As conductor and musical director, John Burrows has been acclaimed in Europe and America. A native of England, and a United States resident since 1980, he co-founded the Lyric Opera of Dallas, serving as the company's Artistic Director and Principal Conductor until 1992. He presided over 25 productions - from Mozart and Rossini, to Offenbach and Bernstein. Critical response was enthusiastic, praising Burrows for "fluid, beautifully paced, energetic, and lyrical" productions, and for "the highest Gilbert and Sullivan standards in the Western hemisphere" (Dallas Morning News). He was also hailed as "an exemplary Rossinian" by Texas Monthly, a credit reinforced in 1998 by the New York Times, which extolled his "knowing direction" as conductor of the New York première of Rossini's Elisabetta, Regina d'Inghilterra.
John Burrows has appeared as Guest Conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra, Shreveport Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Theatre of San Antonio, OperaDelaware, Nevada Opera, Opera Northeast, and the American Music Theatre Festival, and Cleveland Lyric Opera. Venues have included London's Royal Albert and Queen Elizabeth Halls and the Barbican Centre, as well as Washington's Kennedy Center, Philadelphia's Merriam Theatre, and New York City's Kaye Playhouse. He has headed tours of Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
For twelve seasons, John Burrows prepared productions for English National Opera, and was the prompter for the legendary Ring of the Nibelungs at the London Coliseum under Sir Reginald Goodall. He was the studio conductor for several operas produced by BBC Television, and his broadcast experience extended into composing, arranging for - and even appearing in - a number of BBC TV Masterpiece Theatre productions. In 1997-98, he returned to the broadcast world as a part-time producer for National Public Radio's Performance Today, and his expertise was recently called upon in an interview on NPR in connection with the Oscar Award-winning movie, Topsy Turvy.
John Burrows has always maintained a strong interest in the training of young professional singers and actors. He headed the opera departments at Southern Methodist and Temple Universities, and played important roles in the education programs of Welsh National Opera, the London Opera Centre, the Academy of Vocal Arts, the University of the Arts, the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and the Apprentice Program of Des Moines Metro Opera. Last summer he returned for his fourth Stage de Chant (Vocal Workshop) in Aix-en-Provence at the Centre Lyrique.
During his residency in Washington, DC (1996-99), John Burrows wrote and musically directed three productions for the In-Series presented on the campus of George Washington University. In the Washington Post, reviewers noted his "expert guidance" of Ein Berliner Kabarett in 1996, his "spirited and precise" musical direction of Mozart's Men in 1998, and the "clever" use of Coward's and Porter's material in his 1999 revue, Noël and Cole.
In the 1970s, John Burrows was one of the most sought-after
conductors in London's West End. He was the Musical Director of A Chorus
Line at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, conducting over 250 performances,
and was the original Musical Director of two long-running Mermaid Theatre
revues, Cowardy Custard and Cole. Both were recorded by RCA.