William Relton, Director – Helen Sykes Artists' Management

William Relton


Described as “helping the cast achieve dramatic performances as well defined as the related vocal offerings…”


William Relton enjoyed recent success directing the world première of The Importance of Being Earnest for which he adapted the play to an operatic libretto composed by B Tommy Andersson for the Vadstena Festival in Sweden.  This Summer he returns to Sweden to direct a production of Verdi’s Don Carlo for Opera på Skäret

Read William Relton’s full biography below.

Current Highlights

World Première The Importance of Being Earnest  (B Tommy Andersson), creating operatic libretto for Vadstena Festival, Sweden.


Don Carlo Opera på Skäret, Sweden.


Faramondo (Handel) Royal College of Music for London Handel Festival.


“William Relton’s cool and clever staging of Handel’s problematic piece, which is exquisitely sung…”




William Relton began his career as an actor and made his professional début playing the title role in Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy in the West End in a cast which included Kenneth Moore, Megs Jenkins, Annette Crosbie, and Laurence Naismith. 

Major stage roles in London’s West End included Cherubin in Beaumarchais’s The Marriage of Figaro, Bernstein’s Candide (title role) and Tony West Side Story, Marco in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore, Hamlet (title role), Wilfred Owen in the one-man play All the Arts of Hurting, and Kenneth in Berlin’s Call Me Madam.  Television engagements included roles in Clayhanger, Play for Today, The Lost Boys and Degrees of Error. Film appearances have included roles in Beauty and the Beast, The Great Gastby and Slumdog Millionaire.

His roles on the operatic stage have included Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Basilio Le nozze di Figaro and Ferrando Così fan tutte. He has recently played the acting role of Haushofmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne Festival and the Frankfurt Opera.

William Relton made his international directing début with Verdi’s Otello for Opéra de Nice returning to direct Le nozze di Figaro.  Subsequent engagements included productions for Det Kongelige Teater, Copenhagen, Norwegian National Opera, Oslo, Drottingholms Slottstheater, Stockholm, Staatstheater Darmstadt, English National Opera, Vadstena Akademien, Opera på Skäret, Estonian National Opera, London Handel Festival, Opera North, West Green House, and Dorset Opera.   

His recent opera productions have included Bizet’s Carmen and Les pêcheurs de perles, Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Händel’s Alessandro, Rinaldo and Faramondo, Haydn’s Il mondo della luna, Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Pergolesi’s La serva padrona, Puccini’s La bohème, Rossini’s La gazza ladra, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, and Verdi’s Otello and La Traviata

William Relton recently directed the world première of The Importance of Being Earnest for which he adapted the play to an operatic libretto composed by B Tommy Andersson for the Vadstena Festival in Sweden.  His forthcoming engagements include a return to Opera på Skäret to direct a production of Verdi’s Don Carlo this Summer.

A much sought-after director and teacher, William Relton has directed productions or scenes for the opera departments of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music and National Opera Studio, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.  In Scandinavia he has regularly worked at the Opera Academy of the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Operahogskolan in Stockholm, and the Opera School in Göteborg and KHIO in Oslo.  He was in charge of Touring Operations and Education for Co-Opera Company, and continues as Artistic Director for Tarantara Productions, a company devoted to promoting the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Earlier in his career William Relton both performed and worked as Executive Producer for Music Theatre London directing co-productions with The Greenwich Theatre, Die Kammerspiele, Hamburg, and NDR-TV, and producing tours to the Vienna Festival and in Germany, Holland and throughout the UK. 

This biography is not for publication. Please contact the office for an updated version.


Helen Sykes
+44 (0)20 8780 0060
+44 (0)7799 673367


Mary Craig
+44 (0)20 8780 0060