Management and repertoire


David's passion lies in rediscovering the lesser-known operas and composers.


In an art form that largely relies on the same core operas, David is dedicated to bringing audiences and artists new artistic experiences and opportunities.


David is the Artistic Director of Northern Opera Group, who champion rare and wonderful operas and deliver the annual Leeds Opera Festival. At the heart of their programming is a dedication to providing audiences with a range of artistic experiences, and creating opportunities for both professionals and their local communtiy to perform.


He is responsible for all of Northern Opera Group's artistic planning and day-to-day management, including the selection and contracting of artists, partnership development and fundraising, and financial accounting.


David would be pleased to hear from opera companies, venues and festivals who may be interested in broadening their programming, or who may be looking for support in company management and development.



David started his career as the Director in Residence at a grammar school, leading drama workshops, teaching acting, and directing school productions (including participation in the Shakespeare Schools Festival).

Following a break from directing, David recommenced his work with Northern Opera Group, where he has directed six productions to date - achieving 100% audience feedback of 'Good' or 'Very Good' on the quality of the productions, and receiving a 4* review from The Guardian for 'The Original Chinese Conjuror.

He is equally at home working with professionals or amateurs, and David is also an accomplished pianist, repetiteur and accompanist.

David would be pleased to discuss directing opportunities from companies across the UK (whether the repertoire be obscure or not!)

The Guardian, 4*, 'The Original Chinese Conjuror'

The opera was both amazing and charming. Loved all the characters, how the story was done and the music

(Audience member, 'The Original Chinese Conjuror')

David Ward’s production was especially alive to comic possibilities

(Opera magazine, 'The Original Chinese Conjuror')

Under David Ward’s direction, the performance makes imaginative use of the immense hall space, with audience seating all around on three sides. No furniture, almost no props, but the audience is involved by the immediate presence of the singers before, between, even behind the seats

(Reviews Hub, 'Alfred')

The show captured the very essence of Menotti’s Opera. I was captivated. Thank you so much

(Audience member, 'Amahl and the Night Visitors')

It was wonderfully staged. Well done on so many aspects. It's made my Christmas!

(Audience member, 'Amahl and the Night Visitors')