Biography

 

Countertenor Tim Mead was born in Chelmsford, England. He began singing as a treble in the choir of Chelmsford Cathedral under the direction of Dr. Graham Elliott, who later encouraged him to return to the choir as a countertenor. After leaving school he read Music at Cambridge University, where he was a choral scholar at King’s College under the direction of Stephen Cleobury. Whilst at university he began to study singing with countertenor Charles Brett. He went on to win a number of scholarships to the Royal College of Music, London where he studied with countertenor Robin Blaze.

In the final year of his studies, Tim made his professional opera debut singing the role of Ottone in L’incoronazione di Poppea at Opera de Lyon under William Christie, a role he has since performed at English National Opera, Den Norske Opera, Opera de Lille and Opera de Dijon. In 2006 he made an unscheduled debut at Glyndebourne Festival Opera singing the title role in David McVicar’s celebrated production of Giulio Cesare under Emmanuelle Haim, replacing an indisposed David Daniels. Other roles for Glyndebourne include Eustazio in Rinaldo. In 2008 Tim made his debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden singing the role of Innocent in the world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s The Minotaur.  Other roles for the Royal Opera include Clearte in Steffani’s Niobe.

Amongst his roles are the title roles in Handel’s OrlandoAdmetoSiroeEzio and Rinaldo and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. Other roles include Endimione in La Calisto, Tolomeo in Giulio Cesare, Ottone in Agrippina, Bertarido in Rodelinda, Andronico in Tamerlano, Trasimede in Admeto, Melo in Sosarme, Athamas in Semele, Oronte in Riccardo Primo, Idelberto in Lotario, Licida in L’Olympiade, Paggio in Ercole Amante and Farnace in Mitridate. Tim’s roles in contemporary works include The Boy/First Angel in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin, Voice of Apollo in Britten’s Death in Venice, Ometh in John Casken’s Golem and the various countertenor roles in the world premiere of Julian Philips’ Varjak Paw.

Tim has performed at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, English National Opera, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, De Nederlandse Opera, Opera de Lille, Opera de Dijon, Théâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Chicago Opera Theater, Deustche Oper am Rhein, Opernhaus Halle, Opera de Rennes, Angers-Nantes Opera and Garsington Opera and at the International Handel Festspiele Göttingen, the Handel-Festspiele Halle, the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival.

In concert, Tim has appeared at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Théatre Champs-Elysées, Salle Pleyel, Concertgebouw and the concert halls of Berlin and Vienna. He has sung with the New York Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Academy of Ancient Music, Les Arts Florissants, Le Concert d’Astrée, Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble, Concerto Köln, Akademie für Alte Musik, Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, Accademia Bizantina, Bach Collegium Japan, Mercury Baroque (Houston), the Nederlandse Bachvereniging, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam and regularly performs alongside the RIAS Kammerchor. Tim works with conductors including Ivor Bolton, William Christie, Laurence Cummings, Christian Curnyn, Alan Curtis, Ottavio Dantone, Paul Goodwin, Emmanuelle Haim, Thomas Hengelbrock, Vladimir Jurowski, Alessandro de Marchi, Nicholas McGegan, Marc Minkowski and Masaaki Suzuki.

Tim’s increasing presence on the recital platform has included programmes of Bach and Pergolesi with the Combattimento Consort Amsterdam in Bogota, Colombia; Purcell, Handel and Monteverdi with London Baroque in Istanbul, Turkey; Handel and Mozart opera arias with KamerAkademie Halle in Bad Lauchstädt, Germany and various programmes with the Prince Consort of song repertoire by composers including Brahms, Britten, Stephen Hough, Schubert, Schumann and Ned Rorem.

An already substantial discography includes Bach’s Matthäus-Passion, the Handel oratorios SaulSolomon and Israel in Egypt and the Handel operas AdmetoFlavio, Riccardo Primo and Rinaldo. Tim has recorded for a variety of labels, including EMI Classics, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Chandos, Carus, Channel Classics, Linn, Opus Arte and Arthaus Musik.

Current and future plans include Endimione in La Calisto at Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, The Boy/First Angel in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin at the  Gulbenkian Lisbon and Goffredo in Rinaldo for Glyndebourne Festival Opera. Concert performances include Messiah with Le Concert d’Astree under Emmanuelle Haim and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Jonathan Cohen, the St. Matthew Passion with De Nederlandse Bachvereniging, Didymus in Theodora with the English Concert under Harry Bicket and recitals with the Prince Consort. In future seasons he will also sing Oberon A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a world premiere at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and a title role at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.

 

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