Director Neil Armfield returns to the COC for Ariadne auf Naxos after directing A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2009) and Billy Budd (2001; winner of seven Dora Awards). He recently completed 17 years as artistic director of the internationally renowned Belvoir Street Theatre in Australia, from where his final production of Diary of a Madman, starring Geoffrey Rush, toured to the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Opera credits include Tristan und Isolde, Janáček and Britten cycles, and the world premieres of Brett Dean’s Bliss and Alan John’s The Eighth Wonder for Opera Australia; Peter Grimes for Houston Grand Opera; and, Le nozze di Figaro for Welsh National Opera. He has also worked with English National Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Royal Opera House Covent Garden. An accomplished television and film director, he directed and co-wrote Candy (2006) which starred Abbie Cornish and the late Heath Ledger. Mr. Armfield co-translated and directed Exit the King on Broadway starring Geoffrey Rush, Andrea Martin and Susan Sarandon. In 2007, he was awarded Officer of the Order of Australia for service to the arts, nationally and internationally.