Born in 1959 to architect parents, Dove’s early musical experience came from playing the piano, organ and viola. Later he studied composition with Robin Holloway at Cambridge and, after graduation, worked as a freelance accompanist, repetiteur, animateur and arranger. His early professional experience gave him a deep understanding of singers and the complex mechanics of the opera house. Opera and the voice have been the central priorities in Dove’s output throughout his subsequent career.

Starting with his breakthrough opera Flight, commissioned by Glyndebourne in 1998, Dove has gone on to write over twenty operatic works. Flight, a rare example of a successful modern comic opera, has been produced and broadcast many times, in Europe, the USA and Australia. More recently, The Adventures of Pinocchio, premiered by Opera North at Christmas 2007, achieves another rare feat in contemporary opera, being a successful full-length symphonically-conceived entertainment for a family audience. It too has been produced across the world.

Dove’s innate understanding of the individual voice is exemplified in his large and varied choral and song output. His carol The Three Kings was commissioned for the famous Nine Lessons and Carols service at King’s College, Cambridge. Dove’s confident optimism has made him the natural choice as the composer for big occasions. In 2010 A Song of Joys for chorus and orchestra opened the festivities at the Last Night of the Proms. Works such as his Missa Brevis, Wells Canticles and The Passing of the Year are in the repertories of choirs across the world.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
2007 The Adventures of Pinoccio 4.0 stars BD-R
Sonate Comments:


From the moment Geppetto makes Pinocchio out of a log, the puppet gets into scrapes. He is nearly thrown on the fire by a Puppetmaster, who gives him five gold coins. A wily Cat and Fox try to get the coins, first by hanging Pinocchio outside the Blue Fairy’s house, and later by tricking him. Pinocchio goes in search of justice but is imprisoned, and when he eventually returns to the Blue Fairy, all he finds is her tomb. Later, he escapes being eaten by the Big Green Fisherman, only to be turned into a donkey in Funland, and thrown into the sea, where he is swallowed by a Big Fish. In the fish’s belly he finds his father, and rescues him. Back on dry land, Pinocchio works hard to restore his father’s health, and is rewarded by becoming a real boy.Opera North's enchanting staging of The Adventures of Pinocchio, Jonathan Dove's 21st opera, is a wittily inventive feast for the eyes and ears. A full-length, through-composed grand opera with 29 characters, a sizeable chorus and a profound symphonic score, it is overflowing with visual delights, and children will love it! A sublime achievement by Martin Duncan and team, this production shines a bright new light on Collodi's dream-like original story, full of charm, darkness and magic. The superb ensemble stars Victoria Simmonds in the title role, and the orchestra and chorus respond splendidly under David Parry's vibrant baton. Mastered from the High Definition video recording and in true surround sound, this is a wonderful chance for children and adults to relive an exhilarating theatre experience at home.

Orchestra and Chorus of Opera North cond. David Parry

Recorded from BRAVAKLASSIEK The Netherlands