Dr. John Rigby is a conductor, musical supervisor and musicologist who initially studied orchestral conducting at the University of Huddersfield and the Royal Northern College of Music. He gained his PhD from Kings College London having researched the cultural resonances of Franz Lehár’s ‘Berlin’ operettas during the Weimar Republic.
As a musical supervisor his credits include: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT (Palladium); SCHOOL OF ROCK (London, US Tour, Australia, Korea); THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (25th Anniversary UK and US Tours); JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (World Arena Tour & DVD); LES MISERABLES (Korea); MISS SAIGON (London, cinema release & DVD); THE PRODUCERS (UK Tour) and THE KING AND I (UK Tour). As a musical director his West End credits include: Christopher Wheeldon’s AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (Dominion & cinema release) BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED (Lyric); THE DROWSY CHAPERONE (Novello); THE KING AND I (Palladium); THE LAST EMPRESS (Apollo, Hammersmith); MARGUERITE (Theatre Royal, Haymarket); LES MISÉRABLES (Palace & Queens); THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Her Majesty’s); PETER PAN (Savoy); THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Savoy); THE PRODUCERS (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane) and SINATRA (Palladium). Additionally, he was musical director for the German productions of MISS SAIGON (Stuttgart) and STARLIGHT EXPRESS (Bochum). He also recently conducted and supervised the workshops for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 2018 reworking of STARLIGHT EXPRESS at The Other Palace, London.
His opera credits include: Judith Weir’s THE BLACK SPIDER (Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival); CARMEN JONES (Royal Festival Hall); CAROUSEL (Opera North); DIE FLEDERMAUS (Opera Holland Park); MADAMA BUTTERFLY (Lyric Opera, Dublin); and most recently CHESS (English National Opera).
John is extremely active on the concert platform as both a conductor and presenter and the numerous orchestras he has worked with include: the Berliner Symphoniker, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, CBSO, Dublin Concert Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, Manchester Concert Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, RSNO, Scottish Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Symphony Orchestra and the orchestras of both Welsh National Opera and Opera North. He has appeared as a conductor of BBC Radio 2’s FRIDAY NIGHT IS MUSIC NIGHT and is also conductor of the famous CLASSICAL SPECTAUCULAR concerts for Raymond Gubbay. He recently conducted the sell-out concerts of 2 CELLOS at the London Palladium and the Royal Albert Hall, as well as ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER’S 70th BIRTHDAY CONCERT with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.
Future plans include supervising the Russian premiere of CHESS in Moscow in October 2020, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical, CINDERELLA, which will open in London in spring 2021, and the return of JOSEPH to the London Palladium in summer 2021.
He has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts from Edge Hill University in recognition of his work in musical theatre and conducting.
Photos by Matthew Murphy & Andrew Baker