Baritone/Bass-Baritone

Neal Davies

Credit: Gerard Collett

Introduction

Neal Davies studied at King’s College, London and the Royal Academy of Music, and won the Lieder Prize at the 1991 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. He has sung with the world’s leading orchestras, under Sir Mark Elder, Paul McCreesh, Ivor Bolton, Mariss Jansons, Pierre Boulez, Christoph von Dohnanyi, David Zinman, Juanjo Mena, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Frans Brüggen, John Storgårds, Edward Gardner and Daniel Harding. A regular guest of the Edinburgh Festival, BBC Proms, English National Opera and Welsh National Opera, he has also performed with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Scottish Opera, Garsington Opera, Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Opera di Roma and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He appears in Charpentier’s David et Jonathas from Aix-en-Provence, which is available on DVD.  Concert highlights for the 2018/19 season include appearances with Les violons du Roy and Philadelphia Orchestra (Bernard Labadie), the New York Philharmonic Orchestra (Jonathan Cohen), the Bach Collegium Japan (Masaaki Suzuki) and Music of the Baroque (Jane Glover). He will return to the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin for King Arthur.

 

 


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From The Green Room

Discography

  • More info  
    VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Job & Songs of Travel

    Label: Hallé Concerts Society

    Release Date: 02 Oct 20

    Conductor: Sir Mark Elder
    Bass-Baritone: Neal Davies
    Violin: David Adams
    Organ: Darius Battiwalla

    The Hallé Orchestra

     

    Recorded 2-4 July 2019 at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

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    Haydn - Il ritorno di Tobia

    Label: Sony

    Release Date: 17 Aug 20

    Soprano: Lucy Crowe
    Soprano: Anna Bonitatibus
    Alto: Bettina Ranch
    Tenor: Mauro Peter
    Bass: Neal Davies

    Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg
    Salzburger Bachchor
    Conductor: Ivor Bolton

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    Handel - Acis and Galatea

    Label: Chandos

    Release Date: 01 Jun 18

    Christian Curnyn: Conductor
    Lucy Crowe: Galatea
    Allan Clayton: Acis
    Benjamin Hulett: Damon
    Jeremy Budd: Coridon
    Orchestra: Early Opera Company
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    'Remembrance'

    Label: Harmonia Mundi

    Release Date: 21 Oct 16

    DURUFLE 'Requiem' TAVENER 'Song for Athene' ELGAR 'They are at rest'

    Conductor: Graham Ross

    Mezzo-soprano: Jennifer Johnston
    Bass-baritone: Neal Davies

    Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
    Organ: Matthew Jorysz
    Cello: Guy Johnston

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    JS BACH Mass in B minor

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 03 Nov 14

    Conductor: Jonathan Cohen

    Soprano: Lydia Teuscher
    Soprano: Ida Falk Winland
    Countertenor: Tim Mead
    Tenor: Samuel Boden
    Bass-baritone: Neal Davies

    Arcangelo

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    POULENC: The Complete Songs

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 30 Sep 13

    Graham Johnson presents the complete songs of Poulenc, joined by singers including Dame Felicity Lott, Christopher Maltman, Neal Davies and Robin Tritschler.

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    CHARPENTIER 'David et Jonathas'

    Label: BelAir classiques

    Release Date: 23 Apr 13

    Conductor: William Christie
    Director: Andreas Homoki

    David: Pascal Charbonneau
    Jonathas: Ana Quintans
    Saül: Neal Davies
    Achis: Frédéric Caton

    Les Arts Florissants

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    HANDEL 'Agrippina'

    Label: Harmonia Mundi

    Release Date: 08 Mar 13

    Conductor: René Jacobs

    Agrippina: Alex Penda
    Nerone: Jennifer Rivera
    Poppea: Sunhae Im
    Ottone: Bejun Mehta
    Claudio: Marcos Fink
    Pallante: Neal Davies
    Narciso: Dominique Visse
    Lesbo: Daniel Schmutzhard

    Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

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    HANDEL 'Messiah'

    Label: Archiv Produktion

    Release Date: 08 Mar 13

    Conductor: Paul McCreesh

    Soprano I: Dorothea Röschmann
    Soprano II: Susan Gritton
    Contralto: Bernarda Fink
    Tenor: Charles Daniels
    Bass-Baritone: Neal Davies

    Gabrieli Consort & Players

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    JS BACH 'St John Passion'

    Label: Hyperion

    Release Date: 27 Feb 13

    Conductor: Stephen Layton

    Evangelist: Ian Bostridge
    Pilate: Neal Davies
    Soprano: Carolyn Sampson
    Countertenor: Iestyn Davies
    Tenor Nicholas Mulroy
    Bass: Roderick Williams

    Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
    Polyphony

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    BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9

    Label: Bis

    Release Date: 28 Jan 13

    Conductor: Osmo Vanska

    Soprano: Helena Juntunen
    Mezzo-soprano: Katarina Karneus
    Tenor: Daniel Norman
    Bass-Baritone: Neal Davies

    Minnesota Orchestra
    Minnesota Chorale

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    'My Beloved Spake'

    Label: Chandos Records

    Release Date: 02 Jan 12

    Anthems by Henry Purcell and Pelham Humfrey

    Conductor: Andrew Nethsingha

    Countertenor: Iestyn Davies
    Tenor: James Gilchrist
    Bass-Baritone: Neal Davies

    Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge
    St John’s Sinfonia

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    HANDEL 'Belshazzar'

    Label: BelAir Classiques

    Release Date: 30 May 11

    Conductor: René Jacobs
    Director: Christof Nel

    Belshazzar: Kenneth Tarver
    Nitocris: Rosemary Joshua
    Cyrus: Bejun Mehta
    Daniel: Kristina Hammärström
    Gobrias: Neal Davies

    RIAS Kammerchor
    Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin

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    BRITTEN 'Billy Budd'

    Label: Virgin Classics

    Release Date: 15 Sep 08

    Conductor: Daniel Harding

    Billy Budd: Nathan Gunn
    Captain Vere: Ian Bostridge
    John Claggart: Gidon Saks
    Mr Redburn: Neal Davies
    Lieutenant Ratcliffe: Matthew Rose

    London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus

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    HAYDN 'The Creation'

    Label: Deutsche Grammophon

    Release Date: 01 Mar 08

    Conductor: Paul McCreesh

    Gabriel: Sandrine Piau
    Uriel: Mark Padmore
    Raphael: Neal Davies
    Eve: Miah Persson
    Adam: Peter Harvey

    Gabrieli Consort & Players

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    HANDEL 'Messiah'

    Label: Harmonia Mundi

    Release Date: 02 Oct 06

    Conductor: René Jacobs

    Soprano: Kerstin Avemo
    Mezzo-soprano: Patricia Bardon
    Countertenor: Lawrence Zazzo
    Tenor: Kobie van Rensburg
    Bass-Baritone: Neal Davies

    The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
    Freiburger Barockorchester

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    31 Dec 20 Neal Davies on Vaughan Williams
    Presto Classical

    Though Vaughan Williams’s Songs of Travel are a repertoire staple for most British baritones, it’s rather less common to hear them in the orchestrations by the composer himself and his assistant Roy Douglas, so it was a treat to experience the cycle in its full-fat glory courtesy of Welsh bass-baritone Neal Davies, Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé earlier this winter. I spoke to Neal shortly before Christmas about his long-term relationships with both the songs and his fellow performers, the challenges which orchestrated versions of lieder can sometimes present, and how he’s felt about taking his first substantial break from singing in over three decades…

     

    How long have these songs been in your repertoire, and has your relationship with them shifted over time?

