Neal Davies


Bass-baritone Neal Davies, a native of Newport in southern Wales, completed his vocal studies at King’s College and at the Royal Academy of Music in London; he acquired his first stage experiences at the International Opera Studio in Zurich. In 1991 he won the prize for best lieder performance at the BBC Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff. In the following year came his debuts with the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh Festival—two institutions with which he maintains close ties. Davies’s operatic repertoire includes works by Rameau and Handel and spans bel canto to verismo roles as well as numerous compositions of the 20th century, especially music by Janáček and Britten. He has performed Handel’s Theodora with William Christie and Les Arts Florissants in Paris and Salzburg and Handel’s Orlando with the Gabrieli Consort under Paul McCreesh; at the Royal Opera House he has appeared as Mozart’s Figaro, while at English National Opera credits have included Publio in La clemenza di Tito and Kolenatý in Janáček’s The Makropulos Affair. Davies has also displayed his comic talent as Major General Stanley in Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance at Chicago Lyric Opera—an aspect of his work that also comes to the fore in such roles as Dulcamara (L’elisir d’amore), Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), and Papageno (The Magic Flute). Davies has performed in concert with such conductors as Pierre Boulez, Frans Brüggen, Christoph von Dohnányi, Daniel Harding, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Mariss Jansons, Neville Marriner, and Sakari Oramo. His discography includes numerous works of the baroque as well as lieder—the latter represented by Davies’s participation in Hyperion’s famous Schubert edition and his recordings of Henri Dutilleux.

August 2011