Michael Withers PortraitMichael Withers has had a passion for conducting for as long as he can remember. He conducted his first concerts while still at school and hasn’t stopped since.

Over the years he has been privileged to work with a wide range of amateur and semi-professional ensembles, and with many singers who have subsequently enjoyed careers in the profession.

He is currently the musical director of Heber Opera, based in Sussex and is also Director of Music of the Band of the Surrey Yeomanry.

In the world of opera he has conducted a wide repertoire, ranging from Purcell (King Arthur and Dido and Aeneas) to Britten (Rape of Lucretia). His interest in bringing new life to rarely performed works has led him to conduct works such as Dvorak's The Devil and Kate and Holst's The Perfect Fool. He has conducted staged performances of three of Ralph Vaugan Willam’s five operas Hugh the Drover, The Poisoned Kiss and The Pilgrim's Progress. His work with Heber Opera in Sussex has led to performances as wide-ranging as Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and Lampe’s The Dragon of Wantley.

In the concert hall, he has been involved in some ground-breaking concerts, including the first modern performances of several of Sir Arthur Sullivan's serious compositions, including the oratorio The Martyr of Antioch, On Shore and Sea and incidental music to Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor and others.

When he isn’t conducting choirs or opera, Michael is to be found playing a wide variety of medieval and renaissance instruments with the early music groups ‘Faronel’ and ‘The Sussex Waits’, or indulging his other great passion, the saxophone, in swing bands!