Ian Burton Dramatist


Ian Burton was born in Yorkshire and graduated from the universities of Leeds and Bristol. He has worked in a variety of different genres as both a dramatist and a writer. 

His opera librettos include Battistelli’s Richard III and CO2 (which premiered respectively at the Flanders Opera in 2005 and at Milan’s La Scala in 2015; The Duchess of Malfi for the English National Opera; Pop'pea at the Théâtre du Châtelet in 2012; and Philippe Fénelon’s JJR in Geneva in 2012). He also writes ballet scripts (Cinderella, Northern Ballet Theatre); stage dramas (Entering the Whirlpool, 1981, Deranging Angels, 1993, Mask, 1995, Between Two Worlds, 1996, a play on the life of Chikamatsu, in 1997, Men’s Doubles, 1998, The Foot of the Cross, or the Muzzle of a Gun, 2001…); stage musicals (Eduard Alexander’s The Wedding of the Moon and Sun); and anthologies (Dorset Street, Rouflaquettes). 

For the last twenty years he has worked with Robert Carsen: Bernstein’s Candide at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Milan’s La Scala and the English National Opera; L’Incoronazione di Poppea and Rinaldo at Glyndebourne; Mitridate in Brussels, Iphigénie en Tauride and Orfeo ed Euridice in Chicago, Tannhäuser in Tokyo and at the Paris Opera, La Traviata in Venice, My Fair Lady at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Wozzeck at the Theater an der Wien, The Beggar’s Opera at the Bouffes du Nord and the Grand Théâtre in Geneva... 

Ian Burton is also a director. In 1994, Antwerp Province awarded him the prize for best production for his triptych of one-act operas by Peter Maxwell Davies (Eight Songs for a Mad King, Versalii Icons, and Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot). He has also worked with the Transparant chamber theatre (Mozart’s Zaide in 1995; Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel and Happy End in 1996) and he staged the musical Frank’s Closet in London which earned the honour of “Critic’s Choice” in Time Out.

During the 21/22 season, he signed the dramaturgy of Alcina at the Paris Opera, Manon Lescaut at the Vienna Staastoper, Don Carlo in Essen and Arabella at the Opernhaus in Zurich.

Currently in

  • Opéra Bastille
  • from 30 November to 27 December 2023

Back to top