    I did ‘Bright Is The Ring Of Words’ for my Grade Five singing exam, so I’d have been sixteen at the time – goodness, that’s nearly forty years ago! I’ve still got the score with my old singing teacher’s markings, which is rather nice. But I didn’t come to a few of the songs until much later, including the last one ‘I Have Trod the Upward and the Downward Slope’ which I absolutely love. I remember learning ‘Whither Must I Wander’ when I was really young – probably about eighteen – and wondering if there would come a time in my life when those words meant something personal to me…then of course you get to my age and it’s more or less all come true: that sense of returning to a familiar place and realising that many of the friends and family you associate with it are no longer there really hits home.

    The texts are all incredibly poignant, and we did a lot of work on them in the recording-sessions even though we were rather pushed for time. (We did the whole cycle in one day, rehearsing in the morning and then straight into recording that afternoon, which was pretty intense but very rewarding). Mark and I made sure that the players knew what each of the poems was about, and you could see that people genuinely found them very moving. So often you’ll talk to an orchestral player after a session and they say ‘Oh, is that what you were singing about?!’, but that wasn’t the case at all here! It was such a joy to do them with orchestra for the first time.

     

    Does the orchestral version of the cycle pose different challenges to the original?

    The orchestrations work very well: some of them are by Vaughan Williams himself and some are by his assistant Roy Douglas, but they’re all really beautiful and you never feel that you’re fighting against the spirit of the songs. Last year I sang some orchestrations of Schubert songs by various composers for the opening concert of the Oxford Lieder Festival, and in all honesty I found it really difficult to make some of them work: Berlioz’s arrangement of ‘Erlkönig’ comes off quite well, and some of the Brahms ones are lovely, but Reger is a real slog as he’s so fond of doubling the vocal line with lots of brass!

    But the Songs of Travel fit like a glove. Vaughan Williams had orchestrated three of them in 1905, and the final song was found in manuscript by Douglas after his death; it was published in the first edition of the cycle in 1960, but it wasn’t until 1962 that Boosey & Hawkes commissioned Douglas to orchestrate the rest. There are a few little tweaks to the original in the orchestrated version, but nothing major: just the one key-change, and a couple of extra bars which took me by surprise when I was singing from the vocal score on the day of recording!

     

    Do you feel the influence of any other composers in the orchestrations?

    I really think they’re quintessentially Vaughan Williams: you do get people who’ll say ‘Oh, he studied with Ravel and you can hear that in the orchestration’, but of course he didn’t actually orchestrate most of them himself! They are a totally honest, direct response to the texts, which I find astonishingly moving. And the Hallé played them all so beautifully – in some of those shimmering accompaniments like ‘Let Beauty Awake’ and ‘The Infinite Shining Heavens’ there’s a glitter and a gloss on the top lines of the strings which took my breath away.

     

    How far back does your association with the Hallé and Sir Mark stretch?

    We’ve done quite a lot together over the years. There was a Beethoven weekend at the Barbican earlier this year which finished with the Ninth Symphony, followed by performances in Manchester and Nottingham, and last year I did L’enfance du Christ with the Hallé at the Proms, but Mark didn’t conduct that as he was having surgery on his neck. (In fact he was still glugging down painkillers throughout the Vaughan Williams recording, but did a fantastic job as usual!). And quite a few years ago we did both the St John and St Matthew Passions together in English at Bridgewater Hall, which were both great experiences.

    I’ve never used Bridgewater Hall for a recording before, and I do hope the opportunity comes up again: it’s always a wonderful space to rehearse and perform in, but as a recording-venue it’s absolutely superb. You never get the feeling that you’re singing out into a huge void: there’s such warmth and responsiveness in the acoustic that it’s a real joy. We did it in concert formation, so I was at the front of the stage singing out into the auditorium rather than standing in the middle of the orchestra or facing them (as is often the case with recordings), so it was quite a natural performing environment.

     

    You sang on the first complete recording of The Poisoned Kiss for Chandos – is there any other lesser-spotted Vaughan Williams on your wish-list?

