Ian Burton

Ian Burton was born and educated in Yorkshire; he has an honours degree from Leeds University(1963) and a PH.D from Bristol University(1981). He is a writer and dramaturg who has worked with the opera director Robert Carsen since 1987. He has published eight volumes of poetry - Liberty of the Clink, Book of Poems, Koto, Plain Song, Trying to get to the Island by Night, Low Mass, Dorset Street and Rouflaquettes. His work has also been published in numerous magazines such as Ariel,
The Body Politic, Stand, The Poetry Review and several Arts Council Anthologies chosen by Ted Hughes. He has also written books on music and drama for Cambridge University Press under the generic title of Listen.

Five of his verse plays, Genroku Kabuki, The Lovers' Exile,
Chikamatsu, Shunkan and The Subscription List have been broadcastby BBC Radio 3 and the World Service. He has also written texts for musical setting by the Dutch composer Eduard Alexander e.g. The Wedding of the Moon and Sun. He was also commissioned by BBC Radio to write a play entitled Mask , broadcast in November 1995 about Henry Purcell as part of
the tercentenary celebrations, and also a play about Francis Poulenc The Foot of the Cross or the Muzzle of a Gun broadcast by Radio 3 in 1998.

He directs music-theatre performances and in 1994 won the prize for the best production of the year given by the Province of Antwerp for his production of three one-act works by Peter Maxwell Davies - Eight Songs for a Mad King, Vesalii Icones, and Miss Donnithorne's Maggot. He has also produced for Transparant Chamber Music Theatre, notably Mozart's Zaide,(1995) and Mahagonny Songspiel and Happy End (1997) by Brecht and Weill, and written a dramatic biography of the composer Erich Korngold, Between Two Worlds, performed
at the Covent Garden Festival (1996). In 2003 he devised
a show for Ute Lemper called Nomade which was performed
at the Chatelet in Paris and which was recorded on DVD.

He has written over fifty articles on opera and about individual operas for programmes and magazines published by , amongst others, Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera (New York), English National Opera, The Flemish Opera, The Cologne Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Paris Opera (Bastille and Salle Garnier), Grand Theatre de Geneve, Grand Theatre de Bordeaux, Festival d'Aix en Provence, Muziek Teater Amsterdam, the Welsh National Opera, etc. He has also written scenarios for ballets, notably Cinderella for Northern Ballet Theatre, as well as plays for the theatre, Entering the Whirlpool (1981),Rokumeikan (a translation of Mishima's play, 1987),
a trilogy of Love-Suicide plays adapted from the Japanese- Amijima, The Love Suicide of Sonezaki, and The Courier on
the Road to Hell (1991-2), Deranging Angels (1993) and
Men's Doubles (1998).

He has written libretti on Shakespeare’s « Titus Andronicus », and Dostoevsky’s « White Nights » for the
young Strasbourg composer Boris Boulanger–Haas.

He has also written libretti for five operas; Richard III (Antwerp 2005), JJR; Citoyen de Genève (Geneva 2010), The Duchess of Malfi (ENO 2009), Pop'pea (Paris Châtelet 2011) and CO2 (La Scala Milan 2015).

He is currently working on plays about the Emperor Hadrian and St. Isaac of Syria.