David Webb

Harewood Artist at the English National Opera

© Leo Holden


British tenor David Webb is a graduate of the Royal College of Music International Opera School.

A former Harewood Artist at the English National Opera, his roles for the company included Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Frederic The Pirates of Penzance, Young Sailor Tristan und Isolde and Messenger Aida and most recently as First Priest/First Armed Man The Magic Flute.

Elsewhere he has sung the roles of Liberto, Soldato II and Tribune in a new production of L’incoronazione di Poppea at the Salzburg Festival; Arsace in Cavalli’s Hipermestra and Brighella Ariadne auf Naxos for the Glyndebourne Festival and the roles of High Priest, Abner, Amalekite & Doeg in Barrie Kosky’s acclaimed production of Handel’s Saul for Glyndebourne on Tour.

His concert engagements include Bach’s Weihnachts-Oratorium (Royal Northern Sinfonia/Lars Vogt); Evangelist Matthäus-Passion (Les Violons du Roy/Bernard Labadie); Evangelist Johannes Passion (Musica Viva/Maxim Emelyanychev & Oslo Cathedral Choir/Vivianne Sydnes); Britten’s War Requiem (Arnhem Philharmonic Orchestra/Bas Wiegers) and Canticle II, Abraham and Isaac, with David Daniels and Martin Katz (Wigmore Hall); Handel’s Messiah (Royal Northern Sinfonia/Martyn Brabbins & Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra/Ben Gernon) and Vaughan Williams’ On Wenlock Edge (BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ben Gernon).

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    29 Jan 21 SCHUBERT Winterreise
    Wigmore Hall

    ” The bleak isolation and lonely angst felt in Schubert’s Winterreise is only too appropriate for a lockdown January. However, one positive to shine from this gloom is tenor David Webb’s own “Winter Journey”. Cycling around his home in London every day since “Blue Monday” – 18 January, supposedly the most depressing day of the year – Webb has clocked up 500 miles and is raising money for both MINDS and Music Minds Matters, to help pay for at least two people to have counselling and therapy for a year. This concert – streamed live from the Wigmore Hall on Friday – celebrates the culmination of Webb’s journey … Webb’s rich, lustrous voice was beautifully suited to the stillness of “Der Lindenbaum” (“The linden tree”) and he leant a chilling darkness to “Die Krähe” (“The crow”). His performance of “Der Wegweiser” (“The signpost”) was particularly moving, perfectly portaying the wanderer’s forlornness.”
    Miranda Heggie, The Arts Desk, 30 January 2021

    “In a twist, Webb wasn’t alone on the stage. He was joined by friends and fellow tenors Alessandro Fisher and Rupert Charlesworth and baritone Benedict Nelson. The effect was striking. Just the physical presence of four bodies around Iain Burnside’s piano, three listening closely while each one sang, changed the charge of the piece … There was plenty of beauty here, but it was the bravery – both in the unaffected honesty of the singing and the thoughtful spoken introductions – that melted the ice on this winter journey.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, iNews, 05 February 2021

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    05 Oct 19 WEILL Der Silbersee (The Silver Lake)
    English Touring Opera

    “David Webb is outstandingly good both vocally and histrionically as the resentful prole Severin”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 08 October 2019

    “David Webb made Severin’s anger palpable and his singing was taut”
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today, 08 October 2019

    “David Webb had a tricky task as Severin, the sung portions of the role are taxing and for much of the drama the character is angry. Only in the last act does he realise that by letting go of his anger and desire for revenge can he free himself. Webb succeeded in making us care for Severin, and we could understand why he was angry. This was a brave and generous performance, the sort the role needs, concentrating on the music-drama rather than the sheer beauty of the musical line.”
    Planet Hugill, 08 October 2019

    “David Webb and Ronald Samm as the two leads place this cabaret-showtime-opera hybrid very much in opera territory with their lyrical singing”
    Peter Reed, Classical Source, 08 October 2019

    “David Webb’s Severin and Ronald Samm’s Olim seem larger than life”
    Michael Church, The Independent, 08 October 2019

    “…but David Webb and especially Ronald Samm as the lead pair, Severin and Olim, know how to put their roles over”
    Financial Times, 08 October 2019

