Artist Biography

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Udite, udite, o rustici (Dulcamara - L'Elisir d'Amore)

Tre sbirri, una carrozza (Scarpi-€“ Tosca)

When the night wind howls (Roderic - Ruddigore)

Stars (Javert - Les Misérables)

It ain'€™t necessarily so (Sportin'€™ Life €- Porgy and Bess)

Credo in un Dio crudel (Iago - Otello)

Die Moritat von Mackie Messer (Mackie Messer - Die Dreigroschenoper)

Sono lo spirito che nega (Title Role - Mefistofele)

Le veau d’or (Mephistopheles – Faust) & Schweig, Schweig (Kaspar – Der Freischutz)

Bryn Terfel goes back to his roots - Musica

Bryn Terfel

Bass Baritone

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Managed by Doreen O'Neill doreen@harlequin-agency.co.uk

One of the most sought after international voices, he is a frequent visitor to all the major opera companies and concert halls in the world. He first became well known for his portrayal of Figaro and Falstaff but in recent years is acclaimed for his performances of the Wagner roles of Wotan, Hans Sachs and Der Fliegende Höllander. His recordings have earned him two Grammy Awards and four Classical Brit Awards. He is the recipient of Her Majesty the Queen’s medal for Music.

The Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel has performed in all the great opera houses of the world, and is especially recognised for his portrayals of Figaro, Falstaff and Wotan. He made his operatic début in 1990 as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte for Welsh National Opera. His international operatic career began in 1991 when he sang the Speaker in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at the Théâtre de la Monnaie in Brussels and in the same year he made his United States début as Figaro at the Santa Fe Opera. Other roles performed during his career include Holländer in Der fliegende Holländer, Méphistophélès in Faust, both the Title Role and Leporello in Don Giovanni, Jochanaan in Salome, Scarpia in Tosca, the Title Role in Gianni Schicchi, Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress, Wolfram in Tannhäuser, Balstrode in Peter Grimes, Four Villains in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Dulcamara in L’Elisir d’Amore and the Title Role in Sweeney Todd.


Bryn is also known for his versatility as a concert performer, with highlights ranging from the opening ceremony of the Wales Millennium Centre, BBC Last Night of the Proms, and the Royal Variety Show to a gala concert with Andrea Bocelli in Central Park, New York. He has given recitals in the major cities of the world and for nine years hosted his own festival in Faenol, North Wales.


He is a Grammy, Classical Brit and Gramophone Award winner with a discography encompassing operas of Mozart, Wagner and Strauss, and more than ten solo discs including Lieder, American musical theatre, Welsh songs and sacred repertory.


In 2003, Bryn was made a CBE for services to Opera in the Queen’s New Year Honours list and in 2006 was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music. He is also the last recipient of the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg.


Highlights in recent years include Bryn’s debut in the role of Hans Sachs in the critically acclaimed production of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Welsh National Opera, his return to La Scala, Milan to open the 2011 season singing Leporello in Don Giovanni and Scarpia in Tosca. Highlights in 2012 included the role of Wotan in Wagner’s Ring Cycle for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera, New York, the title role in Der fliegende Holländer for Zurich Opera, Scarpia for Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich and host to a four day festival, Brynfest, at the Southbank Centre, London as part of the Southbank Centre’s Festival of the World.


In 2013, Bryn made his debut in concert at the Abu Dhabi Festival and the Royal Opera House, Muscat and performed with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and returned to the Sydney Opera House in recital. His new album with the Mormon Tabernacle choir was released on the Deutsche Grammophon label in September 2013.


Highlights in 2014 include semi-staged performances of Sweeney Todd at the Lincoln Center, New York and at the Llangollen International Music Festival, a concert tour of South Africa and a return to ROH, Covent Garden to sing Méphistophélès in Gounod’s Faust and Dulcamara in L’Elisir D’Amore.


Highlights in 2015 will be his debut in the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the  Roof  for Grange Park Opera and concerts to  celebrate his 50th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall, London and Wales Millennium Centre.


Bryn is pleased to have an association with several companies, most notably Rolex, Clogau Gold and the Penderyn Distillery.

