Oleg Caetani has been appointed the new music director of the English National Opera (ENO).
Mr Caetani will take up the job in time for the 2006-7 season
Mr Caetani, currently chief conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, takes up the post in September 2006.
He has conducted at most of Europe's major opera houses, including Milan's La Scala. He made his British opera debut at the ENO in 2003.
Mr Caetani said: "It is an honour and a pleasure for me to become ENO's new music director."
"The deep commitment to music that I felt in the company's orchestra and chorus during our Khovanshchina production in 2003 seduced me and convinces me today to take over this position," he added.
Mr Caetani, a protege of acclaimed French conductor and musician Nadia Boulanger, trained in Rome and Moscow and made his operatic conducting debut at the German State Opera in 1981.
He has two previous music directorships to his name, at the Wiesbaden and Chemnitz Opera Houses in Germany.
As well as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Mr Caetani has performed with the Munich Philharmonic and the Halle Orchestra.
ENO artistic director and chief executive Sean Doran said of Mr Caetani: "His highly acclaimed musicality and standards are second to none.
"He will bring a wealth of operatic experience alongside the authority of a growing international reputation. ENO is delighted with his appointment and could not have hoped for a better result."
Mr Doran also praised outgoing director Paul Daniel, who leaves the ENO after eight years at the end of the current season.
A spokesperson for ENO denied reports that Mr Caetani's position would be a part-time one.