Erik Nielsen, who started his career as a Kapellmeister at Oper Frankfurt and returned in recent seasons for Billy Budd and new productions of Lachenmann's Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern / The Little Match Girl and Giulio Cesare in Egitto, is back to open the 2021/22 season with Norma. Born in America, he took up the post of Chief Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfόnica de Bilbao in 2015 and was Music Director of Theater Basel from 2016 - 2018. He made his debut at the Tirol Festival in Erl this summer with a new production of Wagner's Rheingold - the rest of this new Ring continues in 2022 with Die Walküre and Siegfried - and other plans include Manfred Trojahn's Euridice – Die Liebenden blind at Dutch National Opera. His broad and varied repertoire includes a large number of contemporary works. He conducted the world premieres of Dai Fujikura's Solaris in Paris, Lille and Lausanne and André Tchaikowsky's Der Kaufmann von Venedig / The Merchant of Venice at the Bregenz Festival. Other recent engagements have included Salome in Bilbao, Trojahn's Orest and Peter Grimes at Zurich Opera, Richard Ayres' Peter Pan at Welsh National Opera, Henze's Wir erreichen den Fluss / We Come to the River in Dresden and Reimann's Lear in Malmö. He also conducted a double bill of Stravinsky's Oedipus Rex & Dallapiccola's Il prigioniero and Pelléas et Mélisande at the Semperoper in Dresden and Křenek's Karl V at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich. During his time in Frankfurt guest engagements included operas at theatres including English National Opera in London, Boston Lyric Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Metropolitan Opera in New York. Other highlights in Frankfurt included the first performances in Germany of Reimann's Medea in 2010 (available on CD - OehmsClassics).