On Macbeth (Glyndebourne/ROH)

Elegantly creepy, defiantly cool” - Bachtrack

“the orchestral writing is crisp and incisive, conjuring up with imagination the successive atmospheres required for the tragedy’s trajectory.” The Guardian


Handspun, commissioned by ROH2 and premiered at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden as part of Exposure Dance, Feb 2012.

Luke Styles is a composer prolific in opera, the theatre and instrumental music. Over the last four years Luke’s operas including Macbeth and Tycho’s Dream have been performed at Glyndebourne, the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Vault Festival. These operas have explored diverse worlds including cabaret, war and science fiction, and allowed him to delve into sensual lyricism, humour, chaos and darkness in his music.

Luke has created dance works for the New Music Biennial (performed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games) and circus works together with long time collaborator, aerialist Ilona Jantti. These works display Luke’s belief in pushing new music into areas where it is not usually encountered. Handspun, a contemporary circus work, continues to tour throughout Europe.

In 2014 Luke was signed by IMG Artists following his time as the first Glyndebourne Young Composer in Residence (2011-2014). Luke continued his creative partnerships with organisations in 2015 as composer in residence at the Foundling Museum, the first composer to occupy the position since Handel.

Collaborations are central to Luke’s work and this has led to new works with conductors and soloists Vladimir Jurowski and David Pyatt and ensembles such as the London Sinfonietta and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Luke is a former student of Wolfgang Rihm, George Benjamin and Detlev Muller-Siemens. Read more HERE.


Making Opera in Australia

Since I last checked in here I have wrapped up a project, put one on pause and delved into research and preliminary sketches for a new opera.

The Friday Afternoon Songs I have been composing throughout 2016/2017 are now completed. They have been sent to the very talented school who are busy learning them for recordings in April and then the Aldeburgh Festival premiere in June. I have worked closely with the writer Alan McKendrick on the songs and he has created texts which facilitate the flights of fancy of both my own musical imagination and the young people’s. I have consciously reflected on Britten’s set of Friday Afternoons songs and included in my set two rounds and a number of technical procedures that work so well for young singers (and old ones too) in Britten’s set of songs. It has been an immense pleasure to compose this set of songs, to work with fantastic professional artists and a host of enthusiastic and inspiring young people. Can’t wait till the songs go live on the Friday Afternoons website in April and then the premiere in June.

At the end of 2016 and start of 2017 I was composing scenes of an opera for 2021, which we were doing development work on, see my last blog. I have put the composing of this opera on hold now until 2018 so that I can redirect my thinking solely to a new opera for Lost and Found, in Perth, Australia. I won’t give away too much about the opera just yet, but, it is on an Australian subject, hence the desire to be in Australia for the next 8 months to research and compose the bulk of the work. I will be traveling from Sydney (where I was born and grew up before I relocated to Europe in 2001) to Adelaide in 2 weeks to work with the librettist Peter Goldsworthy and then in May I will live in rural Victoria for a month to be in the vicinity where this particular Australian Legend lived.

I feel very privileged to be able to relocate to the other side of the world for 8 months to compose. It’s one of the perks of being a composer, you can pretty much work anywhere. I have also been thinking about the subject of this opera for over 15 years and the chance to realise the project is one I am incredibly grateful to Lost and Found Opera for. I have always felt a gap in my creative ‘soul’ if there is such a thing, having worked very infrequently in Australia, and at the moment I am feeling like this new work is going some lengths to nourish that particularly thirst part of my creative being.

Purchase: The Girls Who Wished to Marry the Stars from NMC, Here.

Interminable Prelude(2006). Cello Trio

Macbeth premiered in 2015 at Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

To get in touch please contact my agent at IMG. Bridget Canniere.