DateRole, Production & Venue
18th November, 2014Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
22nd November, 2014Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
26th November, 2014Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
29th November, 2014Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
4th December, 2014Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
9th December, 2014Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
13th December, 2014Dulcamara in L'elisir d'amore for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
10th January, 2015Scarpia in Tosca for Staatscoper Hannover at Staatstheater Hannover
5th February, 2015Der Fliegende Hollander in Der Fliegende Hollander for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
9th February, 2015Der Fliegende Hollander in Der Fliegende Hollander for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
12th February, 2015Der Fliegende Hollander in Der Fliegende Hollander for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
17th February, 2015Der Fliegende Hollander in Der Fliegende Hollander for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
20th February, 2015Der Fliegende Hollander in Der Fliegende Hollander for Royal Opera House at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
1st March, 2015Concert with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in St David's Hall Cardiff
30th March, 2015Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
31st March, 2015Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
1st April, 2015Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
2nd April, 2015Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
4th April, 2015Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
7th April, 2015Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
8th April, 2015Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
9th April, 2015Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
10th April, 2015Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
Bach Magnificat
Bach Mass in B Minor
Bach St John Passion
Bach St Matthew Passion
Bach Ich Habe Genug
Beethoven Choral Symphony
Beethoven Mass in C Major
Beethoven Missa Solemnis
Berlioz La Damnation de Faust
Brahms Fier Ernste Gesang
Brahms Deutches Requiem
Britten War Requiem
Coleridge Taylor Hiawatha
Delius Sea Drift
Delius Songs of Sunset
Duruflé Requiem
Dvorak Stabat Mater
Dvorak Te Deum
Elgar Apostles
Elgar Starlight Express
Elgar The Kingdom
Elgar The Dream of Gerontius
Fauré Requiem
Finzi Let Us Garlands Bring
Handel Messiah
Handel Samson
Handel Saul
Haydn Nelson Mass
Ireland These Things Shall Be
Ireland Greater Love Hath No Man
Ireland Vexilla Regis
Kodaly Missa Brevis
Liszt Christus
Mahler Kindertotenlieder
Mahler Ruckert Lieder
Mahler Symphony No. 8
Mendelssohn Elijah
Monteverdi Magnificat
Monteverdi Vespers 1610
Mozart Mass in C
Mozart Requiem
Schumann Faust Szenen
Vaughan Williams Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains
Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem
Vaughan Williams Sancta Civitas
Verdi Requiem
Walton Belshazzar's Feast
Zemlinsky Lyrisches Symphonie
Zemlinsky Eine Fiorentinische Tragodie
Bach
Magnificat
Bach
Mass in B Minor
Bach
St John Passion
Bach
St Matthew Passion
Bach
Ich Habe Genug
Beethoven
Choral Symphony
Beethoven
Mass in C Major
Beethoven
Missa Solemnis
Berlioz
La Damnation de Faust
Brahms
Fier Ernste Gesang
Brahms
Deutches Requiem
Britten
War Requiem
Coleridge Taylor
Hiawatha
Delius
Sea Drift
Delius
Songs of Sunset
Duruflé
Requiem
Dvorak
Stabat Mater
Dvorak
Te Deum
Elgar
Apostles
Elgar
Starlight Express
Elgar
The Kingdom
Elgar
The Dream of Gerontius
Fauré
Requiem
Finzi
Let Us Garlands Bring
Handel
Messiah
Handel
Samson
Handel
Saul
Haydn
Nelson Mass
Ireland
These Things Shall Be
Ireland
Greater Love Hath No Man
Ireland
Vexilla Regis
Kodaly
Missa Brevis
Liszt
Christus
Mahler
Kindertotenlieder
Mahler
Ruckert Lieder
Mahler
Symphony No. 8
Mendelssohn
Elijah
Monteverdi
Magnificat
Monteverdi
Vespers 1610
Mozart
Mass in C
Mozart
Requiem
Schumann
Faust Szenen
Vaughan Williams
Shepherds of the Delectable Mountains
Vaughan Williams
Dona Nobis Pacem
Vaughan Williams
Sancta Civitas
Verdi
Requiem
Walton
Belshazzar's Feast
Zemlinsky
Lyrisches Symphonie
Zemlinsky
Eine Fiorentinische Tragodie
Bock Fiddler on the RoofTevye
