• I don't think I have seen a wittier or more spirited La Cenerentola that this Garsington one… "

    "But, above all, it was Charles Peebles' conducting that gave the evening its irresistible impetus. The Garsington Orchestra, the winds especially, played with a zest and piquancy that brought back memories of halcyon days when Beecham's RPO used to play for the opera at the other place beginning with G…

    – Richard Osborne

  • Biography

    “The hero of the evening was the conductor Charles Peebles” 

    Rodney Milne, Opera Magazine

    Charles Peebles studied at Cambridge , the Guildhall, and as a conducting fellow at Tanglewood. He has conducted many distinguished orchestras and ensembles including the BBC Singers, City of London Sinfonia , City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra , Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Composers Ensemble, Nash Ensemble, London Mozart Players, English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and BBC Symphony Orchestra.


    In 1992 he won Ist International Cadaques Conducting Competition in Spain and has since conducted virtually every major Spanish orchestra including Orquesta Nacional de Espana. Elsewhere he has conducted the Vienna Chamber Orchestra in Vienna , Bruckner's 9th Symphony with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, concerts in Turkey including with the Presidential Symphony and concerts with the National Symphony of Mexico. He has recorded for Hyperion and Largo records.


    Opera appearances have included many productions of a wide repertoire for English Touring Opera and Broomhill, Mozart's ‘Cosi fan tutte' for Glyndebourne Touring Opera and a critically acclaimed series of Rossini opera productions for Garsington Opera. In 2001 Charles conducted Mozart's ‘Don Giovanni' for Bavarian State Opera in Munich returning there for the same work in 2002. Since then he made his Far East debut in a televised concert with Jose Cura in Taiwan and conducted a hugely successful production of Cilea's L'arlesiana with Holland Park Opera and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2001 he has been Music Director of University College Opera, where he as conducted operas by Berlioz, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Offenbach, Schumann, Weber and Bloch in addition to the British Premieres of Dvorak's 'Vanda', Reynaldo Hahn's 'Ciboulette', Lalo's 'Fiesque' and the first staging since the eighteenth century of Rameau's 'Acante et Céphise'.


    From its outset, he has served as Co-Director, alongside its founder, Martyn Brabbins, at the Orkney Conductors Course, which since its formation in 2003, has swiftly achieved recognition as Europe's foremost forum for the training of young conductors. In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by UCL.


    In the current season Charles conducts the orchestras of English National Opera and Scottish Opera and records with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

  • Reviews

    1994 - 2019


    Charles Peebles and the Orchestra of English National Opera accompanied the singers stylishly from the early eighteenth to the mid twentieth centuries.



    Charles Peebles conducted a performance possessing plenty of impetus and lyrical charge...


    Polyeucte covers a lot of musical, atmospheric and scenic ground, and Peebles and director Thomas Guthrie produced a memorable evening of great ambition

    Opera Now


    Charles Peebles conducts with flair....
    The Times

    In keeping with Charles Peebles's purposeful musical direction, the stage drama evolved with urgency and passion....​
    Opera Magazine


    Conducting, Charles Peebles keeps careful hold of a moody and glowering score.

    The Times


    Here the rich orchestration and extensive choral scenes are in the hands of students forces under the steady baton of Charles Peebles: the quality of both playing and singing is spirited...

    The Telegraph


    ....from the first moments of the prelude it became clear that Charles Peebles would draw detail and, at key moments, magic from the student orchestra and the score's succession of sonic tableaux.



    Rameau's delight in orchestral and stylistic variety came through Charles Peebles' gutsy conducting, skirling woodwind, skittish strings, romping horns and all.

    Opera Now


    Richard Williams' no-nonsense production [of Carmen], coupled with a frisky musical realisation under Charles Peebles' baton, looked and sounded fresh and immediate...

    The Scotsman


    Charles Peebles worked wonders with an initially tentative orchestra, taking this score to its fabulous heights with style and spirit.

    Opera Now


    Charles Peebles conducts cleverly, helping his orchestra through the occasional crisis and keeping energy levels high in a work whose taut dramatic arc is not immune to a tendency to sag.

    The Guardian


    ...the production's excellent conductor, Charles Peebles...

    The Sunday Times


    Charles Peebles shaped the music with clarity and drive, and orchestral playing was passionate, if occasionally splashy.



    Under Charles Peebles, the student orchestra and chorus caught the peculiar pungency of Lalo's Franco-Italian style, giving committed performances...
    The Independent on Sunday

    ...Charles Peebles fires up the scratch orchestra with some stirring results.
    The Times


    After this delightful performance...under the very persuasive baton of Charles Peebles...
    The Spectator

    Charles Peebles drew lively playing from the undergraduate orchestra and animated singing from the undergraduate chorus.


    That Peebles believes in the piece was equally evident from his incisive conducting...

    The UCO performance, admirably conducted by Charles Peebles, was probably the fullest ever staged (Liszt cut heavily) and the opera gained thereby.

