Sir David Pountney said his knighthood is recognition for opera.
The 71-year-old is an internationally renowned opera director.
He said: “I am delighted that the genre of opera should, through me, receive the recognition that this honour bestows.
“I am very grateful to the many companies around the world who gave me a platform to express my skills in this field, especially Scottish Opera, English National Opera, the Bregenz Festival and Welsh National Opera.
“But most particularly, I am grateful to all the wonderful singers, orchestral players, backstage staff, composers and librettists who have helped me to practise my craft at an international level, and to the audiences to whom I hope we have brought the joy and emotion that music and theatre have to offer.”
His work with English National Opera (ENO), as its director of productions from 1980, made it one of Britain’s most adventurous and critically-acclaimed opera ensembles.
He directed over 20 operas with the ENO, forging its reputation for theatrical experiment.
Between 1975 and 1980, he was director of productions for Scottish Opera.
Sir David has directed over 20 world premieres, including three by Peter Maxwell Davies.
As a freelance director from 1992 he worked at the Vienna State Opera and with opera houses in the US and Japan.
Since 2011, he has been artistic director of Welsh National Opera.
He was previously made a CBE and has now been knighted for services to opera.