    “Without doubt, David Webb is a tenor and so is the role of Severin which Webb presented with integrity and dedication.”
    Agnes Kory, Seen and Heard International, 9 October 2019

    “Riveting central performances from David Webb as Severin and Ronald Samm as Olim draw us almost imperceptibly into the near nightmare of it all.”
    Tim Ashley, the Guardian, 10 October 2019

    “There were vivid solo performances from David Webb…”
    Hugh Canning, The Times, 13 Sunday 2019

    The skilful cast, led by David Webb (Severin)… excelled.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 12 October 2019

    “Severin and Olim were strongly sung by David Webb and Ronald Samm… both made the most of their musical opportunities.”
    Ditlev Rindom, Opera Magazine Volume 70 No. 12


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    06 Jul 19 TCHAIKOVSKY Eugene Onegin
    Buxton Opera House

    “The duel scence was strongly staged, with David Webb passionate as the luckless Lensky”
    Opera Now, September 2019

    “David Webb plays the ardent poet Lensky with just the right degree of nervous intensity, his bright tenor perfectly suited to his yearning lament for lost, golden days.”
    Colin Davison, British Theatre Guide, 7 July 2019

    “The solo performers were all excellent, dramatically and vocally….David Webb provided an equally adept performance as Lensky, Olga’s fiancé”
    Robert Gainer, Bachtrack, 8 July 2019

    “David Webb’s vulnerable, sensitively sung Lensky … [is a] major asset.”
    George Hall, The Stage, 8 July 2019

    “David Webb put in an excellent performance as Lensky, the dreamy dullard, whose pretensions are cruelly exposed at every turn. Webb’s voice possesses an attractive an engaging timbre, and his sensitively crafted phrasing successfully reflected his emotional state, which clearly brought out the underlying melancholia of his character.

    Likewise he managed to convey Lensky’s anger and rising frustrations experienced in his confrontation with Onegin during the Act two ball; arguably the production’s strongest scene. The conflict grew against a background of dancing, which escalated convincingly into Lensky challenging Onegin to a duel. Humphreys and Webb’s identification with their characters produced a full-blooded and dynamic encounter, in which their passions moulded their singing to create a fiery confrontation.”
    Alan Neilson, Opera Wire, 15 July 2019

    “David Webb’s Lensky (with unruly curls and pebble spectacles) was also a man discovering himself, nowhere more than in his meditation before the duel, which was touchingly heartfelt.”
    Martin Dreyer, Opera Magazine, September 2019

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    19 Jun 19 Leeds Lieder Festival Fundraising Gala
    Wigmore Hall

    “David Webb is a similarly young and equally talented tenor; his finely phrased and elegantly sung ‘Orpheus with his lute’ (Vaughan Williams) gave much pleasure.”
    Melanie Eskenazi, MusicOMH.com, 21 June 2019

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    12 Aug 18 MONTEVERDI L'Incoronazione di Poppea
    Salzburg Festival

    “Du côté des rôles masculins, la distribution est tout aussi satisfaisante, les deux ténors Alessandro Fisher et David Webb (beaucoup de classe)…”
    Claude Jottrand, Forum Opera, 17 August 2018

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    02 Mar 18 BRITTEN A Midsummer Night's Dream
    English National Opera

    “Five members of ENO’s Harewood Artists Programme took part, including Soraya Mafi (excellent as Tytania), with fine performances also from Eleanor Dennis (Helena), Matthew Durkan (Demetrius), David Webb (Lysander) and Andri Björn Róbertsson (Theseus).”
    Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 2 March 2018

    “…David Webb as the fickle and insistent Lysander.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 11 March 2018

    “Five of the roles are taken by members of the company’s young Harewood artists programme, of whom Soraya Mafi’s bright Tytania and David Webb’s well-focused Lysander stand out.”
    Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 2 March 2018

    “…and a firm, lyrical Lysander from David Webb…”
    Peter Reed, Classical Source, 1 March 2018

    “Clare Presland as Hermia, David Webb as Lysander, Matthew Durkan as Demetrius and Eleanor Dennis as Helena made a lovely, well-characterised group of lovers…”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 3 March 2018