    Arguably, not all of the score is top-drawer Schubert, though conductor Charles Peebles revealed its best qualities.
    The Observer


    …and the conductor, Charles Peebles leads the orchestra with more zing and Frenchness than I've heard from many higher-profile bands.
    The Times


    The hero of the evening was the conductor Charles Peebles .


    It was Charles Peebles and the University College orchestra and large chorus which made this well-driven and virtually uncut UK premiere so memorable.
    Opera Now

    The sheer energy and commitment of the UCO orchestra, robustly directed by Charles Peebles…well rewarded a packed house.
    The Times


    This was OHP's second crack at Cilea's wham-bam slice of verismo, and a very good crack too: the audience went mad at the end…
    This was a fine performance conducted with great dash by Charles Peebles…



    Let's hope it becomes a house motif, if it elicits such fine playing from the RPO under Charles Peebles and strong performances from a cast, for once, without a single weak link.
    The Observer

    True, it launches promisingly, thanks to a muted yet threatening overture, tantalisingly built by Charles Peebles and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
    The Independent

    Like much verismo it sounds like a high class film score, and Charles Peebles rightly indulges its every whim, flittery woodwind, overwrought cellos, soupy muted strings. 
    The Times

    With the smaller parts well taken and Charles Peebles coaxing full blooded commitment from the somewhat reduced Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, L'arlesiana proves that while no neglected masterpiece, it earns this outing.
    The Evening Standard

    Charles Peebles' conducting has a brooding sensuality and the cast is excellent, dominated by Rosalind Plowright's stridently hysterical Rosa, and Sean Ruane's scarily disturbed Federico.

    The Guardian


    Charles Peebles conducted the excellent orchestra with the kind of sleazy fervour the piece demands.
    The Spectator


    The band here played very well for Charles Peebles.
    BBC Music Magazine


    Charles Peebles conducts an excellent group of musicians and there were impressive vocal performances…
    The Independent


    Charles Peebles shines as a Rossini conductor and the smallish band (half the size for the Strauss) plays cleanly and smartly for him.
    Wall Street Journal

    Charles Peebles, conducting, made things zip along merrily.
    The Sunday Times

    There was pleasure to be had, too, from the sprightly orchestral playing under Charles Peebles' stylish direction.
    The Sunday Telegraph

    Charles Peebles' conducting is extremely stylish.
    Evening Standard


    Directed by Stefano Vizioli, designed by Susana Rossi Jost and conducted at a terrific clip by Charles Peebles, this rare Rossini is huge fun.
    Wall Street Journal

    …and the Rossini, with Charles Peebles drawing lively playing from the Garsington Opera Orchestra, sparkled from first to last.
    The Guardian


    Charles Peebles, conducting the well prepared orchestra, keeps the top spinning and never neglects the moments of real poetry.
    The Sunday Telegraph

    Charles Peebles conducts affectionately.
    Evening Standard


    Charles Peebles conducted with skill and insight that included a precise grasp of the rapid flow of events.
    The Independent

    I don't think I have seen a wittier or more spirited La Cenerentola that this Garsington one…
    But, above all, it was Charles Peebles' conducting that gave the evening its irresistible impetus. The Garsington Orchestra, the winds especially, played with a zest and piquancy that brought back memories of halcyon days when Beecham's RPO used to play for the opera at the other place beginning with G…

    The Oldie

    Charles Peebles conducted the delicious score [La Cenerentola] with lightness and warmth.
    The Telegraph

    Those qualities were marvelously caught both by Piers Lane, totally committed in the big boned-piano part and by Charles Peebles , who drew vigorous playing from the BBCSO.
    The Independent


    Charles Peebles conducted spiritedly with an intuitive feeling for the wit and brio of Rossini's miraculous score. 
    The Sunday Times

    This was a delightful evening, with sparkling playing under Charles Peebles...
    The Sunday Telegraph

    But even the roosting birds were silenced by this playing, the exquisitely stylish woodwind solos, the laughing violins as Dr Bartolo prepares for his shave. With Helen Crayford at the fortepiano and Charles Peebles conducting, this is a highly stylish Barber.
    The Times

  • repertoire


    The European Story

    Bach, J C 

    Amadis de Gaule


    Benvenuto Cellini






    Albert Herring




    Lucia di Lammermoor

    Don Pasquale

    La Favorite




    El Retablo di Maese Pedro






    The Wandering Scholar




    Hansel und Gretel


    Camacho’s Wedding


    Cosi Fan Tutte

    Don Giovanni

    Die Zauberflote




    La Serva Padrona


    Acante et Cephise




    Il Cambiale di Matrimonio

    La Pietra del Paragone

    Il Turco in Italia

    L’Italiana in Algeri

    Il Barbiere di Siviglia

    La Cenerentola


    Alfonso und Estrella




    Fanferlizzy Sunnyfeet


    The Juniper Tree




    I Lombardi


    Die Drei Pintos

  • Contact