Hugh Halliday

After graduating in 1962 from the Corona Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Hugh followed a career as an actor, performing many roles in theatre, films and television. In 1965 he had a worldwide number one hit, Concrete and Clay, as the drummer with the pop group Unit 4+2. Hugh returned to theatre in 1968, performing in repertoire at the Marlowe theatre, Canterbury and the Theatre Royal, Lincoln.


In 1970, he joined Sadler’s Wells Opera Ballet and danced for two years with the company. In 1974, Hugh was offered the position of a resident Staff Director with English National Opera and during his seven years there worked on over sixty productions. In 1979 he choreographed CanterburyTales in London’s West End.


Hugh was invited to Australia in 1980 to stage Rossini’s The Count Ory for Victoria State Opera and subsequently immigrated in 1982. Since then he has directed many productions for all the state opera companies.


He has written a musical, Stardust, which has been performed at the Victorian Arts Centre and is currently being reshaped for an animated TV special.


Hugh was associate director for the arena production of Carmen staged in Zurich, Berlin and Munich. He directed the world premiere production of Leonardo—A Portrait of Love at the Old Fire Station Theatre, Oxford; La Traviata for Opera New Zealand; a gigantic stadium production of Aida for Michael Edgley International in Singapore, Perth, Auckland, and Brisbane. Hugh was also invited to direct La Boheme in a joint production with Auckland Opera, IMG and VSO in Auckland with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. He has just directed critically acclaimed productions of Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, and Die Fledermaus for Melbourne Opera Company and La Traviata at De Bortoli Winery for Grand Opera Australia. He works frequently with Singapore Lyric Opera and directed Faust and The Tales of Hoffmann for Canterbury Opera, Christchurch, NZ.


Hugh still maintains a now twenty-year-long association with the Victorian College of the Arts as lecturer in Stagecraft, Drama and Movement for VCA Opera, for whom he has directed many main stage productions.


In 2006 Hugh was appointed Director of Productions for Melbourne Opera, for whom he has directed Cosi fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Die Fledermaus, The Barber of Seville, Carmen (twice), Cavalleria Rusticana & Suor Angelica, The Italian Girl in Algiers, La Boheme, Bellini’s I Puritani, The Marriage of Figaro, La Traviata, Tosca, Faust and The Merry Widow. He is married to senior stage manager Annie Reid and has five children.