    Oh yes, now that is going back a bit! The first time I did the piece was with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, and the recording with Richard Hickox and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales was ten years later, with pretty much the same cast; Ursula Vaughan Williams came to the sessions, which was lovely. Unfortunately the piece is slightly hamstrung by the libretto, which Ursula wrote, so we had to be quite careful about what we said! The text is very much of its time, so it sounds a bit twee and dated, but it’s really beautiful music. There’s also a lot of linking dialogue, which again is not of the highest calibre, and is maybe part of the reason it doesn’t get done so much.

    I’d love to do Sir John in Love, and the other thing I really want to revisit is The Pilgrim’s Progress: we did a staging at Sadler’s Wells with the Philharmonia and Richard Hickox not long before he died, and it’s just a wonderful piece. There’s so much great Vaughan Williams that doesn’t get performed all that much, and it would be nice to do a bit more!

     

    Have you been able to work at all during lockdown?

    The last concert I did was with that Beethoven Nine in Nottingham with the Hallé and Mark on 29th February, and that’s pretty much been it for the year. I was supposed to be doing a concert with Sophie and Mary Bevan, Catherine Wyn-Rogers and Nicky Spence for an opera festival that Sophie and her husband Ryan [Wigglesworth] have started up at their village in Oxfordshire, but alas that was cancelled at the last minute due to the second lockdown. Hopefully the festival will continue further down the line, though, because it’s a great initiative: they launched it at the beginning of the year with Mark Padmore singing Winterreise with Ryan, which got things off to quite a start!

    I did do one recording-session of a Bach chorale for the forthcoming Arcangelo disc, with Carolyn Sampson and John Mark Ainsley who came out of retirement to do it! We also spent three days at Maida Vale in November recording Shostakovich 14 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in November; Kirill Karabits was conducting, and Natalya Romaniw was the soprano. It’s an ideal piece to do with all of these restrictions in place, because it’s scored for just strings, percussion and the two solo voices – it’s very loud (and depressing!), but as Shostakovich symphonies go it’s very small. The first international trip in the diary is to São Paulo in early 2021, which has already been rescheduled from April, but I’m not sure what the state of play will be in Brazil by then…things are going to be extremely fluid for a very long time.

    There’s such an overwhelming feeling of relief when you warm up properly and get the voice working again, but that’s also when you realise how just much you’ve missed doing what you do. It’s the longest rest I’ve had in thirty years of singing, which is probably not such a bad thing in itself but it’s also been very strange. It really hit me that living at home is such a novel concept for a singer: basic things like the sheer amount of supermarket-trips it involves took me by surprise, and it’s quite eerie to look at suitcases that got slung in a cupboard in February and are still sitting there unpacked nine months later!

    Katherine Cooper, Presto Classical, 31 December 2020

     

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    30 Jan 20 BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 9 Mark Elder, Hallé Orchestra
    Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

    “…delivered with verve by the Hallé, and rounded off by four excellent soloists (Elizabeth Atherton, Sarah Castle, David Butt Philip, Neal Davies…”

    Richard Morrison, The Times, 03 February 2020

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    02 Nov 19 Purcell King Arthur
    Staatsoper Berlin

    “Neal Davies satisfied as “A Priest, Grimbald, The Cold Genius, A Sylvan, Aeolus, Peasant, Comus,” his strong bass impressively portraying the Cold Genius in tones of frozen anguish touched with appropriately brief moments of waking warmth.”
    Elyse Lyon, Opera Wire, 10 November 2019

    “There was much to admire in the singing…All singers covered numerous roles to excellent effect: Anett Frisch’s stylish and intelligently dramatic soprano, Benno Schachter’s hauntingly beautiful countertenor, and Neal Davies’s performance in the celebrated ‘Frost Scene’…were the pick of the bunch for me, but there were no weak links.”
    Mark Berry, Seen and Heard, 12 November 2019

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    14 Aug 19 BBC Proms, Maxime Pascal, Hallé Orchestra Berlioz L’Enfance du Christ
    Royal Albert Hall, London

    “But the wildcard in this Biblical retelling is Neal Davies’ Herod – a despot whose dream-monologue makes him persistently and disquietingly sympathetic.”