Britten Peter GrimesBalstrode
Donizetti L'Elisir d'AmoreDulcamara
Gounod FaustMephistopheles
Mozart Cosi fan tutteGuglielmo
Mozart Le Nozze di FigaroFigaro
Mozart Die ZauberflöteSprecher
Mozart Don GiovanniLeporello
Mozart Don GiovanniMasetto
Mozart Don GiovanniDon Giovanni
Offenbach Les Contes d'HoffmannFour Male Roles
Puccini Madame ButterflySharpless
Puccini ToscaScarpia
Puccini Gianni SchicchiGianni Schicchi
Richard Strauss Die Frau ohne SchattenSpirit Messenger
Richard Strauss SalomeJochanaan
Sondheim Sweeney ToddSweeney Todd
Stravinsky The Rake's ProgressNick Shadow
Stravinsky Oedipus RexCreon
Verdi FalstaffFord
Verdi FalstaffFalstaff
Wagner Das RheingoldDonner
Wagner TannhäuserWolfram
Wagner Die WalküreWotan
Wagner Das RheingoldWotan
Wagner HolländerDer Fliegende Holländer
Wagner Die Meistersinger von NurnbergHans Sachs
Bock
Fiddler on the Roof
Tevye
Britten
Peter Grimes
Balstrode
Donizetti
L'Elisir d'Amore
Dulcamara
Gounod
Faust
Mephistopheles
Mozart
Cosi fan tutte
Guglielmo
Mozart
Le Nozze di Figaro
Figaro
Mozart
Die Zauberflöte
Sprecher
Mozart
Don Giovanni
Leporello
Mozart
Don Giovanni
Masetto
Mozart
Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni
Offenbach
Les Contes d'Hoffmann
Four Male Roles
Puccini
Madame Butterfly
Sharpless
Puccini
Tosca
Scarpia
Puccini
Gianni Schicchi
Gianni Schicchi
Richard Strauss
Die Frau ohne Schatten
Spirit Messenger
Richard Strauss
Salome
Jochanaan
Sondheim
Sweeney Todd
Sweeney Todd
Stravinsky
The Rake's Progress
Nick Shadow
Stravinsky
Oedipus Rex
Creon
Verdi
Falstaff
Ford
Verdi
Falstaff
Falstaff
Wagner
Das Rheingold
Donner
Wagner
Tannhäuser
Wolfram
Wagner
Die Walküre
Wotan
Wagner
Das Rheingold
Wotan
Wagner
Holländer
Der Fliegende Holländer
Wagner
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
Hans Sachs
The Flying Dutchman at the Festival Hall with the Zurich Opera
The Times
When Bryn Terfel is in this form you wonder whether anyone has ever sung Wagner with more power, passion, dramatic flair or vocal energy. Simply the way that he uses those pungent German consonants to convey anger, sardonic self-loathing, momentary hope or nihilistic despair is a masterclass. But this portrayal had far more than magnificent technique; it seemed to embody the seared soul of the doomed Dutchman.
Scarpia in Tosca for Bayerische Staatsoper
Musicalcriticism.com
Bryn Terfel’s Scarpia was deliciously loathsome, parading a disdainful arrogance that sneered at all the lower forms of life and relishing the suffering he inflicted on them.
Die Walkure for the Metropolitan Opera, New York
SF Gate
The Welsh bass-baritone creates a Wotan of tremendous power and poignancy, a God, keenly aware of his own imminent demise and helpless to stop it. The role is an endurance test for any singer, and Terfel at times pushes his voice to its limits, but never quite over. He ends his long scene of farewell to Brunnhilde in Act 3 sounding as fresh as when the evening started.
'Bad Boys' Scandinavian Concert Tour
Hufudstadsbladet, Helsinki
The roof at Finlandia lifted already during the first aria at Bryn Terfel ‘s concert. His strong personality and intelligent analysis of lyrics and music is extremely entertaining and irresistible. Add ingenious choice of repertoire. What makes Bryn Terfel stand out compared to other baritones? It’s of course his personality: a contrasting mix of a big “brutal” man with a formidable voice, a sensible soul with an extremely intelligent sense of humor and an accomplished musician with a flair for nuances and sophisticated interpretation of lyrics. He sounds great on his records, but live he is so much better.
Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg for Welsh National Opera
Financial Times
Bryn Terfel singing his first Hans Sachs, exceeded expectations, delighting the home crowd with his stage presence and wrap-around vocal charm. He strides the stage like a gentle giant, oozing generosity, wisdom and masculine maturity. Terfel inhabits the German text from within and boasts stamina to spare, inspiring everyone.
Scarpia in Tosca for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
The Telegraph
What lifted the proceedings to another plane, however, was Bryn Terfel’s magnificently creepy, immaculately vocalized Scarpia. As a study in the poisonous but charismatic combination of sexual allure and psychotic sadism, it can’t have been equalled since Tito Gobbi’s heyday.