    “Tenor David Webb and baritone Matthew Durkan were a persuasively lyrical pair of lovers as Lysander and Demetrius respectively…”
    Mark Valencia, Whats On Stage, 2 March 2018

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    18 Dec 17 BACH Weihnachts-Oratorium
    Royal Northern Sinfonia/Vogt

    “Evangelist David Webb wove a characterful narrative. His recitatives led the atmosphere of stillness and awe that pervaded the inner two cantatas, and he and the continuo players created a magical glow around every reference to Mary.”
    Jane Shuttleworth, Bachtrack, 17 December 2017

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    18 Nov 17 DVORAK Stabat Mater
    Three Spires Singers, Truro Cathedral

    “But the true icing on the cake came from tenor David Webb, who so skilfully combined Italianate passion with pure beauty of tone, again ascending fluently to his high notes, and singing with simple, yet clearly heartfelt expression. Talking briefly after the event, the tenor, who started out as a Choral Scholar at Truro, and Head Chorister at Exeter Cathedral, alluded to this very point. When the studied and learned the role initially, he felt the fundamental need to look way beyond the score, and approach things very much from the composer’s life-perspective at the time, something which was then so readily apparent in the final performance.”
    Philip R Buttall, Seen and Heard, 20 November 2017

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    28 Sep 17 VERDI Aida
    English National Opera

    “…and David Webb excellent in his brief intervention as a Messenger.”
    Mark Valencia, What’s On Stage, 29 September 2017

    “…David Webb sang a very clear Messenger…”
    Mark Ronan, 29 September 2017

    “David Webb made the Messenger’s appearance very exciting…”
    Peter Reed, Classical Source, 29 September 2017

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    21 May 17 CAVALLI Hipermestra
    Glyndebourne Festival

    “…and there was strong support from…David Webb as Arsace…”
    Melanie Eskenazi, Music OMH, 21 May 2017

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    09 Feb 17 GILBERT & SULLIVAN The Pirates of Penzance
    English National Opera

    “David Webb’s sweet, light tenor made him a charming Frederic…”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 10 February 2017

    “…ideally partnered by the dashing David Webb who has an effortless vocal lyricism as Frederic…”
    Mark Shenton, The Stage, 10 February 2017

    “David Webb’s puppy-dog Frederic and Soraya Mafi’s irresistible Mabel hold the show together with their starry-eyed romance. They sing like love’s young dream.”
    Mark Valencia, What’s On Stage, 10 February 2017

    “David Webb as a delightfully innocent Frederic”
    William Hartston, Express, 16 January 2017

    “David Webb brought out the right sense of lyric charm and serious intent to the role of Frederick (the opera’s subtitle ‘The Slave to Duty’ applied to Frederick)…he made a lovely pairing with Mafi, a winning pair.”
    Robert Hugill, Opera Today, 10 February 2017

    “In terms of acting David Webb’s blank innocence of the duty- and honour-bound Frederic is classic comedy. His every facial expression was a masterpiece of bewilderment and anxiety and he fed the gag lines of others wonderfully.”
    Alexander Campbell, Classical Source, 09 Febraury 2017

    “David Webb providing keen tenorial definition in his portrayal of the insistently upright Frederic – the Slave of Duty of the opera’s subtitle.”
    George Hall, The Guardian, 12 February 2017

    “Soroya Mafi brings a shimmering coloratura soprano to Mabel, and is ideally partnered by the dashing David Webb who has an effortless vocal lyricism as Frederic, the man she falls in love with.”
    Mark Shenton, The Stage, 10 February 2017

    “David Webb plays a wonderfully innocent Frederic”
    Aliya Al-Hassan, Broadway World, 12 February 2017

    “Harewood Artist David Webb…really comes into his own in Act II, capturing the humour perfectly in the first song, and demonstrating real tenderness of sound in the latter two.”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 13 February 2017

    “Frederic, the ‘slave of duty’ of the sub-title, is anything but the drudge that the phrase implies. David Webb has a beautiful lyric tenor and part from combining well with [Soraya] Mafi, has a considerable gift for understated comedy.”
    Tully Potter, Daily Mail, 17 February 2017

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    19 Dec 16 HANDEL Messiah
    Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra/Ben Gernon

