Peter Mario Katona


Born in Berlin, both his parents were opera singers. His mother, Marianne  Warneyer, was a leading soprano at the Stuttgart Opera, whilst his father,  Hungarian-born Julius Katona, studied in Rome and Vienna before going  on to sing in many of the German opera houses, particularly in Hamburg  and Berlin. Peter Mario Katona studied piano and singing before studying  music and German literature. He was initially a critic, specialising in opera  and classical record reviews, most notably for Fono Forum and Opernwelt  magazine. In 1968 he was invited by the music director of the Frankfurt  Opera, Christoph von Dohnányi, to become his personal assistant in charge  of artistic administration. When Dohnányi moved to the Hamburg State  Opera in 1977, Katona joined him as head of artistic management, planning  and casting, a position he relinquished at the end of the 1982/83 season.  He was appointed artistic administrator of the Royal Opera House, Covent  Garden in 1983, and as director of casting he has since been responsible  for the planning and casting of all performances in close collaboration  with the music directors of the company – first with Sir Colin Davis,  from 1987 with Bernard Haitink and from the start of the 2002/03  season with Antonio Pappano.