Title Role in Der Fliegender Hollander for the Royal Opera House
Financial Times
It is not just that the vocal range suits him perfectly, or the deep resonance of his voice, but how his quiet singing plumbs the Dutchman’s agony fathoms-deep where the other singers no not reach.
'Bad Boys' UK Concert Tour
The Times
Terfel is now far more than a singer, he's a national institution . . . .
Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, London
The Times
Majestic in voice, massive in stature, Bryn Terfel effortlessly hijacked the Last Night of the Proms.
Recital at Carnegie Hall, New York
The New York Times
Mr. Terfel loves words, loves the sounds of words and loves giving them to his audience in huge bunches of variegated colors. He can roar – with pain, with pleasure, with fierce indignation, filling the hall with full, strong tone. But he can also coo and purr at an extreme pianissimo, making a sound that stays audible only because there is so much in it to feel, as well as to hear.
Recital at the Esplanade Concert Hall, Singapore
Today
Vocally, Terfel has it all – a resounding instrument, huge when it has to be, capable of infinite shades of colour, from shimmering pianissimi to heroic climaxes capable of shaking the very hall in which he sings…. The words were married perfectly to the music, evoking the silence and earthiness of the English countryside….In ending with Schubert’s Litanei auf das Fest Aller Seelen, Terfel again showed his consummate artistry and possibility for greatness in Lieder, completing quietly an evening that had been pure enjoyment.
Title Role in Gianni Schicchi for the Royal Opera House
Evening Standard
The title role might have been made for Bryn Terfel, physically dominant, soaring over the orchestra with ease. His comic timing is immaculate, every flicker of an eyebrow bristling with wit and purpose; sly, oafish, hilarious, cunning.
Falstaff Recording for Deutsche Grammophon
The Sunday Times
Bryn Terfel may be young (ish) for “Old Jack”, but vocally, he is in his prime, and he glides through the treacherous passages with effortless ease. This is the most charismatic and beautifully sung Falstaff on disc since Tito Gobbi’s classic performance for Karajan in the mid-1950s. As “international” Falstaffs go, this is as good as it gets today.
Wagner Arias Recording for Deutsche Grammophon
Opera
Terfel brings a more beautiful voice to this repertory than anyone currently singing it. The sound is full and rich, vibrant throughout its range. Terfel demonstrates that Wagner benefits from attention to beauty of tone as much as Mozart does. And he shows a lieder singer’s concern with details and diction…Terfel is able to apply pressure on the voice without compromising its quality; he combines intensity of utterance with lustrous tone.
Title Role in Don Giovanni for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden
The Sunday Telegraph
Terfel is a force of nature, dominating the stage and portraying Giovanni’s aristocratic arrogance, sex appeal, macho cruelty, and the grossness of all his appetites with equal ease. His voice can switch from a honeyed pianissimo to a stentorian roar without losing a trace of musicality.
Dulcamara in L'Elisir d'Amore for De Nederlandse Opera
Opera News
With his overwhelming personality, his humor and his voice filling the farthest corner of the theater, he created a Dulcamara who will not be easy to forget. This became the opera’s leading role.
Title Role in Sweeney Todd for the Lyric Opera of Chicago
The New York Times
The Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel may have been born to sing a lot of roles, Wotan among them. But it would be difficult to imagine a more perfect marriage of role, voice and stage personality than his performance of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Mr. Terfel is a true bass-baritone, rolling out sonorous, ominous rivers of sound. Furthermore, his larger-than-life frame and personality suit the character to perfection.

This Artist Biography was last updated on 8 October 2014. It is our policy to update biographies every six months. If this information is to be used after 8 April 2015 please contact us and we shall be delighted to supply you with the latest version by return.