    “The vocal soloists brought their own choices to the performance [including] and tenor Webb’s light, facile executions of melismatic writing.”
    Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 December 2016

    “The voices of soprano Sari Gruber and tenor David Webb were brighter and more ethereal, fitting for their light-as-air melismatic singing. Baroque singing doesn’t get much better than Gruber’s “I know that my Redeemer liveth” and Webb’s “Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron.”
    Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine, 15 December 2016

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    29 Nov 16 MENDELSSOHN Lobgesang
    Truro Cathedral

    “Tenor soloist David Webb was in fine voice throughout, and if the two sopranos – Rebecca Bottone and Kay Deeming – couldn’t match him in terms of production, delivery, or simply tone, together their singing helped in making a telling contribution to the evening’s unmitigated success overall.”
    Philip R Buttall, Seen and Heard, 29 November, 2016

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    13 Jun 16 WAGNER Tristan und Isolde
    English National Opera

    “There was some fine singing in the relatively minor role of Young Sailor (David Webb)…”
    Jim Pritchard, Seen and Heard, 12 June 2016

    “The smaller roles were admirably taken…with David Webb as the sailor…”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 20 June 2016

    “David Webb sang the Sailor with distinction.”
    John Allison, Opera, August 2016

    “…a special mention to David Webb who got the opera off to a magnificent start with his mellifluous singing as the off-stage sailor.”
    Keith McDonnell, MusicOMH, 20 June 2016

    “The smaller roles were all taken very well indeed, David Webb’s Sailor song setting the scene with considerable distinction.”
    Mark Berry, Opera Today, 17 June 2016

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    24 Mar 16 BACH Matthäus-Passion
    Les Violons du Roy/Bernard Labadie

    “Une brochette que complètent avec brio le célèbre ténor britannique John Mark Ainsley dans le rôle de l’Évangéliste, les barytons-basses Neal Davies et Andrew Foster-Williams de même que le jeune, mais non moins talentueux David Webb.”
    Kim Chabot, Le Huffington Post Québec, 10 March 2016

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    28 Nov 15 HANDEL Saul
    Glyndebourne on Tour

    “Tenor David Webb is a brooding jester-like creation, omnipresent to fill the narrative and sing myriad parts.”
    Karen Bussell, The Reviews Hub, 28 November 2015

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    03 Feb 14 PURCELL The Fairy Queen
    Southbank Sinfonia/Simon Over

    “…some of the best vivacious singing came from David Webb as the tenor gym fanatic, as athletic a courtier as instructor  (a delicious ‘Come all ye Songsters’)…”
    Roderic Dunnett, Scene and Heard, 2014

    “Tenor David Webb displayed a lovely smooth lyric tenor voice with neat passagework giving us a stylish Come all ye songsters (from Act 2)…He sang Autumn’s solo with a lyrical depth of tone and produced some nice trumpet tones (and good passagework) for Thus the gloomy world (from Act 4)”
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill, 25 September 2014

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    06 Jan 14 HANDEL Rodelinda
    London Handel Festival/Cummings

    “David Webb was convincingly psychopathic as Grimoaldo.”
    Claire Colvin, The Express, 27 March 2011


Johannes Passion (Evangelist/Arias)
Matthäus-Passion (Evangelist/Arias)


Grand Messe des morts

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander)
St Nicolas (St Nicolas)
Owen Wingrave (Lechmere)

L’elisir d’amore (Nemorino)

Stabat Mater

The Kingdom

Judas Maccabaeus
Israel in Egypt
Rodelinda (Grimoaldo)
Acis & Galatea (Acis)

The Creation

For St Cecilia

St Paul

L’incoronazione di Poppea (Soldato I / Lucano)

Così fan tutte (Ferrando)
Don Giovanni (Don Ottavio)
Mass in C Minor
Coronation Mass
Die Zauberflöte (Tamino)

The Yellow Sofa (Machado)

Messa di Gloria

The Fairy Queen (Autumn)

L’heure espagnole (Gonzalve)

Stabat Mater
Petite messe solennelle

The Bartered Bride (Vašek)

The Mikado (Nanki-Poo)
The Pirates of Penzance (Frederic)


Tristan und Isolde (Stimme eines jungen Seemanns)