Though he has been active guest-conducting at the Met, Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, and the major opera houses of San Francisco, Houston, Buenos Aires, Paris, Tel Aviv, and Tokyo, conductor Daniel Oren chose Italy as the hub of his career. Indeed, and as one might surmise, opera has been the chief focus, although he has led many orchestral concerts with such world-class ensembles as the Berlin Philharmonic, Israel Philharmonic, and Munich Radio Philharmonic. As for repertory, Oren is best known for his interpretations of the works of Verdi and Puccini, but he has also led numerous performances of operas by Bellini, Donizetti, Halevy, Giordano, Bizet, and many others. Not surprisingly, he has worked with some of the most famous singers in opera, including Pavarotti, Domingo, Raina Kabaivanska, Ghena Dimitrova, Fiorenza Cedolins, Marcelo Álvarez, Ruggero Raimondi, and countless others. Oren has recorded for RCA, Decca, Arthaus Musik, TDK, and other major labels.
Daniel Oren was born in Jaffa, Israel, in 1955. In his youth he studied piano, cello, and voice. At 13 he drew international notice when Leonard Bernstein chose him to sing the boy solo part in a 1968 Israeli television broadcast of Chichester Psalms.
As a 20-year-old studying conducting in Germany Oren captured first prize in 1975 at the Berlin-based Herbert von Karajan International Conducting Competition. In 1978 he began conducting in the U.S., but soon established his career in Italy, where he accepted a conducting post at the Rome Opera House. While he guest-conducted throughout Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, and Asia, Oren took on other conducting positions in Italy, including at the Teatro Verdi in Trieste (eventually becoming music director), Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and in the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa.
In one of his earliest and most successful recordings, Oren led a live performance of Puccini's Tosca at the Rome Opera House in 1990, with Luciano Pavarotti and Raina Kabaivanska in the leads. RCA issued the performance in 1993 to generally enthusiastic reviews.
Despite such efforts, Oren's recordings were merely trickling out in the 1990s and early years of the 21st century. But from 2004, he has made a string of popular video recordings, including Verdi's Nabucco, on Arthaus Musik (issued 2006) and Madama Butterfly, also Arthaus Musik (2006; reissued 2011). From 2007, Oren has served as artistic director of the Verdi Opera House in Salerno.