Roderick Williams

Roderick Williams is active in the opera house, on the concert platform and in recital, encompassing a repertoire from the baroque to world premieres.  

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Opera engagements have included for Royal Opera House Covent Garden Schaunard/La bohème and  Ned Keene/Peter Grimes; for English National Opera Papageno/Die Zauberflöte,  Pollux in Rameau’s Castor and Pollux, and Jaufre Rudel in Saariaho’s L’amour de loin ,as well as  world premieres of  From Morning to Midnight  by David Sawer and A Better Place  by Martin Butler.  For Opera North his roles have included the title role of Don Giovanni, The Count/Le nozze di Figaro, Guglielmo/Cosi fan tutte, Figaro/Il barbiere di Siviglia, Ned Keene and Goryanchikov/From the House of the Dead.   For Scottish Opera roles have included Marcello/La bohème, Lord Byron in the world premiere of Sally Beamish’s Monster and Count/ Figaro.   Other notable world premieres have included Alexander Knaifel’s Alice in Wonderland and Michel van der Aa’s After Life for Netherlands Opera, as well as the title role in Robert Saxton’s The Wandering Jew  with the BBC Symphony , which has been released on NMC to considerable critical acclaim.   He made his North American opera debut singing Figaro/Il barbiere di Siviglia for Florida Grand Opera.

Among Roderick Williams’ many performances of opera in concert are recent appearances with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Tippett’s The Knot Garden (Barbican) and Birtwistle’s The Second Mrs Kong (Royal Festival Hall) and with the London Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding Billy Budd.  He has also sung the role of Eddie in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek for the BBC.  He has taken major roles in conductor Richard Hickox’s semi-staged performances of opera, including Britten’s Gloriana (Aldeburgh, 2003), Walton’s Troilus and Cressida and most of the Vaughan Williams operas.  Other concert performances include Henze, Strauss, Stravinsky and Wagner (Donner in Das Rheingold for ENO).

Roderick Williams has sung concert repertoire with all the BBC orchestras, and many other ensembles including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Russian National Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, The Sixteen, Le Concert Spirituel, and Bamberg Symphony Orchestra.  Recent successes include Britten’s War Requiem and Pilgrim in Vaughan Williams’s The Pilgrim’s Progress (semi-staged) with the Philharmonia, Jesus in The Last Supper  by Birtwistle with the London Sinfonietta in Milan and Turin, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius in Toulouse, a European tour of Handel’s Messiah with RIAS Kammerchor, Tippett’s The Vision of St Augustine with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the 2005 BBC Proms, Henze’s Elegy for Young Lovers with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the world premiere of Birtwistle’s The Ring Dance of the Nazarene  with VARA Radio (repeated at the BBC Proms), performances of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen at La Scala, concerts with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and a concert with Bach Collegium Japan at the Edinburgh Festival.

Recent and future operatic engagements include Oronte in Charpentier’s Medée, Toby Kramer in Van der Aa’s Sunken Garden and Don Alfonso/Così for English National Opera, Van der Aa’s After Life at Melbourne State Theatre, Van der Aa’s Sunken Garden at Opera de Lyon, the title role in Billy Budd for the Nationale Reisopera and a concert performance of Ned Keene/Peter Grimes with Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Concert engagements include performances  with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra,  the Hallé,  Britten Sinfonia, City of London Sinfonia, King’s College Cambridge, Goldsmiths Choral Union, Ex Cathedra, The Sixteen, The King’s Consort, New London Consort,  London Philharmonic Orchestra, Le Concert Spirituel, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Berlin Philharmonic, Rias Kammerchor, Orquesta Sinfonica de Euskadi, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Iceland Symphony, Danish National Radio Symphony, San Francisco Symphony,  Utah Symphony, Music of the Baroque Chicago, Bach Collegium Japan, Pax Christi Chorale in Toronto, as well as Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony at the opening night of the 2013 BBC Proms, the Britten War Requiem with the Maggio Musicale and Semyon Bychkov in Florence and the UK premiere of Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream with BBC Symphony Orchestra. In 2014 he will perform at the Last Night of the Proms.

He is also an accomplished recital artist who can be heard at venues and festivals including Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, LSO St Luke’s, the Perth Concert Hall, Oxford Lieder Festival, London Song Festival, Howard Assembly Room, the Musikverein, Vienna and on Radio 3, where he has participated on Iain Burnside’s Voices programme.  

His numerous recordings include Vaughan Williams, Berkeley and Britten operas for Chandos, Verdi’s Don Carlos (conducted by Bernard Haitink) for Philips, and an extensive repertoire of English song with pianist Iain Burnside for Naxos. Roderick Williams is also a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio.

He is also a composer and has had works premiered at the Wigmore and Barbican Halls, the Purcell Room and live on national radio. He will be Artistic Director of Leeds Lieder + in April 2016.

View all concerts featuring Roderick Williams

Forthcoming Concerts featuring Roderick Williams