of Seville at Iford Arts.  

He has also conducted performances of Tosca, Madame Butterfly and The Barber of Seville for Regents Opera and Jephtha at the Grimeborn Festival

David is one the country's leading interpreters of the works of Gilbert and Sullivan and has conducted nearly all of the extant works, either for Charles Court at The International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival or for Grims Dyke Opera.  He has also conducted numerous performances of The Zoo and Cox and Box.

Also a keen proponent of new music, he has conducted performances of The Turn of the Screw (Britten) for Charles Court and for Opera UpClose, as well as Pierrot Lunaire (Schoenberg), Aventures et Nouvelles Aventures (Ligeti) and Eight Songs for a Mad King (Maxwell Davies)

He made his debut at Opera Holland Park in August 2021 with The Pirates of Penzance and returned in 2022 with HMS Pinafore.

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David in rehearsals for The Pirates of Penzance at Opera Holland Park, with the City of London Sinfonia.  Photo: Ali Wright

 

Watch

Conducting Excerpts

The Sun Whose Rays

The Mikado

Charles Court Opera with the National Festival Orchestra

Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh,

Soprano: Alys Roberts

So Please You Sir We Much Regret

The Mikado

Charles Court Opera with the National Festival Orchestra

Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh

Here's a How De Do

The Mikado

Charles Court Opera with the National Festival Orchestra

Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh

Soprano: Alys Roberts

Tenor: Jack Roberts and Phil Lee

"Under David Eaton’s direction music and text are both crisp and precise with moments of real beauty. I wondered whether he was communicating telepathically."

Robert Hugill - Planet Hugill

Contact David

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