    Alexandra Coghlan, The independent, 15 August 2019

     

    “Still, there was outstandingly beautiful singing to enjoy, both choral (the seasoned Britten Sinfonia Voices on stage; the youthful Genesis Sixteen supplying the angels’ hosannas from the gallery) and from the soloists. Allan Clayton’s superbly vibrant Narrator and Neal Davies’s paranoid Herod (by far the most vividly drawn character on Berlioz’s musical canvas) were the pick of those.”

    Richard Morrison, The Times, 15 August 2019

     

    “Neal Davies, an underrated singer, lived the conscience of the king and the genial compassion of the Sais host”

    David Nice, The Arts Desk, 15 August 2019 

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    01 Jun 19 CD: Handel - Acis and Galatea Christian Curnyn, English Chamber Orchestra

    “Christian Curnyn leads with zip and sharp, woody attacks (very few metal strings are used), and there is a spring in the quick movements. “Oh ruddier than the cherry” never has sounded so passive-aggressively witty, recorder obbligato and all–and Neal Davies, once the joking is over, is a dark, cruel Polyphemus as well.”

    Robert Levine, Classics Today

     

    “There are opportunities galore for the five characters to strut their musical stuff. Neal Davies rages superbly as Polyphemus, as well as singing his calmer air “Oh ruddier than the cherry”.”

    Dave Billinge, June 2018, MusicWeb International 

     

    “Neal Davies provides fearful heft as Polyphemus but without any unprepossessing growl or roughness in tone, preserving the pristine quality of this recording in general: both ‘O ruddier than the cherry’ and ‘Cease to beauty to be suing’ are realised with bounce and balletic grace respectively.”

    Curtis Rogers, July 2019, Classical Source

     

    “What a delectable cast Christian Curnyn has gathered for his new recording of Acis and Galatea. Lucy Crowe’s Galatea is joined by three outstanding British tenors – Allan Clayton’s Acis, Ben Hulett as fellow shepherd Damon, and Jeremy Budd as Coridon. Add go-to Handelian bass-baritone Neal Davies as Polyphemus and rising soprano Rowan Pierce to fill out choruses, and you have a baroque dream-team even before you get to Curnyn and his superb period orchestra.”

    Alexandra Coghlan, 03 September 2018, Limelight Magazine

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    01 Oct 18 Dido and Aeneas Academy of Ancient Music
    Barbican Centre

    Bass Neal Davies was the Sorceress, who had a deliciously nasty blackness in his voice and wasn’t afraid to ham it up a bit.

    Benjamin Poore, Bachtrack

    Blackly draped and illuminated with a piercing blue hue, Neal Davies was a vivid and surprisingly earthy Sorceress…

    Claire Seymour, Opera Today

    The ‘Sorceress’ was taken by a male, Neal Davies, reflecting documentary evidence that a male took the part in an early performance of the piece. Davies relished every malicious movement without, thankfully, descending into too much caricature, as well as enunciating every word brilliantly; the chorus, in their masks, took on, perhaps, the roles of demons.

    Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International

    Neal Davies brought a rough-hewn vigour to the part of the Sorceress, restoring the part to a male singer as Purcell seems to have done originally

    Curtis Rogers, Classical Source

     

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    04 Aug 18 Haydn: Creation Edinburgh Festival with the SCO
    Usher Hall, Edinburgh

    He was helped by characterful soloists (Sarah Tynan, Robert Murray, Neal Davies) who projected the slightly rewritten English texts with operatic pungency…
    Richard Morrison, The Times

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    01 Jul 18 Purcell: King Arthur
    Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin 2018

    Neal Davies… plunged the room into great emotion during the famous “Air of the cold”.
    Revopéra

    Benno Schacktner, Mark Milhofer, a and Stephan Rugamer exhibited finessed legato line, as did basses Neal Davies and Arthur Kataja. Many of these artists took on multiple roles, which was more than sleight of hand.
    Lois Silverstein, Opera Wire

     

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    17 Oct 17 Rodelinda English National Opera
    London Coliseum

    Opera in English demands great diction and among the new cast members none did it better than the robust Garibaldo of Neal Davies.
    Mark Ronan Theatre Reviews

    Neal Davies is vocally and physically commanding in the baddie role of Garibaldo.
    Michael Church, The Independent

    Neal Davies takes the role of Grimoaldo’s ally Garibaldo with aplomb.
    Colin Clarke, Seen and Heard International

    Neal Davies was a terrifically rough-edged Garibaldo.
    Claire Seymour, Opera Today

    Neal Davies brought out the thuggish quality in Garibaldo, seemingly enjoying the excessive violence whilst singing in an assured manner.
    Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill

    Neal Davies channels heightened villainy as Garibaldo.
    George Hall, The Guardian

    Neal Davies and Susan Bickley live up to their staunchly reliable reputations as the scheming Garibaldo and Eduige.
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

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    28 Feb 17 WIGGLESWORTH 'The Winter's Tale'
    English National Opera

    “Other individual performances are equally strong, with Sophie Bevan a dignified Hermione, Neal Davies doubling convincingly as Antigonus and the Shepherd”
    George Hall, The Stage, 28 Feb 2017

    “…Neal Davies as Antigonus and Timothy Robinson as Camillo all excelled”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 5 March 2017

    “Neal Davies is luxury casting as the luckless Antigonus.”
    Alexandra Coghlan, Broadway World

    “Neal Davies summons the necessary integrity as Antigonus and brings warm-hearted naivety to the awkwardly humorous role of the Shepherd,”
    Richard Whitehouse, Classical Source

    “Timothy Robinson and Neal Davies offered strength in depth as the loyal Camillo and Antigonus”
    Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack 28 February 2017

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    08 Dec 16 DURUFLÉ 'Requiem' CD 'Remembrance'
    Harmonia Mundi

    “Neal Davies is a luxurious casting for the cameo bass solo”
    Alexandra Coghlan, Gramaphone Magazine December 2016

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    05 Dec 16 WALTON 'Belshazzar's Feast' BBC National Orchestra of Wales
    St David's Hall, Cardiff

    “soloist Neal Davies was a fervent Belshazzar.”
    Rebecca Franks, The Times

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    14 Jul 16 HAYDN 'The Creation' Rambert
    Garsington Opera

    “There’s a strong lineup of vocal soloists. … baritone Neal Davies sings with weight and presence.”
    Zoë Anderson, Independent, 18 July 2016

    “The text was eloquently sung and clearly articulated, with purposeful expression, by Neal Davies (bass-baritone, representing both Adam and the archangel, Raphael)”
    Graham Watts, Bachtrack, 17 July 2016

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    16 May 16 HAYDN 'Die Schöpfung' Sydney Symphony Orchestra
    Sydney Opera House

    “The three soloists were very special indeed…Neal Davies matched [Allan Clayton] depiction for depiction as a ripe, sonorous Raphael. A master word painter, his focussed, fruity baritone could be laden with mystery, enunciating the void, or full of fun rattling off the multifarious beasts of the field. Rolling in Foaming Billows and Now Heaven In Fullest Glory Shone were both standouts.”
    Limelight Magazine, Clive Paget, 12 May 2016

    “Neal Davies’ recitative about the whales and ‘every creature that moveth’ (Und Gott schuf große Walfische) was made particularly impressive by the multi-coloured sonorities of the divided lower strings. Davies himself provided perhaps the most memorable single moment of the evening by finishing his Part II recitativo (Gleich öffnet sich der Erder Schoß) on the low D, an octave lower than the one in the score – a note unattainably low for most bass singers.”
    Bachtrack, Zoltán Szabó, 13 Mai 2016

