Toby Purser is ENO Mackerras Conducting Fellow, Artistic Director of the Orion Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Peace and Prosperity Trust, and Music Director of New Sussex Opera.
In 2005 Toby founded the Orion Orchestra, and has developed it into a leading organisation for young musicians. Other orchestras he has conducted include the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, Manchester Concert Orchestra, L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Kotorart Chamber Orchestra, the Orchestra of Opera North, Sinfonia Viva, Kammerphilharmonie Graz, and the St Petersburg Camerata.
In November 2014, he made his company debut at ENO conducting two performances of The Marriage of Figaro, and most recently worked as assistant conductor to Mark Wigglesworth on their new production of Alban Berg’s Lulu, and on the world premiere of The Winter’s Tale last January. Next season he will be conducting performances of La Traviata and The Turn of the Screw.
He has been a regular guest conductor at Grange Park Opera where he conducted Madama Butterfly, Eugene Onegin, Rigoletto and Fortunio, which was also performed at the Buxton Festival. Recent engagements include working as Assistant Conductor at the Paris Opera Bastille on Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin, and at Longborough on Wagner Tristan und Isolde. He conducted Rossini Le Comte Ory for Chelsea Opera, the UK premiere of Johann Strauss The Queen’s Lace Handkerchief, Offenbach Orpheus in the Underword, and Donizetti The Daughter of the Regiment for Opera Della Luna at Iford Arts, and Haydn La Canterina and Lo Speziale for Bampton Classical Opera. Working for Pimlico Opera he has conducted productions in various prisons, with a cast of inmates performing alongside professionals in repertoire including Sister Act, Les Misérables, Sugar, Sweeney Todd and West Side Story. A CD a Bel Canto arias recorded with Mexican tenor Jesús León and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic was also recently released.
As Artistic Director of the Peace and Prosperity Trust, he has been furthering cultural collaboration between the UK and the Middle East with concerts in Beirut and London, bringing together Western and Middle Eastern opera singers, helping relaunch the Beirut Orpheus Choir, and taking music and musical instruments to Syrian children in the refugee camps on the Lebanese/Syrian border.