Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel has performed in all the great opera houses and concert halls of the world. He first became well known for his portrayal of Figaro and Falstaff but in recent years he has been acclaimed for his performances of Wagner roles such as Wotan, Hans Sachs and Der Fliegende Höllander.
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, Reb Tevye in The Fiddler on the Roof 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 all around 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 fifteen solo discs including Lieder, American musical theatre, Welsh songs and sacred repertory. Bryn received a CBE for his services to Opera in 2003, was awarded the Queen’s Medal for Music in 2006 and was received a knighthood for his service to music in 2017. He was the last recipient of the Shakespeare Prize by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation and in 2015; he was given The Freedom of the City of London.
Bryn marked his 50th birthday and twenty five years in the profession with a special one-off Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, presented by Hollywood star Michael Sheen. The celebrations continued at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre, where he sang the role of Scarpia in a concert performance of Tosca alongside the company with which he started his career in 1990, the Welsh National Opera. Operatic highlights in 2015 included his debut in the role of Reb Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof for Grange Park Opera, the Title Role in Sweeney Todd for English National Opera and Méphistophélès in Damnation of Faust for Opera de Paris. Highlights in 2016 include his début in the role of Boris Godunov for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, recitals in North America and concerts in festivals throughout Europe.
Other highlights 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, 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. Highlights in 2014 included a semi-staged performance of Sweeney Todd at the Lincoln Center, New York and at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and a concert tour of South Africa.