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    22 Feb 16 HANDEL 'Ariodante' Scottish Opera
    Theatre Royal, Glasgow

    “Neal Davies commands the stage as the community’s mostly benevolent leader”
    David Kettle, The Arts Desk, 19 February 2016

    “Much of the singing is beautiful… Neal Davies is a sonorous King”
    Kate Molleson, The Guardian, 17 February 2016

    “Neal Davies on fine form”
    Mark Brown, Telegraph, 17 February 2016

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    27 Nov 15 HANDEL 'Messiah'
    BR Klassik, Munich

    “The bass is Neal Davies and he’s very much to my taste. In ‘Why do the nations?’ he offers splendidly dramatic singing – there’s terrific vocal presence here – and in the section that begins ‘The kings of the earth rise up’ his articulation of the notes is enviable. The highlight of his contribution, however, is ‘The trumpet shall sound’. In the outer sections his singing is truly commanding and he sounds absolutely splendid. But what really made me sit up and take notice was the quietly lyrical, almost confiding way in which he delivers the central section, ‘For this corruptible must put on incorruption’; this is understanding and imaginative Handel singing.”
    John Quinn, MusicWeb International

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    26 Oct 15 HANDEL 'Theodora' Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Harry Bicket
    Queen's Hall, Edinburgh

    “Bass Neal Davies led the stunning line-up of soloists, relishing some wonderfully thunderous passages as the uncompromising President Valens.”
    Susan Nickalls, The Scotsman

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    06 May 15 WALTON 'Belshazzar's Feast Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
    Royal Festival Hall, London

    “The musical riches were considerable, not least from the wholly outstanding solos of Neal Davies. His contribution was superlative – every word clear and finely delineated, dead in tune (even in the long unbarred unaccompanied recitative “Babylon was great city”), understated and heroic by turns: in this listener’s experience, only Denis Noble in the composer’s own first recording of the work is to be compared – Davies is absolutely right for this role.”
    Robert Matthew-Walker, Classical Source

Repertoire

Opera Repertoire:

BEETHOVEN
Fidelio/Leonore Don Fernando

BERLIOZ
Beatrice et Benedict Don Pedro
La Damnation de Faust  Brander, Mephistopheles

BRITTEN
Curlew River Traveller
A Midsummer Night’s Dream  Demetrius, Bottom
The Rape of Lucretia   Junius, Collatinus
Billy Budd Mr Redburn

CIMAROSA
Il Matrimonio Segreto Conte Robinson

DONIZETTI
L’elisir d’amore Dulcamara
Don Pasquale Pasquale

HANDEL
Giulio Cesare Achilla
Radamisto Tiridate
Acis and Galatea Polyphemus
Theodora Valens
Alcina Melisso
Ariodante King
Ezio Ezio
Orlando Zoroastro
Xerxes Ariodates, Elviro
Jephtha Zebul
Agrippina Pallante
Belshazzar Gobrias

JANACEK
The Makropolus Case Kolenaty
Sarka Premysl

MOZART
Die Zauberflöte Papageno, Sprecher
Don Giovanni Leporello
Le nozze di Figaro Figaro
La finta giardiniera Nardo
Così fan tutte Guglielmo, Don Alfonso
La clemenza di Tito Publio

NICOLAI
Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor Reich

PUCCINI
La bohème Schaunard
Madama Butterfly Sharpless

RAMEAU
Platée Satyr, Cithaeron

SCHUBERT
Die Freunde von Salamanca Fidelio

J. STRAUSS
Die Fledermaus Frank

SULLIVAN
The Pirates of Penzance Major General Stanley
Mikado Ko-ko

For concert repertoire, please be in touch with Natasha Worsley.