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 also the recipient of Her Majesty the Queen’s medal for Music.

The Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel has performed in all the great 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 Brussles and in the same year he made his United Stated 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, Jochannan in SalomeScarpia 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 Fliegende Holländer for Zurich Opera, Scarpia for Baverische Staatsoper, Munich and hosting 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 included 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 include his debut in the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera, Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera, Méphistophélès in Damnation of Faust for Opera de Paris and concerts to celebrate his 50th birthday at the Royal Albert Hall, London and Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff. 


Bryn Terfel is represented by Harlequin Agency Ltd.


This Artist Biography was updated on 8 January 2015. Artist biographies are updated frequently, so please contact us for the latest version.This biography should not to be reproduced or altered without permission.

DateRole, Production & Venue
7th March, 2015Soloist in Concert at Leeuwin Estate, Perth
30th March, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
31st March, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
1st April, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
2nd April, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
4th April, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
7th April, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
8th April, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
9th April, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
10th April, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
11th April, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
12th April, 2015Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera at Coliseum, London
16th April, 2015Soloist in Concert at Lutfu Kirdar Kongre ve Sergi Sarayi Istanbul
26th April, 2015Wotan in Die Walkure (Act 3) for Welsh National Opera at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
4th June, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
5th June, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
7th June, 2015Soloist in Recital at Harpa Concert Hall Reykjavik
12th June, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
13th June, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
18th June, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
21st June, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
25th June, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
26th June, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
2nd July, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
3rd July, 2015Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera Limited at The Grange
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
Dvořák Stabat Mater
Dvořák 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 minor
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
Dvořák
Stabat Mater
Dvořák
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 minor
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 Così fan tutte Guglielmo
Mozart Le nozze di FigaroFigaro
Mozart Die ZauberflöteSprecher
Mozart Don GiovanniTitle Role, Leporello, Masetto
Offenbach Les Contes d'HoffmannFour Male Roles
Puccini Madama ButterflySharpless
Puccini ToscaScarpia
Puccini Gianni SchicchiGianni Schicchi
Richard Strauss Die Frau ohne SchattenSpirit Messenger
Richard Strauss SalomeJochanaan
Sondheim Sweeney ToddTitle Role
Stravinsky The Rake's ProgressNick Shadow
Stravinsky Oedipus RexCreon
Verdi FalstaffTitle Role, Ford
Wagner Das RheingoldDonner, Wotan
Wagner TannhäuserWolfram
Wagner Die WalküreWotan
Wagner Der Fliegende HolländerTitle Role
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
Così fan tutte
Guglielmo
Mozart
Le nozze di Figaro
Figaro
Mozart
Die Zauberflöte
Sprecher
Mozart
Don Giovanni
Title Role, Leporello, Masetto
Offenbach
Les Contes d'Hoffmann
Four Male Roles
Puccini
Madama 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
Title Role
Stravinsky
The Rake's Progress
Nick Shadow
Stravinsky
Oedipus Rex
Creon
Verdi
Falstaff
Title Role, Ford
Wagner
Das Rheingold
Donner, Wotan
Wagner
Tannhäuser
Wolfram
Wagner
Die Walküre
Wotan
Wagner
Der Fliegende Holländer
Title Role
Wagner
Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg
Hans Sachs

L’Elisir d’Amore

Dulcamara in L'Elisir d'Amore for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, October 2014
Wales Online
Terfel makes light work of the patter requirements and other vocal requirements of the role. What sets him apart is the ease in anything that he selects combined with just splendid comic timing. Here as a rather grubby quack doctor Terfel somehow manages to create a character who is both rather seedy and exploitative but hugely likeable.

Das Rheingold

Wotan in Das Rheingold for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 2012
FT.com
Gloriously sung, imposingly played as the patrician leader of a dying breed, Terfel’s Wotan is a match for any, past or present. His ability to sing quietly and look intimately into his character’s heart provides a depth of understanding.

Faust

Mephistopheles in Faust for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, April 2014
The Guardian
Terfel sings with panache and Gheorghiu
Mephistopheles in Faust for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, April 2014
The Telegraph
His characterization was electrifying throughout: what a wonderful operatic actor he is.

Der Fliegende Hollander

Title Role in Der Fliegende Hollander for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, February 2009
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.
Title Role in Der Fliegende Hollander for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, February 2009
Online review London.com
In well-articulated German and with masterful vocal control he was able to express, at once, dignity, defiance, torment and overwhelming longing for a woman who would save him from his curse. He was menacing and tender, brooding and haunted, exhauseted by his destiny, and yet full of hope.
Title Role in Der Fliegende Hollander for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, February 2015
The Guardian
Bryn Terfel returns to the title role, and again brings to it a compelling intensity.
Title Role in Der Fliegende Hollander for Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, February 2015
The Telegraph
Bryn Terfel has been singing the Dutchman intermittently for nearly a decade now, and his reading of the character has continually matured – a baleful Byronic presence, he does more with less histrionically, suggesting a man whose anger and remorse smoulders rather than blazes. The agonized opening monologue is sung with an intense restraint along a firmly sculpted line, and he remains rock-steady when the orchestra is all thunder and lightning.

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg

Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Welsh National Opera, June 2010
The Arts Desk
Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Welsh National Opera, June 2010
Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Welsh National Opera, June 2010
Western Mail
Terfel played a psychologically multi-faceted Hans Sachs, as singer and actor balanced the requirements of power and gentleness.
Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Welsh National Opera, June 2010
The Times
Everyone expected Bryn Terfel to dominate as Hans Sachs and he does. Terfel sings thrillingly, unleashing spine-tingling vocal reserves at the very point where most Sachses wilt.
Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Welsh National Opera, June 2010
The Telegraph
Bryn Terfel sang his first Sachs. It was no disappointment: the central monologues were superbly declaimed, and the man’s suppressed anger at the stupidity surrounding him was as powerfully drawn as his rueful wisdom
Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for Welsh National Opera, June 2010
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.

The Flying Dutchman

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.

Tosca

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.
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.

Die Walkure

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.

Concerts

'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.
'Bad Boys' UK Concert Tour
The Times
Terfel is now far more than a singer, he's a national institution . . . .

Der Fliegender Hollander

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.

Recitals

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.

Gianni Schicchi

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.

Recordings

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.

Don Giovanni

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.

Sweeney Todd

Title Role in Sweeney Todd for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, 2002
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 27 February 2015. It is our policy to update biographies every six months. If this information is to be used after 27 August 2015 please contact us and we shall be delighted to supply you with the latest version by return.