Biography


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“Superb” – The Times

“Electrifying; if I see acting of such depth and power again this year. I shall be both surprised & delighted” – MusicWeb

Damian Thantrey read law at Clare College, Cambridge and qualified as a lawyer before studying singing at the Royal College of Music with Margaret Kingsley. On leaving the RCM, Damian was awarded the Tagore Gold Medal and held the Mills Williams Junior Fellowship, continuing his studies with Paul Farrington.
Alongside his performing career, he is also the guest Artistic Director for the 2018 Lichfield Festival.

Damian’s eclectic repertoire covers roles including Deputy Mayor (Roy Fiction) in the Royal Opera House premiere and revival of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna NicoleLun Tha The King and I, Count Ludovic Passion, Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince Into The Woods, Franz/Lee Sunday in the Park with George and Mr Lindquist A Little Night Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet, English Clerk Death in Venice Opera North, Brother Seven Deadly Sins, Chau Lin A Night at the Chinese Opera and Eisenstein Die Fledermaus for Scottish Opera and Apollo Orfeo Opéra National de Lorraine and Salle Pleyel, Paris.

He has also sung English Clerk Death in Venice at the Aldeburgh and Bregenz Festivals and at the Opéra de Lyon, the Traveller roles Death in Venice Opéra de Metz, Marullo Rigoletto Royal Opera House, Flemish Deputy Don Carlos WNO, Pastore Orfeo and Messenger Oedipus Rex Opera North, Nardo La Finta Giardiniera and Sadik Der Stein der Weisen Garsington Opera, Count Almaviva Marriage of Figaro Savoy Opera, Onegin Eugene Onegin Blackheath Halls, Ferdinand The Duenna English Touring Opera, Adonis Venus and Adonis La Nuova Musica, Blazes The Lighthouse Psappha/Orkney Festival, Maximillian Candide City of Birmingham Opera, Zurga Les Pecheurs des Perles and The Duke of Rothsay La Jolie Fille de Perth Chelsea Opera Group, and Baritone 1 The Martyrdom of St. Magnus and Aeneas in a concert performance of Dido & Aeneas at the Oslo Kammermusik Festival.

He is a specialist in contemporary music and has premiered more than forty new works (including Turnage’s Anna Nicole, the baritone role in Max Richter’s SUM, and Babette’s Feast, all for the Royal Opera House), as well as performing demanding roles and concert repertoire from the 20th and 21st century canon, in major works by Maxwell Davies, Weir, Adams and Schönberg.  He has appeared on several recordings/DVDs, most recently as Guimard in Erik Chisolm’s Simoon (Delphian).   His critically-acclaimed performance as Stephen Ward in Thomas Hyde’s one-man opera That Man Stephen Ward, based on the Profumo Affair, has just been released on disc by Resonus Classics.

In concert, Damian has performed all the major oratorio works with a wide span of repertoire, from the Bach Passions and Monteverdi Vespers to Orff’s Carmina Burana and Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and King’s College, Cambridge.

In recital, Damian has performed a variety of work across the UK and in London at the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall and St John’s, Smith Square. He has performed Winterreise and Wolf’s Italienisches Liederbuch with Malcolm Martineau and has made a recital tour of Schumann’s Dichterliebe with the pianist Peter Hewitt. Damian has also sung several orchestral song cycles including Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer and Kindertotenlieder in two UK tours with Rambert Dance.

He has also co-written (with director Lee Blakeley) a new translation of Handel’s Riccardo Primo, which was premiered to great acclaim in 2015 by the Opera Theatre of St Louis.  They will work together again on a new translation of The Marriage of Figaro for the same company in 2019.
More recently, Damian has also produced operas for the Lichfield Festival (The Magic Flute, Così fan tutte) and the St Andrews Voices Festival (The Magic Flute).  This year, for the Cheltenham and Lichfield Festivals, he produced The Sound of His Music: A Celebration of Richard Rodgers (which he also devised and co-wrote with Lee Blakeley) – an evening with orchestra, narrator and singers, focussing on Rodgers’ work with Oscar Hammerstein II and Lorenz Hart.