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Royal Opera House Names Speranza Scappucci to Role of Principal Guest Conductor

The Roman conductor becomes the first person since 1997 to occupy the position at Covent Garden, and the first woman to hold the role in the company’s history.

Speranza Scappucci, set to become the Royal Opera's Principal Guest Conductor

Photographed by Ball & Albanese

THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE has appointed Italian conductor Speranza Scappucci as the company’s principal guest conductor, making her the first person to occupy the post since 1997, as well the first woman to hold the role in the company’s history.

Scappucci, who made her debut at the Royal Opera in 2022 leading performances of Verdi’s Attila, will begin her tenure in September 2025, at the start of the company’s 2025-26 season—the same month that Jakub Hrůša, the company’s recently announced new music director, will begin his term. The company said in a release issued today that Scappucci would work across a wide range of repertoire, including bel canto works and operas by Puccini and Verdi, and would also take part in the company’s educational-outreach efforts.

“I was thrilled to make my ROH debut with the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House last summer,” Scappucci said in a statement issued by the Royal Opera. “It was an immense joy to perform with such incredible musicians and singers, who display virtuosity combined with passion, making them unique in their excellence. I’m honored to accept the position and look forward to being part of the Covent Garden family, working alongside Jakub Hrůša on a wide range of repertoire. Covent Garden is a house of great tradition, globally known for its world-class singers, conductors and directors. I’m excited for what’s ahead of me as part of this fantastic team.”

Scappucci held the role of music director at Opéra Royal de Wallonie-Liège from 2017-2022 and recently made debuts at the Metropolitan Opera, where she conducted performances of Rigoletto, as well as Opéra National de Paris and Teatro alla Scala, where she led I Capuleti e Montecchi. With the latter performances of Bellini’s opera in Milan, Scappucci became the first Italian woman ever to conduct at the venue. Scappucci has also led performances at houses that include the Wiener Staatsoper, Liceu Barcelona, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Staatsoper Berlin, Semperoper Dresden, Opernhaus Zürich, Los Angeles Opera, and Canadian Opera Company. A former pianist and coach, Scappucci is a graduate of the Juilliard School as well as Rome’s Conservatory di Musica Santa Cecilia. Scappucci also currently hosts a classical music show on Italian National Television with the goal of educating audiences.

More information can be found at the Royal Opera and the OPERA NEWS Archives.