Neal Davies

Credit: Gerard Collett


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.




From The Green Room


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    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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    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


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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

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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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    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”.

    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


Opera Repertoire:

Fidelio/Leonore Don Fernando

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

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

Il Matrimonio Segreto Conte Robinson

L’elisir d’amore Dulcamara
Don Pasquale Pasquale

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

The Makropolus Case Kolenaty
Sarka Premysl

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

Die Lustigen Weiber von Windsor Reich

La bohème Schaunard
Madama Butterfly Sharpless

Platée Satyr, Cithaeron

Die Freunde von Salamanca Fidelio

Die Fledermaus Frank

The Pirates of Penzance Major General Stanley
Mikado Ko-ko

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