Christopher Purves bass-baritone
Christopher Purves studied English at Kings College, Cambridge before performing and recording with the highly innovative vocal rock & roll group Harvey and the Wallbangers.
Concert engagements include Mozart’s Mass in C at Aix-en-Provence with the Sixteen, Stravinsky’s Les Noces with Philippe Herreweghe in Brussels, Monteverdi’s Vespers 1610 with Richard Hickox, JS Bach’s B Minor Mass at the Chaise Dieu Festival, Handel’s Judas Maccabeus in Nuremberg and Saul at the Covent Garden and La Chaise Dieu Festivals with the Gabrieli Consort, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ, John Tavener’s Apocalypse at the Proms with the City of London Sinfonia, the St John Passion with Paul Goodwin in Madrid, Handel’s Messiah and Haydn’s Nelson Mass with Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Hallé and Ulster Orchestras, Handel’s La Resurrezione with Les Musiciens de Louvre, Honneger’s Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher with the RLPO under Libor Pesek, Les Mamelles de Tirésias with the London Sinfonietta under Sir Simon Rattle, Manoah in Samson with Harry Christophers and Susanna with the OAE in Paris, Britten’s War Requiem and the Creation with the Ulster Orchestra, Belshazzar’s Feast with the Orchestra of Opera North under Paul Daniel and with the Hallé, Lucifer in Handel’s La Resurrezione for Paul McCreesh in Rome, Amsterdam and London, Alexander’s Feast in Munich with Marcus Creed, Aci, Galatea e Polifemo with the Orquestra Nacional d’Espana and his US debut in the Messiah in Boston for the Handel & Haydn Society.
His operatic engagements include Marco in Gianni Schicchi at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro for Scottish Opera and Opera North; Marcello in La Bohème for Scottish Opera; Papageno in Magic Flute and Faninal in Der Rosenkavalier for Welsh National Opera and Opera North; Podesta in La Gazza Ladra for Garsington Opera; the Forester in Cunning Little Vixen; Siegfried in Genoveva, Dulcamara in L’elisir d’amore, Lescaut Manon Lescaut and Balstrode Peter Grimes for Opera North; the Count in Le Nozze di Figaro, Zebul in Jephtha, Germont in La Traviata, title role in Don Giovanni and a critically acclaimed portrayal of the title role in Wozzeck for Welsh National Opera; Sharpless in Anthony Minghella’s new production of Madama Butterfly for English National Opera, Alcina at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich and a controversial production of JS Bach’s St Matthew Passion at the Glyndebourne Festival. He created the role of Executioner in James Macmillan’s Ines de Castro and performed Parthenogenesis also by Macmillan and Zaide at the Edinburgh International Festival where he has also appeared as Cecil in Maria Stuarda with Sir Charles Mackerras. Further roles include The Sacrifice, a new commission by James MacMillan, and Ford Falstaff both for WNO. Recordings include Le Nozze di Figaro for Chandos Records featuring Christopher in the title role and Messiah with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen. Recent engagements include Nick Shadow in The Rake’s Progress for Garsington Opera, Tonio in Pagliacci for ENO, the title role in a new production of Falstaff for the Glyndebourne Festival, Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore for the Salzburg Festival and further performances of the title role Wozzeck, WNO. Future engagements include Beckmesser in Die Meistersinger for WNO, Balstrode in Peter Grimes at Houston Grand Opera and La Scala, Milan and Mr Redburn in Billy Budd for Netherlands Opera.
Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus (1756-91)